Tag Archives: red rocks

Peek-a-Boo and Spooky slot canyons

Fall break weekend fun. We trucked it down to Slot Canyon’s Inn in Escalante and had a little fun on Saturday hiking Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Gulch slot canyons about 25 miles down the Hole-in-the-Rock road just outside of Escalante. The fall weather was just perfect for hiking in the desert with a load of kids.

A short hike (about a mile or so) from the parking area is the entrance to Spooky Gulch. It may not look like much- enticing to some, frightening to others…

Just step inside for some twists and turns, tight spots and amazing beauty.


Adventure is in the air as the chilly summer of 2011 commences. Here’s to hoping the weather warms up soon, and more adventure- without jackets and long pants- is right around the corner. This past weekend we took a drive out to Hole-in-the Rock, just outside of Escalante. That’s 65 miles of dirt road driving. About 50 miles into the drive you come to Dance Hall Rock (the rock formation behind the cactus) where the mormon pioneers used the natural amphitheater to take a break and dance as they crossed the  Utah desert.
Here it is folks- Hole-in-the-Rock, where the mormon pioneers bravely lowered their wagons and supplies on ropes down this canyon and crossed the Colorado River (now Lake Powell) on their way to the San Juan Valley.
The dirt road out to Hole-in-the-Rock has always been rough and four wheel drive vehicle has always been a requirement. Recently, Garfield county has been working hard to make the road passable to two wheel drive vehicles and have done a really good job. The road is in great shape, there are a few sandy and steep spots where high clearance is still a good thing to have, but otherwise fine with two wheel drive.
Of course we hiked down to the enticing waters of Lake Powell, the kids couldn’t get there fast enough; partly to get out of the relentlessly howling wind and partly because we’d all been sitting in the car for 2 dusty, bumpy hours and needed to get moving.
I’m not going to lie… the water was cold and white capping in the wind. My eldest Q, her father’s daughter for sure, dove right in, not caring about anything but getting wet. The rest of us hung our toes in and decided it was a good idea we postpone the Lake Powell boat trip a few more weeks.
Looking back up the Hole-in-the-Rock pass and imagining the pioneers with their loaded wagons, ropes and improper footwear can really make one ponder one’s own hardships.
M, making her way back up the trail.
A visit to Hole-in-the-Rock would not be complete without some staged pioneer pictures. Thank goodness we remembered to bring the bonnet and apron, and that we are so easily entertained.


We were in St George last weekend for what turned out to be the rainiest, muddiest soccer tournament ever. When the weather finally cleared up on Sunday afternoon we drove out to Kayenta, a community just outside of St. George, near Ivins, UT for what turned out to be a gorgeous afternoon.
The Coyote Gulch Art Village lies in the heart of the Kayenta community. It’s a enclave of galleries, restaurants, studios and festivals (held on various weekends throughout the year, check their calendar for upcoming events) in a stunning desert setting.
The landscape is magnificent- inspiring to us all to learn a bit more about using native plants and conserving water no matter where and in what climate you live.
Wander the grounds (don’t forget your camera) and view the southwest style architecture and sculpture gardens.
Seed pods on a bare tree.
Springtime is an excellent time to visit, the desert is in bloom and the temperatures are pleasant. I would recommend any season but summer for a visit. Summer temperatures are well above 100 degrees fahrenheit… you just might melt wandering around in that heat.
We visited for the Art in Kayenta festival, (President’s Day Weekend Feb 19 & 20, 2011). There were about 50 vendors outside, and all galleries were open for browsing a fine selection of Southwestern style art and craft.
The surrounding landscape was breathtaking, nestled near the red rock cliffs of Snow Canyon, I could not take my eyes off the view, or stop snapping photos. The cold, rainy weekend in St George meant snow at the elevations just a bit higher. Snow blanketing red rocks and spring greenery beginning to show was a breathtaking sight to see.
A friend’s sharp eye caught a glimple of these waterfalls on the distant cliffs above Kayenta (see the smaller one to the right?). We drove through up through the development, getting a closer look at the homes- all tactfully and environmentally blending into the landscape- to get a better view. We learned from a local that these waterfalls don’t run year round. It was the wet weather and melting snowfall on the cliffs that brought on this amazing view.
Sunset magazine has a great write-up of Kayenta, with all the extras (places to stay and eat, hikes, maps, eco info)- check it out here.

7 days and a skateboard

scenic route fuel tv from oi documentary services on Vimeo.

This is a TV spot directed by Steve Olpin, the talking fly, a fun trip too, without the kids (sorry kids).

We traveled for 7 days going through Capital Reef National Park, Zion National Park, Big Sur and many places in between. It is very nice to get out and look around.

Music by Deer Tick.