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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Squeezing Through Spooky Gulch

Spooky GulchLast weekend send an expedition canyoneering the slots off Hole-In-The-Rock Road, in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, to introduce friends to that area.

We trekked through Peek-a-boo, Spooky and Brimstone gulches, working up a good sweat, and then cooled off by playing in the chilly water at Upper Calf Creek Falls

This is the perfect time of year for such adventures because most canyons are dry and air temperatures are not yet hot. As summer sets in the temps in southern Utah will go up and we'll turn our attention to hiking/wading the water-filled canyons such as the famous Narrows in Zion National Park

Brian Topham, one of our group, gave this account:

"Peek-a-boo, I see you; or maybe it's now I see you now I don't. Such was the case as we hiked through the slot canyons in the Grand Staircase National Monument. I would be right behind someone one moment, a quick turn or obstacle later I couldn't see them-it was as if they had disappeared. Peek-a-boo and Spooky canyons were literally breath taking; some places were so tight I had to exhale to squeeze through them.

Upper Calf Creek Falls"Brimstone is about a mile (one way) down canyon from the mouth of Spooky. If you come merely for the slot canyons you may not find Brimstone worth the two-mile (round trip) hike. However, if you want a chance to climb around a slot canyon, soak up the Grand Staircase terrain, or try running down a sand dune without falling and getting sand in your hair and face, you should make time to stroll over and check it out."

This video clip from an earlier trip shows the fun. (Flash video, 4.2M)

We camped at Escalante State Park, a very nice place with heated restrooms and showers. Not a bad way to "rough it."


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