Today we, Renee, Niah, nephew Jackson, and myself, set out to hike the Willis Creek Narrows in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM). To get there we decided to take the road less traveled by AKA a long dirt road. I sometimes like to mix it up and take these roads even though they add time. This one may have been a mistake as it was somewhat anticlimatic, but after what turned into a three hour drive we arrived at the trailhead. To our dismay it began to rain and the hike being a slot canyon, was cancelled. Fortunately for we adventurers Utah is blessed with amazing outdoor places and after a quick glance at our map we decided Kodachrome Basin State Park would be a worthwhile alternative.
Kodachrome apparently was named by a group of photographers for National Geographic Magazine who named the region after their film. It is an amazing place and worth the visit, even worth making it a destination in itself. Really there is not anything comparable that I can think of. It has monoliths similar to those at Monument Valley, or the Valley of the Gods, but on a smaller scale in addition the park has hoodoo's, sandstone formations and even a photogenic arch. The hikes we did, weather was still a threat, were short and the informative trail guides made the hike interesting even for young Jackson. Renee thought it interesting as Juniper tree's grow for some unexplained reason they twist as they grow.
After Kodachrome we headed for home. As we drove and passed through parts of Bryce Canyon National Park we noticed a pullout parking lot with a trailhead for Mossy Cave. The hike was magnificent. The hoodoos reminicent those found Bryce Canyon. Renee said several times that they were so bright it actually hurt her eyes to look at them. Jackson enjoyed the hike as well, especially due to him playing in the river and throwing rocks into it. The hike ended with scenic waterfall and a cave that has icicles until early July (alas we were there too late).
Even though the day started rough (Jackson repeatedly said he knew he should have stayed home after it started to rain) it ended up being one of the most enjoyable days of the summer for
our little group!
I convinced poor Jackson to become a tree hugger
Notice the Arch
Renee thought it looked as if someone melted all the faces in Mount Rushmore together (below).