I hope you had a happy and safe 4th of July! My mom and dad were down in Mexico celebrating. That’s okay. It gave me time to relive parts of my Utah adventure once again. One of my all-time favorite adventures was hiking a slot canyon.
If you recall, we were staying in Panguitch because it was right in the middle of what we wanted to do. We headed west the first day, and on our second day, we drove east on the 12. On our way to the Willis Creek Slot Canyon, we drove through the Red Canyon State Park. It was hard not to stop, but we wanted to beat the heat. Mom was concerned about the rock getting hot, and we would visit the Red Canyon State Park later in the day. We took some pictures and continued on to Cannonville, about 15 miles southeast of Bryce Canyon National Park.
We headed south on Kodachrome Road, and it turned into Cottonwood Canyon Road. At the 2.5-mile mark, we passed a signed for the Kodachrome Basin State Park, and the road turned to dirt. It’s a bumpy road, but you do not need a high-clearance vehicle to drive it. We drove another 2.8 miles to the parking lot.
I’ve never hiked a slot canyon before. Instead of looking for a trail on the surface, we looked for a small canyon underneath us. Whoa! You’d miss it if you didn’t know what you were looking for! You have to cross the street from the parking lot and follow the path to the canyon. It isn’t very far, and you’ll go to the right to find access down into it.
Parking is free, but it will get busy as the day goes. We got there early, so there were just a few folks there. I immediately smelled water and was thrilled when we got into the canyon that Willis Creek was running. Apparently, it has water most of the year but could dry up by late summer. It was just right to hike in. Oh, how refreshing! I splashed my way down the canyon.
Note: You must watch the skies for storms! If it is raining somewhere else, this slot canyon can become a flash flood, and you will have a difficult time getting to higher ground since the rock is slick. Morning is the best time to avoid the afternoon storms.
We were in the clear, and with the running water, the temperatures were perfect. This canyon goes for 5.8 miles. It is flat with varying degrees of height. This slot canyon is easy and doesn’t have any technical areas. It is perfect for beginners and dogs. Be prepared for open spaces between the canyon. They aren’t long, but the sand could get hot on doggy paws later in the day.
We didn’t do the entire canyon but hiked to our heart’s content. Each section is a little different with unique colors. It was amazing! Alas, we had other places to go, so we made our way back to the car. It was getting busier, so we timed it perfectly.
We drove the dirt road back and ended up at the city of Bryce, right at the entrance of Bryce Canyon National Park. Before visiting the park, we ate at Ruby’s. Back in 1916, Rueben, ‘Ruby’ Syrett brought his family to southern Utah and established a ranch. Eventually, they turned it into a lodge and created a place for tourists. At one point, the town was named after Ruby, and they still own most everything there in Bryce City.
Anyway, Ruby’s is like a Sonic, so mom wasn’t happy with the greasy food. It was pretty disappointing. Unfortunately, it really is your only option if you are going to the park. Next week, I’ll tell you all about Bryce Canyon National Park & the Red Canyon State Park. Until then, have a great week.
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!