Exploring the Slot Canyons of Escalante

Yesterday we hired a guide for some training and exploration of the magnificent slot canyons of the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. We hiked the Round Valley Draw yesterday and will explore some more on our own today.

Plants and Animals Along Halls Creek


We believe these are a collared lizard and a spiny lizard.


The amphibian might be a spade foot toad, and the beautiful cactus is a claretcup (Echinocereus triglochidiatus) in full bloom.

Capitol Reef: Hickham Bridge and Rim Overlook

We started our exploration of Capitol Reef National Park with a vertical climb to get the lay of the land. The park is named after two distinct features: a rock hill that looks like a state capitol dome, and a 100 mile long fold in the land that creates a barrier like a reef. I’ll try to share a photo showing the fold (called the Water Pocket Fold) in a future post.

Highlight of this hike? A 30 minute chat at the overlook with a couple from the east coast. She is former director of the EPA, he a former US congressman from NY who served on armed services committee starting in 1974.