Day 23: Big Miles, Small Slots

Saturday May 13, 25.6mi/41.2km

Last Chance Creek Canyon (355.7/4640ft) to Dog Flat Plateau (380.6/5840ft) (UT) + 0.7mi Paradise Slot Alt.

We were hiking up Last Chance Creek at 6:45am, and followed it all morning. It was nice seeing water again. Little waterfalls!

Eventually the canyon became greener, the cottonwood trees were growing everywhere, this water must be perennial.

For about a mile the canyon narrowed and the cool rock walls returned.

But mostly it was an easy walk up a dry wash, with the intermittent stream making an appearance.

Shadow demonstrating how to sidestep the slippery mud, which sometimes would catch us by surprise. It was infrequent, but often enough that I was using mental energy to avoid it.

Just after lunch we found this huge rock overhang that kinda made a cave. It was nice to get out of the sun, and also fill our water bottles in the nearby trickle.

About a mile later, we came to a junction and decided to try the Yellow Paradise alternate route, which goes thru a slot canyon. It started off easy …

But soon it required some ducking under short rocks …

And climbing up short 6ft/2m ledges.

Looking back on the slot we had just climbed out of.

After a half mile, the slot appeared to come to an end.

This was unexpected, since the guidebook info from Jamal Green’s “Across Utah” site (a wonderful resource!) described this alternate as connecting thru, and rejoining the main Hayduke. But with no other info, and finding no obvious ways to climb out, we backtracked and exited the slot canyon. We made a shortcut detour back to the main Hayduke, which was on a roadwalk for the rest of the day.

The afternoon thunderstorms were building, and I could hear thunder. Cool clouds though!

At a road junction, I was reminded how close we were to the end of this section, at Grosvenor Arch! (10 miles away).

The clouds became darker, and for the first time on the Hayduke, I felt a few raindrops. I even got out my umbrella!

A mile later we found a campsite nestled in the trees, to block the wind. It’s one of the few non-sandy campsites we’ve had, and I like it already. There are some cow pies scattered nearby, and I hear a cow in the distance, but I think it will be a quiet relaxing night.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s