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Saturday, March 23, 2019

White Rocks Wilderness Study Area Hike

We decided to hike the White Rocks Wilderness Study Area in the Grand Staircase Escalante. This area is in Southern Utah, north of Page, Arizona.

It requires a vehicle with high clearance to cross a river to get there, so Joanne drove her Jeep to the parking area near the cattle fence opening.

Since it’s a Wilderness Study Area the roads that used to allow driving closer have been closed off and allowed to grow back with natural ground cover.

Chimney Rock is the center point of the area and the hike.  If you keep that in view you can keep your location as you hike.

As the name suggests, white rocks is what the area is primarily made of.

The way we hiked, the marked trail was impassable.  I sought out an alternative trail up a steep incline reading the animal trails.

Susan who also is traveling on these hikes got her Ham Radio Technician License last year, like I did, and our two-way communication came in handy.  I searched out of sight to find an alternative way (trail) to our destination and we stayed in communication.  I was some distance away and didn’t have to go back to let them know to follow my tracks.

From one area I travel here in this area, then to another, the colors are always changing, thus providing a variety to every hike.

Here is the plateau I found a way up to that we needed to cross to get to the slot canyon.

Down in the area above is the headwaters of the beginning of the slot canyon.

This area is full of hoodoos.  Yes I go see a lot of hoodoos in this area.

The hard crust on top of the white rocks creates these hoodoos.

Our trail choice took is right through the hoodoos.

We tried finding a way to hike down the slot canyon, but the drops were too high and the trail around the rim was not easy to access and follow.

As time passes, some hoodoos fall or die from wind and rain, but others form.

This is an extensive hike with vertical climbing up and down and climbing over things needing the use of hands and knees at times in the slot canyon area.

This hoodoo above is very prominent.

Here some hoodoos are just starting to form.

This one has a double cap.

This one may end up with two poles and one cap.

Here is our hike inclusive of the drive in to where we parked. This results in about 5.5 miles of hiking.

In the graph above the hike starts and ends at the tow low points on the graph with the hike and elevation in the center.

This was yet another great hike but it is wilderness and you need to be prepared for your hike.  Just like our hike had a problem with the trail, you must be prepared to find another way.

In a blog post in the future, I will cover what I bring on my hikes and what I use to track myself to find my way back when you cans remember what hoodoo you turned at to get to where you are.

Happy hiking.


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