June 1, 2017

Fun in the Desert Sun (Memorial Day in Escalante)

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

[This is Andrea, making my blog (typing) debut for the year]

Once or twice a year I do a desert girls trip with some of my friends. We decided to head down to the Escalante area over this past Memorial Day weekend for hiking, slot canyons, and camping fun...


We headed down Hole in the Rock Road and settled in to a really nice campsite on the dirt road just past the Devil's Garden area.


Our first day was packed full of slot canyons. We started with Zebra and Tunnel Slots which surprised us with waist-deep water (chest deep if you are Amiee!). As their names imply, Zebra has beautiful red stripes in the rock and Tunnel resembles a dark tunnel. Both are short but unique.

We took a break at camp until our third gal arrived then headed to Spooky and Peek-A-Boo Slots. These are a MUST-DO if you are in the Escalante area!


Just off of Highway 12 is a shortcut to access the lower canyon of Death Hollow (typically a backpacking trip). This approach requires some route finding and scrambling. It turns out that our directions were limited and we didn't know what direction we were supposed to be going :-). Eventually we found our way down to the Escalante River but were exhausted from the heat to make it up to Death Hollow (until the next day...). However, this area has fantastic views and a great place to spend the day.

In the evening, we watched the sunset at Devil's Garden and toasted to an awesome girls weekend.


The next day I was surprised when the other two suggested we go for attempt #2 of Death Hollow. This time it only took us an hour to get to Escalante River. We headed upstream for a few minutes until the entrance to the canyon came up on the right. Although it was quite pleasant to walk in the ankle-deep water, it was quite a challenge to avoid all of the poison ivy! We walked a few miles up Death Hollow to enjoy some of the best narrows in Death Hollow, took a dip in one of the deep pools of water, and headed back the way we came.


We decided to take our last day pretty easy. After packing up all our camping stuff, we walked around Devil's Garden for a little while. Then we did a short hike to the Hundred Hands Panel from the Escalante River trailhead. There are lots of easily accessible petroglyphs in this area and even more if you are willing to go searching for them.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend and a fall trip to Escalante is definitely in the works!

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