4 days adventure and fun: From Wire Pass to Lee's Ferry - day 3 - day 4
Day 3: The Hole - South of F.T. Johnson 1912
06:00 am: "And daily, the marmot greets!" Breakfast, backpacks packing. 07:45 am, we are on the Trail.
At mile 25, we arrive the Wrather Canyon area. There is also flowing water. The path through the green canyon leads us steeply upward. We set aside our heavy backpacks in the canyon. After plentiful 0.5 miles,
we reaches the arch, that seen of the lower path, looks like an alcove. Wow, what for a colossus! The outlook of here above, is very beautiful.
Shortly after 09:00 o'clock, we return into the Paria Canyon. Circa a hour later, between mile 25 & 26, the canyon becomes wider and a petroglyph panel requires a stop.
It begins the Kayenta formation and Shower Spring must be somewhere. Deep riparian vegetation and later the splashing water, betrays the source of the location. We stand knee deep in the water and refill the water bottles.
It is 11:00 o'clock and further goes, downwards in the canyon. A native comes together with me and defends his place steadfastly.
The sun loves us - it is above the 30 °C. After a shortly stop at a beautiful petroglyph panel with Big Horn Sheeps, we find a shady place with a Seep, close to mile 29. Lunchtime! Nuts, Granola bars and Beef Jerky are on the menu.
After this strengthener, we hike further through the beautiful Canyon, alternately in the water and through the riparian vegetation.
A "signpost" in the riverbed alerts us - the Bush Head Canyon is in the near. We arrived them, shortly before mile 31. The sun burns mercilessly. We enjoy the shadow, one mile further, at a rest.
Now it's 04:00 pm. It is no use! We must further go on, that we don't have so many miles, to hike on the tomorrow's day. We leave, little time later, via the high-water-route the Paria River bed.
Uphill and downhill. This path leads, along the inscription of F.T. Johnson from the year 1912, through a "stone-desert." Here above, is not any beautiful campsite.
About 1.5 miles later, we leave that area in direction Paria River. Gotcha! A couple of time later a nice spot for camping.
It also is enough for today. Our energy-level is nearly at the end, after 11 miles and 10.5 hours of hiking. It is 06:00 pm. Camp built up and first a break. After one strong coffee, we find a shallow position at the river in order to pump off waters for our supplies. Just one bottle, remain at the riparian area, in the water. Later we remove the red-brown mud of the wading boots in the soft flowing river. Time for the dinner. Mountain House Beef Stew is required.
At nightfall, moon and venus are visible - very nice. I grab the well chilled bottle out from the river. We mix ourselves a drink "Pareah Spirit". River water, instant lemon granulate and rum. Cheers! Nice stuff, to let the day fade away.
Day 4: South of F.T. Johnson 1912. Lee's Ferry
The last day begins about 05:30 am, with the accustomed procedures.
7:00 o'clock, we hike again, in the light of the rising sun, on the high water-route. After half a hour, the Flat Top Rock be to see, with dissimilar petroglyphs. We cross half a mile later the river, whose water is very refreshing.
With mile 35 we reach one of the best sites of the Paria Canyon, with the most diverse and most beautiful rock art. Scorpion Rock, Upsidedown Rock and 10 minutes later the 10 Sheep Rock.
After a river crossing, we happen to see the last and nicest campsite in the Paria Canyon. We still hike 1.5 miles, it is 09:30 o'clock. Time for a second breakfast, with most splendid sunshine. Further it goes. Mighty sand-dunes, are along the way.A bundle of old pipes, flowing water and much green. We hike the to the remnants of the Wilson Ranch site. Other historical markers in the Pariah Canyon will follow further.
11:00 o'clock or so, we pass the GCNRA-Border-Line. 39 miles after the start at the Wire Pass, we are opposite the Dominguez pass and cross a last time the Paria River.
Further historical markers are at the trail to the Lonely Dell Ranch. Spence Place, a corral and an old shack. The Canyon becomes wider and wider.
We pass mile 40. A last time goes it upward, in direction of civilization. An old pump, the graveyard of the ranch and old rusting farm equipment, invites to photo stops.
High Noon. We step on the beautiful terrain of the Lonely Dell ranch. Under shady trees, tables and benches stand, that we claim for a time for ourselves. After a short ranch-sightseeing, and a last look to the upper canyon, we say bye, bye you wonderful place of the southwest.
Only a scarce mile. After 4 days of wilderness and 41 miles of adventure, we are again at the RV, on the Long Term Parking Lot at Lee's Ferry. It is 01:00 pm. Garbage and poop-bags removal, boots cleaning and up-up to Lee's Ferry Campground. We let the day there fade away, peaceful and comfortably.
The trip was strenuous, challenging, but: a unique, unforgettable and wonderful experience in our life..
The weather and trail conditions were outstanding. Temperatures between 12 °C and > 30 °C. The Buckskin Gulch was bone-dry. Wade or swim, through the often described pools, was not necessary. Disadvantage: Thru the past flashfloods, partially the gulch looks like a excessive cleaned floor - IMO.
The out-of-stock water, generated none of the beautiful light reflections, that let the sandstone of the gulch shining so singularly, consequently. The Paria River had low waters and secured consequently a quite rapid making progress, as far as one from fast can talk, with 19 as well as 25 kg of backpack on the back.
Only at the 4. crack, wearing of wading boots were necessary. My boots are canyoneering boots, made by 5.10, with of orthopedic insoles, for me a good election. No sand and sediment in the shoe, the insoles increased comfort and damping. Heike's wading shoes were of Merrell, however they were the purest "sand-gluttons".
Maps and Info. The good preparation was a big plus and we saved much time in the field. The payable one (available at the BLM), "Hiker's Guide to Paria Canyon", we had it first at Lee's Ferry in the hands. The brochure is informative, the maps however puristic. I had created my own maps in advance. The mile-statements described by me begin at the Wire Pass and finish at Lee's Ferry. No division into Wire Pass, Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon takes place.
Resources of drinking water existed sufficiently. The Paria Canyon offers, numerous springs and seeps. But enough possibilities too, to pump waters at shallow riparian areas of the river..
On the question: Would you do the same again? My answer: Never, say never!
Personally I finds it more pleasantly, to split this trip, into two separated trips: Wire Pass - White House and White House - Lee's Ferry.
Are these 4 days enough? Yes, but's was very short. Depending on his own preferences, physique, weather and trail conditions, 5 - 7 days are a perhaps better choice.
Many thanks to the friends of Bogley for 'beta'.
Have fun! And maybe see you on trail.
Post Thanks / Like
07-21-2012 02:47 PM
Thank you Matt.
Thank you Acca (it was a long way...)
Great finish to an outstanding adventure. Thanks for sharing.
What fantastic photo's and Trip Report
Thank you very much! Kurt.
Congrats ZZYZX! So crazy to see the Buckskin bone dry. I hope to do the whole hike someday.
Thank you very much! Jamal.