The Tourist

Paru3

So you are planning on beginning this journey with us.  Perhaps you live in a big city and the idea of venturing off through the wilds of Southern Utah makes you more than a bit nervous.  That’s OK.  We all start somewhere and we are excited that you are taking the leap Into the Seldom Seen.

All  Tourist friendly “Seeking Opportunities” include route flagging along the route.

Routes are rated for their difficulty and unique challenges will be explained.

Hanging Gardens are found in and around certain layers of sedimentary strata.  The idea is that rain water and snow melt find their way through the upper porous layers of rock, then as they seep through, the water comes in contact with a rock layer that is much less porous.  As the water collects at these layers, the pressure forces the water to the surface.  In the canyons of the Vermilion Cliffs almost every canyon has a spring or seep at a certain level.  These Hanging Gardens are our favorites in the area.  The hike into these secret locations is really fun and obscure.  If you go the wrong way in, you are likely to be stuck bushwhacking through some serious underbrush, or possibly experiencing quicksand.  I will be waiting at the Boss Hog Hanging Garden.

  • Adventure takes about 4 hours give or take
  • Shaded Canyon with about 400 feet of elevation loss and gain
  • Remarkable plant life abounds and the desert comes alive.
  • Geologic formations in multi tiered rock formation in the back of two different box canyons.
  • Very Seldom Seen
  • Hiking level is moderate as slippery rocks are present in the canyons.
  • The Hanging Gardens are amazing in all seasons.  In winter, in cold years, the hanging gardens freeze and create the look of a massive frozen pipe organ.

All hoodoos are not created equal.  Despite the popularity of both the Wahweap Hoodoos and the Toadstools of the Grand Staircase National Monument, they do not win the prize as the largest and most impressive.  The region around the Paria River near Hwy 89 is called the Rim Rocks.  There are many spots in this area to find amazing hoodoos of every shape and size.  The Arm of Atlas is the largest one I have found and is found in an amazing grouping of similarly curious hoodoos.  Also, there is one way in and one way out of this hanging valley.  Truly the best of the bunch.  Seldom Seen all the way!  I will be wandering through the maze of twisted rock in the hanging valley.  I will have some amazing information to share on how these structures were made.

  • Moderate hiking with a short but steep descent down to the Hoodoos.
  • Wet weather can make this terrain impassible.
  • Summers in this area can be very hot.  Go early and leave early if you want to get here in July.
  • Photography here is second to none for Hoodoos.
  • 4 hours average for trip.

Ah yes, the Zion Narrows.  Thousands upon thousands flock every year to the famous canyon system.  What the narrows was, is now nearly all but gone.

Across to the eastern escarpment of Zion National Park one finds a massive and unknown canyons system.  Much of it lies outside the parks boundaries.

To access this canyon system one must navigate tough and sandy 4×4 roads for miles only to get to convoluted and difficult to follow trails with very little signage.  Hardly the place to wander alone.  This however is exactly what I have planned for you.  Find your way into this water filled canyon system and discover one of the best kept secret locations in all of Southern Utah.  These water filled narrows are as beautiful as the Virgin River Narrows but without any of the traffic.  There are petroglyph panels and interesting turn of the century history hidden throughout the canyon.  This canyon system is the best place to beat the heat during the hot summer months.  I will be hanging out somewhere near the exit canyon.  I wouldn’t want you to miss the exit.

  • Full day 6 to 7 hours on trail hiking.
  • Lots of river hiking, ankle to knee deep.
  • Experience spots of quicksand and how to manage it.
  • 1000 feet of steep loose uphill hiking
  • Hard hiking, feet will get wet.

 

Dr Seuss-land seems like impossible geology.  The combination of hoodoos, deep slot canyons and a maze-like route to get in, makes this place one of my favorite adventures in the region.  I will be hanging out at the beginning of the descent.

  • This hike can be impassible during inclement weather.
  • Expect to be out 5 to 6 hours.
  • During hot times of the year bring a ridiculous amount of water.  Very hot and very little shade until you are in the slot.
  • A photographers dream shoot.  A never ending sea of hoodoos and unique geology.
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