Tuesday May 16, 21.4mi/34.4km
Paria River @Deer Creek Cyn (429.4/5160ft) to Skutumpah Road (441.7/5960ft) (UT) +9.1mi roadwalk to Tropic town
It’s a town day! We started off at 6am with headlamps, which we only needed for maybe 5 minutes.
The sunrise colors in the Paria River Canyon were pretty glorious.
Shadow usually hiked up ahead, but both of us are motivated and excited for town food.
After about 4 miles, we turned off into Sheep creek canyon, still heading upstream. The creek was very twisty and made some deep corners in the rock cliffs.
I hiked up Sheep creek for 2 hours, and it was easy, and pretty soon I turned off into Willis Creek Narrows.
The canyon became skinnier….
And pretty soon it was just 3m/10ft wide!
It widened briefly, and I saw a group of four horseback riders heading in the opposite direction. I have no idea how they fit thru this narrow canyon!
The textured wall of Willis Creek Narrows were fun to touch.
There was a surprising amount of muddy water running down the canyon, most photos I’ve seen had a dry canyon.
More cool narrows photos!
As I climbed upstream, the canyon walls were getting shorter.
Which was fortunate, because I soon hit this obstacle and had to scramble out.
As soon as I scrambled out, I was at the trailhead, and a dirt road. From there, it was a long dirt roadwalk (9mi) to the highway.
At least the views of Grand Staircase-Escalante were pretty epic.
Halfway thru the roadwalk I passed a junction. Getting closer!
I saw some weird things along the road, including a shipping container “house”, someone watering the desert trying to farm, and this weird sculpture.
I arrived to the highway at 1pm, and then hitched the 5mi to Tropic, as it felt too dangerous to walk that 65mph road. Shadow had arrived a couple hours ahead of me (he skipped the Willis Narrows), and had gotten us a motel room at the Red Ledges Inn. Sweet.
My first stop was food! I ordered a bison burger and fries at the Sinclair convenience store, which were only mediocre. At least the two milkshakes were great. Shadow showed up (it’s a tiny town), and we walked over to the motel. I showered, and we got an early dinner at “IDK barbecue” which was really fantastic. After an attempt at grocery shopping (I’ll have to finish tomorrow), we relaxed in the motel room and watched free movies.
Tomorrow is my first Zero day (zero miles hiking) on the Hayduke, I’m looking forward to doing nothing!
Beautiful curves in the canyon cliffs! Similar to the ‘Wave’.