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.
Entering Wire Pass.
Plenty of beautiful sights as we hiked through the narrows of Buckskin Gulch.
A small arch is visible above the slot.
The canyon walls became shorter the further we went…
…until we exited the canyon and were hiking in a wash.
Climbing up the sandstone at the base of the West Clark Bench.
It was a beautiful area to explore.
We could see the Coyote Buttes and Top Rock from up here, where we would be going tomorrow.
Diane overlooking Buckskin Gulch and The Cockscomb.
My shadow, a pool of ice and colorful sandstone.
This was an interesting hoodoo we passed by while trying to find a way back down into Buckskin Gulch.
Transition from sandstone to sand.
We passed this little arch that reminded us of Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.
Amazing reflected light around every bend in the narrows of Buckskin Gulch on our hike back.
Diane in a shallow section of Wire Pass before entering another slot.
Nice colorful sculpted sandstone in Wire Pass.
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.
This is my favorite portion of the panel.
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.
The last light of the day strikes a cliff above Cottonwood Canyon Road as we drove back to Page for the night.