Southern Utah Wanderings | Tuesday & Wednesday, October 6-7, 2020
After leaving Lick Wash in the midafternoon on Tuesday, we drove back to Tropic to grab some dinner and then headed out through Cannonville and down the Cottonwood Road into the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument so we could check out a remote and little-known slot canyon known as the Paradise Slot on Wednesday morning. This short slot canyon is kind of out of the way, so we figured we probably wouldn’t run into any other people out in this area, and it turns out that we would be right about that! We stopped to visit Grosvenor Arch along the way since we were driving right by it. I think the last time I was here was in 2009, so this was a good opportunity for me to get a better photo in the late afternoon.
Towers of Butler Valley near Grosvenor Arch.
A zoomed in view on Grosvenor Arch, which was previously known as Butler Arch.
I walked around the arch a bit and spotted this other little arch on the other side.
Here’s an overview of Grosvenor Arch taken just before we left.
After leaving Grosvenor Arch we drove through The Gut of The Cockscomb and then across Wahweap Wash on our way to the Fourmile Bench so we could find a campsite for the night. This is a big area of the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument that both Jared and I don’t know much about and have not explored much before, so it was nice to finally drive through and get an introduction. The Fourmile Bench Road that we drove out there also happens to be part of the Hayduke Trail, so it seems we still can’t get away from that trail this week!
We found a great campsite at the edge of the bench below Horse Mountain that wasn’t very far away from the slot canyon we planned to hike in the morning.
Then we watched a smoky sunset from the edge.
After sunset Jared and I sat around camp in the dark and watched the sky for quite a while. The temperature out was pretty comfortable this evening and we were in no hurry to go to bed early again. It was a very peaceful and calm night with a crystal clear view of the sky.
As usual, we woke up with the sunrise again on Wednesday morning, which seems to be the theme this week! We packed up camp and finished driving another short section of the Hayduke Trail on our way to the trailhead for the hike into the Paradise Slot Canyon.
After a short hike down an unnamed fork of Paradise Canyon we started hiking up the shallow canyon that would turn into the slot canyon.
This was the first little obstacle we had to climb up, but it was really easy.
Then the canyon opened up for a little bit more.
Soon we reached the entrance to the Paradise Slot and went in! The most interesting thing about this canyon is all the wood that has been wedged inside, which I think is very unusual! Here are a few photos from within the slot canyon.
Here is Jared standing at the end of the slot canyon looking up the pour-over that prevented us from going any further.
I liked the warm and cool tones in this scene.
After spending a while watching the light change in the canyon, we eventually hiked out to our vehicles and then drove back to The Cockscomb so we could go on a few more short hikes before the end of the day.