ZEBRA SLOT CANYON

GPS: 37.639323, -111.445054

TIME: 4H 45M

LENGTH: 5.2 MILES RT

ELEVATION CHANGE:  300 ft

DATE: APRIL 25, 2019

I have to start this post by saying the the Earth Trekkers blog was super helpful in completing this hike. We could have very easily gotten lost without their great posts with corresponding images. And on that note, let’s get right to it!

We drove east on route 12 from Bryce National Park. It took us about 2 hours to get to the trail head. According to my offline Google maps it should have taken us 1.5 hours, but we slowed down considerably when we hit the dirt road. The dirt road is just under 8 miles long and it’s called Hole in the Rock Rd.

We passed the cattle guards (pictured below) and made sure to count them. We knew from reading Earth Trekkers that the trailhead and parking lot were just after the third one. We were in an SUV and it was a bumpy ride. I don’t think you need an SUV but it wouldn’t hurt if you have the option.

We arrived at 11:00 am and there was still plenty of space for other vehicles. I cannot express how important this is: apply sunblock and bring plenty of water! Yes it’s April and summer hasn’t actually started, but dehydration is inevitable even in these conditions if you’re not prepared. It’s a long walk and you don’t want to be caught without water, trust me!

From the trailhead we started out into the desert. The trail is easy to follow at first. It’s worn and even if you accidentally follow the drainage, it’ll bring you back to the trail as they both eventually lead to the same wash. While you stroll along you’ll come across diverse rock patterns.

Tony wanted to further explore the rock formations on the sides of the trail. It’s hard to tell, but the rock is actually steeper than it lets on.

You’ll come across a gate. It’s perfectly fine to cross. The gates easily swing open when pushed. I had already crossed the gate and was waiting for Tony to cross too.

This is where you need to pay attention. There are false trails from all the hikers that get lost here. We followed the instructions we found online and made sure to stay left when the trails split off.

There was a nice big rock formation we decided to stop on for a water break/photo opportunity.

Making sure we stayed left in Harris Wash we finally found the entrance to the slot canyon. (Thank you Earth Trekkers!)

I found this neat little moqui ball as I walked into the canyon. There’s an interesting read HERE. Pay attention as you walk in because you’ll see some of them still stuck in the walls.

Soon enough you’ll start squeezing your way through. Your back pack won’t stay on your back much longer. I resorted to keeping it over my head many times.

And then this…

I had such a hard time getting through here. I have shorter legs than my three co-travelers and couldn’t extend the way they could. I tried multiple ways and angles until I finally managed to do it. Whereas Tony used his feet I used my knees.

Here’s a better picture of how to cross the narrower parts of the canyon where your feet don’t fit in the canyon below. CJ is taller than me and needed to go higher in the canyon. He also used his feet on the opposing wall. You can see me deeper in the canyon using my knees on the opposing wall instead of my feet.

I wouldn’t lie to you about the parts where I struggled. It wasn’t easy. But hiking that desert wasn’t easy either. And I wasn’t leaving there until I made it into the canyon to see the zebra portion.

TA DA! We made it to the zebra slot portion!

How amazing are these lines though???

The hike back to the car was long and hot. Now that I’ve done the hike I’m glad I’ve crossed it off my list. I think everyone should see and experience it at least once. But I’ve seen so many other places in Escalante that I would hold off on a repeat hike until exploring the rest of the area. Until my next adventure, I have so many gorgeous pictures of wave like rock structures and zebra stripes to reminisce with. : )

“In the desert, the line between life and death is sharp and quick.”

Brian Herbert
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RIVERSIDE WALK

GPS: 37.285134, -112.947601

TIME: 1h

LENGTH: 2 MILES RT

DATE: APRIL 24, 2019

After hiking Angels Landing Wednesday morning, I wanted to continue exploring without completely exhausting my last bit of energy. I had a list on my phone of easy hikes that had been posted to Zion’s website HERE. So we opted for a stroll in Riverside walk. We took the shuttle to the last stop called Temple of Sinawava.

I’m a huge fan of trails that form loops vs in and out trails. Riverside Walk is supposed to be in and out, but you can walk the path in and then walk along the Virgin River in the sand for the most part coming out (or in reverse). I was curious to see what it looked like as this trail leads into the narrows. One day I would love to do that hike. It’s on my ever growing list of hikes I wish to complete.

This trail is wheel chair friendly for a pretty decent portion. Once the paved path starts to have too many inclines there’s a sign that identifies the end of the wheelchair friendly portion. The changes in elevation are minimal, but enough to make it difficult for a wheel chair to continue on the path.

There is a warning about the flash floods at the entrance of the trail. When I was there in April the Virgin River was impassable and the Narrows were closed. I had seen many videos prior to visiting Zion of what flash floods are and how quickly they can occur. So when you visit, make sure to do your due diligence and check on the potential of a flash flood during your visit.

Not far from the entrance we were greeted by a waterfall.

Being the ever so curious person I am, I had to check how deep the water was here.

Sometimes I can get caught up in the destination portion of the hike. But knowing this was more about the hike itself, I put my electronics away until I got to the end. As you walk through remember to look up and enjoy the hanging gardens. We even stopped at some point on a large rock to watch the river go by. It was probably the most relaxing thing I did that whole trip.

Nicole took a picture of where we watched the water go by for a bit.

Once we reached the entrance of The Narrows, I was determined to dip my feet into the water. I may have been wearing a tank top and sweating from the heat, but the water was unaware of the warm weather. I stood in the water for about 10 seconds before I had to remove my feet. The water was so cold that I felt pain shoot up into my knees.

I know that doesn’t sound appealing but I took a seat and waited for the feeling to return to my toes. Clearly, I was going to do it again, but this time I knew what to expect.

When I did it again I committed to staying in for at least 30 seconds. I’m not a masochist I promise! I just know my feet had been through many miles already that day. And according to Google:

“Immersing tired joints and muscles in ice water stimulates blood flow and reduces inflammation. It causes the veins to constrict, removes toxins from the blood, and alleviates the delayed on-set of muscles soreness.”

I still had so much hiking to do that trip. Reducing soreness and inflammation was worth 30 second stings of ice cold water. I use ice on my knees and achilles when I’m home, so this was no different for me. Not to mention, the rebel in me wanted to know I stood in the water at the entrance of The Narrows.

Thanks for reading about this very easy, leisurely stroll on Riverside Walk! If you’d like to read about my hike to Angels Landing from earlier that morning, click HERE. Or if you’d like to see what other hikes I’ve completed click HERE.

“Stillness as a technique is still really captivating to me.”

Adam Baldwin