Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Wash and Long Canyon Slot

Long Canyon Slot

Our fourth, and last, day hike in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument took us to The Wash and a nearby slot canyon branching off Long Canyon along the Burr Trail Road. It surprised me to see that there was a canyon called The Wash, since there are innumerable washes in this part of southern Utah. Why was this wash The Wash? We parked alongside the Burr Trail Road and decided to walk upstream because a camper told us that the canyon was difficult to navigate downstream (toward the Escalante River) after a distance because of rockfalls blocking the canyon. Unlike Deer Creek Canyon, which we explored the previous day, The Wash is fenced to keep cattle out. Equestrians still used the trail--and left plenty of road apples--but The Wash trail was so much more pleasant without the cattle.
A high bank and riparian vegetation in The Wash

Birding in The Wash

A huge cottonwood tree growing on a slope above the riparian zone

After lunch, we retraced our steps back to our vehicle and then drove a mile or so up Long Canyon to a slot in the canyon wall. Unlike the Dry Fork slots we visited on our first day in Grand Staircase-Escalante, the Long Canyon slot was short and never narrow enough to challenge our passage. It was beautiful nonetheless. A group of Buddhist monks who visit Boulder, Utah, each summer come to the slot to chant because of the great acoustics.

Align LeftThe entrance to the Long Canyon slot


Jain said...

This landscape is so foreign to me, thanks for sharing the photos, really beautiful!

Anonymous said...


Scott said...

Thank you, Jain! We go out West almost every other year because we love it so much. This year, before we left to visit Utah, one of my employees said, "One day, Scott, you'll buy a house out West." I replied, "You're probably right!"