Life on the Open Road

The continuing saga of a full-time RVer, who travels primarily in the West.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Zion National Park

We moved on to Zion and parked 5 miles east of Virgin, UT at a little piece of BLM land along the Virgin River, just west of MM 24 on Hwy 9. I talked Barbara and Ron into doing a hike I’ve wanted to do for a while. It involved hiking 5 miles one-way from the top of a ridge, dropping 2000 feet down through Echo Canyon to the valley from an obscure trailhead on the east boundary of the park. Since Randy had a sore foot, we had ourselves a shuttle-man!

The first part of the hike was level, through a forest of pinyon and juniper with a few ponderosa pines. Then came the hard descent down into Echo Canyon. This part was steep and rocky. The prettiest part was probably going down through Echo Canyon, not too steep, meandering through a narrow crevice and some very pretty rock formations. The last part was a lot of switchbacks down to the valley floor and the park bus that took us back to the visitors center and our "shuttle-man."

Although 5 miles of downhill sounds easy, it’s hard on your knees! But it beats climbing and I was glad I did it.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Wave (Finally)

Apparently, we are not very lucky people, because it took us five days to get a permit. (A record, they said!) But we finally did, and it was well worth the wait. The Wave is probably the most photogenic rock structure in the world. It was carved entirely by wind. In the early 1990s, a movie was made here that was shown in Germany. That started a stampede of photographers, forcing the BLM to limit the number of visitors, in hopes of preserving the fragile structure. Information on how to get a permit, as well as maps and directions on how to reach the Wave, are available on the Internet. is especially helpful.
It’s a sandy and rocky 3-mile hike to the Wave, from the Wire Pass trailhead on House Rock Valley Road, 8 miles south of Hwy 89. Along the hike, there are many beautiful rock formations, including lots of teepee-looking cones. But they are only a warm-up for the Wave. The Wave itself is not very large, but out of this world. There are also some other interesting swirls, "brain rocks" and even a rock that looks like a hamburger in the immediate vicinity. I took so many pictures, it’s hard to pick which ones to post, but I chose some with Barbara and Ron in them so you can get some idea of the size. Don’t they pose well?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cottonwood Wash Road

We wanted to go see the Wave, a unique rock structure in the Coyote Buttes area of Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, but it is very difficult to get the required permit; only a few are given out each day, via a lottery. So we settled in at the head of House Rock Valley Road to do some other sightseeing while we waited. N37.1234 W111.9762 One day we drove up Cottonwood Wash Road, a very long dirt road through some beautiful rock formations. The road parallels the Cockscomb, a ridge of pointed rocks that look just like their name. We went all the way to Grosvenor Arch, 30 miles north of Hwy 89, stopping along the way to hike through the Cottonwood Narrows.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Page, Arizona

After the Grand Canyon, we moved on to Page. We parked near a corral 1 1/2 miles up a dirt road across 89 from the road to Lone Rock. N 36.9956 W 111.5950

On Easter Sunday, Barbara, Ron and I went to Lower Antelope Canyon (also called the Corkscrew). It's a slot canyon that is a photographer's paradise, located on Navajo land just east of Page.