4 days adventure and fun: From Wire Pass to Lee's Ferry - day 1 - day 2
With "From Wire Pass to Lee's Ferry" we celebrated our jubilee "20 years of traveling in the USA." This backpacking trip, was the first 4-day-trip, in our life. All my impressions to frame in words, is to hard for me. My English is like a back road, after a flash flood. I hope folks, you understand my kind of writing. :-)
Day 0: Page/AZ - Lee' s Ferry - Wire Pass
10:00 am, trip from Page Lake Powell Campground & RV Resort, Page/AZ to Lee' s Ferry long term parking lot. At noon should be the pickup by End Of The Trail Shuttles with Betty Price. After a mandatory stop at the Colorado River, we reached the parking lot.
No cellphone reception. Two hiker from Colorado State, they returned straight from their Paria hike, kindly helped us. Thanks again guys. Short phone call with Bettys secretary, hers mother, the truck is in Page/AZ to the repair and the departure retards around 2 hours. Finally, Betty with hers roomy 2004er Chevy Trailblazer came. Luggage load up and: „UP, UP on the way“!
Betty is a very nice elder lady, who operates the shuttle service since over 20 years. She knows about the local roads, geology, flora and fauna and told some stories from the past. 05:00 pm or so, we reach the parking lot at the Wire Pass TH.
Now, tent build up and relaxing afterwards.
We have a beautiful overview on the parking lot, to observe hikers on their way back from The Wave. Most of them were tired, but with a broad grin in the face. The parking lot empties. We come with a Canadian couple into a very nice discussion. They were in the Buckskin Gulch area, since they did not catch permits for the Wave. Like we, they love this area. Before they leave, they were very friendly and carried out our garbage bag, thus I have on the next day, to bear less.
Shortly after dark, we crawl away into the tent - good night!
Day 1: Wire Pass TH - Paria River, below the Confluence
The night was quiet, until 03:00 o'clock in the morning. A group that we later met again in the gulch, set up her camp. The day begins 05:00 am. Coffee cooking, a few granola bars for the breakfast and pack the backpacks.
07:00 am, start into the Wire Pass. The Buckbrush blooms and waste its sweetness on the desert air. The two known obstacles were, how ever, no problem. The jammed log in the narrows, jammed in the height for years, lies at the ground now.
After altogether 1,75 miles, we reach the confluence with the Buckskin Gulch. The sun illuminates the wall at the alcove, on the right side, so that the snake of the petroglyph panel, who extends from the alcove to the end of the wall, is well visible.
The gulch is bone-dry, only the known pool still has some water. The big alcove is, after 3 miles, to see. Some alcoves are on the way to the first boulder section, however no one is as beautiful as the first one. We reach the section after 4 miles. A few scramble and we leave the first prominent boulders behind ourselves.
After a short rest, it goes further in direction Middle Route Exit. The path of the gulch here, is changing between pebbly, sandy, and even uphill. It we more narrowly and darker in the gulch.
The walls partly are covered of Desert Varnish. The sandstone shows beautiful structures, according to the light in gray, brown, gold and red shines. It is a continuous direction changing, from the left to the right at the cracks.
The notorious cesspool, shortly before Middle Route Exit, belongs to the past. The last flash floods "washed away" it. It becomes light. A known crack becomes visible, we reached the Middle Route Exit after almost 8 miles.
It is 01:00 pm, time for the lunch and the petroglyphs, who I had overlooked 2009. Now I can view them - thanks to @ Tanya.
We hike the next 5.5 miles to the confluence of Paria River, on known terrain. However nothing is, like in 2009. The gulch is really bone-dry and looks like an over cleaned, brightly polished. The reflections of the light are missing in the water, who brings the sandstone of the walls so singularly to the radiance. Circa 04:00 pm and another 4 miles, we reached Boulder Jam. Heh, what's that? Rope Mania.
The debris vanished. We rappel into the Rabbit Hole and crawls to the other side. Cool. Time for a rest. Suddenly voices. We meet the 3-o’clock-campers of the Wire Pass. A nice small talk. I made a memory-photo for them, and they continue her hike. It becomes time also for us to hike further. Heya, some things don't change. The old wheel and the wedged barrel, still are there. Shortly before we reach the campsite at the confluence, seeps comes out from the ground of the gulch. This clear water has a leisurely flow to the Paria River. After 13,5 miles on trail, we crossed the confluence. The Paria has very little water. It's very clear.
We hike the river downwards, we need a campsite for the night. The first campsite is busy. A few yards further, on the left side and 0.5 miles below the Confluence, we find our campsite, above the Paria River.
