Monday 26th September. By Paul.
Our original plan was to drive from Bryce to Capitol Reef NP but after talking to a ranger about hiking places, he pointed at Grand Staircase Escalante national monument.
This guy seemed to know his stuff and some hurried research confirmed that this was a great place for long hikes. We bought a book. It also sounded intimidating. Slick-rock canyons, friction ascents, pour downs…all these words we had never heard of before, so it was hard to work out if this was hiking or involved rope-work.
Also confounding our plans was the annual weekend arts festival in Escalante that quadruples the size of the town. So we picked out a minor trail called “the gulch” and went to hike that for the weekend.
Walking in the canyons is fun, but the gulch widens considerably the further we hike up. Pleased that we now knew the meaning of “moderately difficult”, we returned to town looking for something more challenging.