The weekend of 4 Mar 11, we drove out towards Bullfrog, UT, to find some areas of slickrock
around Lake Powell that we had seen back in January when we took our flight over southern
Utah. We had driven out to the area that same weekend, but we didn't have time to hike down
into it, so this weekend we wanted to get down in it. The basic plan, since this was just
exploration, was to drive the 4x4 roads outside of Ticaboo, and then try to find a way to get
down into the slickrock that looked to be surrounding a canyon. We ended up getting pretty
might could have kept driving down that road a little further to get closer, but we didn't know
that at the time, so we just headed out across the desert to a small side canyon. We had to do
some easy down climbing to get into the main canyon, but it was't any problem. Once down in
Smith Fork, we turned towards Lake Powell and just started down the canyon. We were here
to look for slickrock playgrounds, but the canyon itself turned out to be pretty nice. In narrowed
up pretty nicely, and got deep, so we really enjoyed it. It also got choked in several places with
tumbleweeds, which Tracy didn't enjoy getting stuck by at all. We ran into one big rock fall that
took some navigating to climb down, but it wasn't too bad, either.
We eventually came up on a very nice, short side canyon slot. We headed up this and were
able to climb out onto the slickrock from there. The slickrock was really nice, and we hiked
around on it for a while, but it was interesting to see that it wasn't nearly as flat as it had
appeared from the air or the overlook! But after hiking around some, we dropped back into the
slot and then back to the main canyon. I did try my new camera out to take some video of the
slot. Of course, right after taking the video, I realized the camera was acting up, and some of
the buttons weren't working correctly, so I had to return it after we got home.
But we continued down canyon, until we hit a small pool. It wasn't very long, but it was deep,
and it was full of deep mud. Unfortunately, we didn't feel like dealing with that, so we figured
we would turn around. But then Tracy started throwing small rocks into the puddle, and she
couldn't stop. But no matter how many rocks she threw, they just sunk into the mud. After
about 15 minutes, seeing that she wouldn't stop trying to build her "bridge," I started tp help by
putting out big rocks. By the time we were done, after about 30 minutes, we had a bridge
across the pool. I know, we're weird...but you have to blame Tracy for this one!
So we conituned down canyon. We reached our 3 pm turn-around time just when we reached
the old level of Lake Powell. Of course, the lake isn't that high anymore, so we couldn't see the
lake, but it was the turn-around time, so we started to head back. After a couple of minutes,
we came on a side wash that looked like we might have a chance to use it to climb out of the
canyon. We hiked up the wash and then onto the slickrock, only to get cliffed up. So we
backtracked and tried to go around another dome. This proved better, and we were able to
get a good ways out of the canyon on the slickrock. But then we hit the cliff band. The cliff
band encircled the canyon at the edge of the desert floor, and there didn't appear to be any
way out of it. We hiked to the back of dead-end, but we didn't see any way out, so we started
hiking back towards the canyon, figuring we were just going to have to backtrack out. But
about half-way down the cliff band we found a spot where it looked like it might be possible to
climb out. After a bit of scrambling, we were actually able to make it out onto the desert floor.
I'm still not sure how we got lucky enough to find the spot, but it was awfully nice to find it! I
didn't have any trouble climbing it, but Tracy got a little spooked at the top, and I had to drag
her up...now she needs new hiking pants!
Then we just hiked cross-country about 2.5 miles to get back to the truck. Tracy used her
fancy new rare earth magnets to look for meteorites, and she immediately realized that every
rock she touched them to was metallic. We don't know...we figure we found a lot of iron
deposits. But we had an uneventful walk out after finding a 4x4 road that go us back to the
We camped that night at Burr Point, overlooking the Green River, and the next day we did
some driving down Poison Spring Canyon and then out into the Blue Hills outside of Hanksville.
This was a great weekend, as we got to explore a canyon that we didn't know anything about,
which was a whole lot of fun.