Utah 2008: Slot Canyons

Our week-long trip to Utah was eventful and fun-filled. I should say awe-filled; we saw so many wonderful and beautiful things. I feel like there aren’t any adjectives that can adequately describe it, so I’ll let some pictures do the work.

Kit in Bell Canyon
Kit in Bell Canyon

Our first full day in Utah, we took a day hike through Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyons. This was my first time hiking in slot canyons. We made a point of being there when there was no threat of rain; the canyons are so narrow and so steep that there’s no hope of getting out of the way of a flash flood.

Kit and Kelleen in Little Wild Horse Canyon
Kit and Kelleen in Little Wild Horse Canyon
Kurt in Little Wild Horse Canyon (note the drift wood over his head - the water gets that high!)
Kurt in Little Wild Horse Canyon - the drift wood over his head shows just how high the water can get

We did have to deal with a little water, however. You can see how deep the water was from our wet pants. As Kelleen pointed out, the water was cold enough to numb your feet. We all wished later in the afternoon that we had another water hazard to cross. We needed to cool off!

Kit and Kelleen in Little Wild Horse Canyon
Kit and Kelleen in Little Wild Horse Canyon

Both canyons had some interesting rock formations. I think my favorite were the “fairy caves”. These recesses are only inches across and seemed the perfect place for an adaptable fairy to live. Of course, it would also have to be a resourceful fairy, or it would get washed away by the next rain storm.

A pueblo for fairies?
A pueblo for fairies?

While we did a little scrambling in Little Wild Horse Canyon, Bell Canyon turned out to have plenty of “pour offs” – places were the ground dropped suddenly. I’m sure they make pretty little waterfalls when the water is running, but they aren’t all that fun to climb down. We were all glad we hadn’t gone up Bell instead of down – all that climbing would have worn us out.

Kelleen and Kit in Bell Canyon
Kelleen and Kit coming down an easy pour off in Bell Canyon

Author: Kit Dunsmore

Kit is a writer and an artist who adores living in Colorado. Whether she's hiking in the mountains or walking the prairies, she's always watching the wildlife in order to learn more about the natural world.

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