Almost 14 miles and 12 hours of hiking - time for the Dinner: Mountain House’s Chili Mac with Beef - yummy and a coffee as dessert.
With the Katadyn Vario, we refilled our water bottles with the water from the river.. It becomes slow dark. A little bit relaxing, a drink, that was it for today.
Day 2: Paria River, below the Confluence - The Hole
After a relaxing night, the day begins about 06:00 am with the accustomed procedure. Cook Coffee, for breakfast few Granola bars and Beef Jerky, later backpacks packing.
08:00 am and 12 °C. It's refreshingly cool. We are again on the trail. The Paria canyon narrows are visible. The muddy riverbed of the Paria will be innumerable times to still cross today. The walls of the Canyons are steep and looks majestically, numerous alcoves and cracks are to see also. Shortly after mile 15, we reach the of far visible Wall Spring, with her green grew.
Near mile 17 we pass the Abandoned Meander (Oxbow) and approves us a rest. Big Spring is before the second crack, that we reach, almost 11:00 am. The filling of the water bottles lasts only few seconds, so strongly the water flow is here. Even several populations of fishes are in the water of the Paria River, in the sizes of about 2 to 6 cm of length, to see.
Between the 2. and 3. crack, we hike through the 'Goosenecks' - wonderful. The water of the Paria extends from canyon wall to canyon wall.
Near mile 20 the 4. crack. It's 01:30 pm, time for the Lunch with nuts and Beef Jerky. The hiking boots are swap to the wading boots. The water of the river becomes more and more deeply.
At mile 22, we pass the Boulder-Alley. Gigantic boulders lie in the riverbed, they are good to pass. One little later, we reaches the fragments of the old historic Adam's Water Pump (Judd Hollow Pump). A beautiful place with old Cottonwood trees, that invite formally to a rest. Lizzy welcomes us.
Also our backs troubled by the backpack, assume this breather thanking.
It almost is 04:00 pm. Time to hike again, and to find a campsite.With mile 23, we see a curiosity again. Several springs step out of the ground of the Paria Canyon. The sand around the exit-openings is very fine and deep (like quicksand).
We reach The Hole one mile later, a niche in the western Canyon wall later more, however, to it. The campsite, on opposite, is totally overgrown by shrubs and plants. Here nobody camped more, for a long long time. We find a few yards downriver, almost 05:30 pm, a beautiful site.
Tent build up and first, cooking a wonderful cup of coffee. What for a relief! Later, we walk up to The Hole, in order to refill our water bottles. Water is running from the canyon wall, which fills a big pool. The walls of The Hole, partially have a luxuriant green plant growing.
We spend the evening, after 10 miles of canyon hiking and 12 hours on the legs, in the soft sand of our campsite - a splendid little spot in the middle of the nature. For dinner, there are Beef Stroganoff with Noodles by Mountain House - delicious. To advanced time, we go into the tent and asleep someday, accompanies from the concert of the frogs.
Last edited by zzyzx; 07-21-2012 at 12:57 PM.
Reason: TR split in two parts, because all pics aren't visible
07-21-2012 10:29 AM
Thanks for the Nice trip report. I did this same hike years back when I was a Boy Scout, and loved it!
Wunderbar TR! I enjoyed it very much. Pics and narrative are awesome.
I was just curious how was to drive that RV around? Don't see many that size in Deutschand, do you?
Thank you! Dave.
Driving around in southern Utah w/ that RV was very nice. Since 20 years we rent RVs and explore the US, the last 6 years just Utah. Mostly the RV is our base camp.
These kind and size of RV are really rare in Germany. We don't have so much space at the campgrounds, like here in the US. The campgrounds aren't so well developed (full hock-up).
Staying in the wilderness, like on BLM land is prohibited.
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Ha Ha, sounds like you've had a lot of experience! My first and only time of driving something so big made me so nervous! I had a heck of a time keeping it between the lines. My buddy let me take the wheel so he could take a nap and needless to say, he didn't relax much. I'll bet renting an RV makes extended travel so much easier, not having to pack your bags everyday and be on an itinerary.
One of these years, I'd sure like to come over to your neck of the woods...but I'd rent a Gumpert and take a spin on the Autobahn.
Very nice to read your trip report! Your pictures are very nice! Thank you.
"Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour
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Thank you too, Tango. :-)
All good things come to an end.
Thanks again, Acca. :-)
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We did the Paria hike so many years ago. Maybe 1981. Your pics and narrative bring it all back. So cool to see things as they were back then.
Superb job on both reports!!! Thankyou for the awesome pictures. That truly is a world class hike.
Thank you very much for your comment! Powderglut.