Utah Vacation: Buckskin Gulch

Back in October Christian and I ran away for two weeks of adventure in the gorgeous state of Utah. I'd like to share some highlights from that trip because it really is a beautiful place.

On the last day of our vacation we wanted to hike to Cable Mountain in Zion National Park but the rain from the last few days ruined the roads. We were told that we wouldn't be able to make it without 4-wheel drive. Since our original plan was to be hiking out of the Grand Canyon on this day, we had made hotel reservations in Kanab. When we decided to stay in Zion instead of going to the Grand, we kept those reservations. So, instead of hiking another day in Zion, we headed to Buckskin Gulch which was a little bit closer to Kanab. In fact, we had to stop in Kanab first to get our permits to go into the canyon.

Buckskin Gulch is touted as one of the longest and deepest slot canyons in the world. You can link Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon to make a 4-5 day hike. I think it might be kind of creepy to spend that many days in a slot canyon. We had about 3 hours so we hiked for 1-1/2 hours and then turned around to hike back out. 

We started by hiking down a wash which then gradually turned into the slot canyon.

Our first obstacle: a chockstone with a conveniently placed log for down-climbing.

After a little ways, the canyon opens up where another canyon joins Buckskin. We saw petroglyphs on the cliff but I'm not sure if they are authentic or not.

The last time that we were in Buckskin we didn't make it very far because of a deep pool. This time we had our canyoneering shoes and dry pants so we were able to pick our way through the canyon. 

The mud was very slippery and sticky. We felt like we were walking with 10-pound weights on our feet.

The light changed around every corner - part of the magic of slot canyons.

Eventually we came to an area where the canyon walls widened and cottonwood trees grew in what was almost like an oasis. We explored a bit farther, had some lunch, and then it was time to turn around so we could make it back to Kanab before dark.

Southern Utah is truly a magical place. From twisting slot canyons and towering red cliffs, the beauty in the landscape just takes my breathe away. I can't wait to go back! Thanks for arm-chair traveling with us. I'm in the process of planning our next vacation: springtime at Mammoth Cave and Smoky Mountain National Parks. I think we're stopping at Congaree Swamp too.


Amy Powell said…
wow. all of these pictures are just incredible! looks like you two had a ton of fun :) so different from anything I've ever done, that's for sure!
Kathy said…
Oh my, feeling a bit claustrophobic after seeing those pics of the slot canyons. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again…you are SO brave!

Sometime you need to come out to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. You would like it out here, so much beauty to be found in the rich valleys surrounded by old mountains.

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