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Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch

Sunday, December 28, 2014

On Sunday morning we drove over to the Wire Pass trailhead from our hotel in Page and arrived shortly after the sunrise. Our plan for today was to hike through Wire Pass and then down Buckskin Gulch for a few miles. Unfortunately, we would not be unable to go down Buckskin Gulch from the confluence with Wire Pass because of some large pools of water blocking our way, and we weren’t prepared to get wet on this cold December day. I had hoped that any water in the canyon might be frozen so we could walk right over it, but that was not the case. Instead, we turned around and hiked up Buckskin Gulch until we exited the narrows. When the canyon opened up I noticed a playground of sandstone above the wash and below the West Clark Bench, so we climbed up into that area and explored the colors and shapes of the sandstone for a while. We made a big loop and ended up back down in Buckskin Gulch again. As we hiked back down towards Wire Pass, the light in the canyon was much nicer than on our way up, and I stopped to take many photos along the way.

Hiking down Coyote Wash in the morning light on our way to Wire Pass.

Sunrise Hike by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Entering Wire Pass.

Into Wire Pass by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Plenty of beautiful sights as we hiked through the narrows of Buckskin Gulch.

Leaving the Narrows by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Slot Fork by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A small arch is visible above the slot.

Tiny Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The canyon walls became shorter the further we went…

Shorter by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

…until we exited the canyon and were hiking in a wash.

Out of the Narrows by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Climbing up the sandstone at the base of the West Clark Bench.

Allure by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

To The Top by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It was a beautiful area to explore.

Sandstone Exploring by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Striations by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Up by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We could see the Coyote Buttes and Top Rock from up here, where we would be going tomorrow.

Climbing Above by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Diane overlooking Buckskin Gulch and The Cockscomb.

Overlooking Buckskin by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

My shadow, a pool of ice and colorful sandstone.

Shadow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This was an interesting hoodoo we passed by while trying to find a way back down into Buckskin Gulch.

Layers by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Transition from sandstone to sand.

Sandstone Wanderings by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We passed this little arch that reminded us of Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

Mini Delicate Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Amazing reflected light around every bend in the narrows of Buckskin Gulch on our hike back.

Buckskin Gulch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Buckskin Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Diane in Buckskin Gulch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Follow the Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Light at the End by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Canyon Sunburst by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Darkness by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Colorful Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Diane in a shallow section of Wire Pass before entering another slot.

Shallow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Back into Wire Pass by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice colorful sculpted sandstone in Wire Pass.

Wire Pass by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After reaching my Jeep at the trailhead, I took Diane to visit the Maze Petroglyph Panel since it is one of my favorites in the area. This is a nice petroglyph panel that looks great in the warm late afternoon sunlight.

Maze Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Side Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This is my favorite portion of the panel.

Lost in the Maze by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

On our way back to Page I took one last detour down Cottonwood Canyon Road so I could try and take a decent photo of The Cockscomb shortly before sunset.

Heart of The Cockscomb by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The last light of the day strikes a cliff above Cottonwood Canyon Road as we drove back to Page for the night.

Last Shot by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch Photo Gallery


  1. John Spurr
    John Spurr January 14, 2015

    Wonderful shots! I’d love to know what camera settings you used on each one. Looks like you didn’t use a tripod. In any case, I don’t know how you do it!

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat January 15, 2015

      John, I did use a tripod on a few of the shots taken in Buckskin Gulch and Wire Pass. Are there any specific photos you want to know the settings on? I’d be happy to share.

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