Hole in a Blue Utah Zebra
On June 15th 2012, I put into motion a plan of pure genius…
1) Pack up Tacoma in Park City, UT
2) Load up canine copilots for navigation and fuzzy camaraderie
3) Drive south with Lauren until our cell phones lost signal
The beauty is in its simplicity, and the escape was from the cold chill of Realville. Backcountry 4x4 adventures in 2012 were a thing of dreams before this weekend, as a hectic work schedule kept me in the confines of civilized, populated life. I am happy to report the plan a massive success!
Two more components developed within the itinerary – to hike to and photograph Zebra Slot Canyon, and sleep on the shore of Lake Powell. Zebra Slot Canyon is accessed off of the Hole-In-The-Rock road, which starts right outside Escalante, UT and dead-ends 53 miles of corrugation later at the HITR landmark.
The trip started with a large quantity of highway miles, with some including the gorgeous views along highway 12 before and after Boulder, UT. We kick started the photos at the overlook of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument from Boulder Mountain.
After passing through Boulder, we were presented with Calf Creek Canyon.
This is where the famous Calf Creek Falls is located. Lauren and I cracked jokes about a previous experience hiking from a backcountry campsite on a bluff opposite the canyon to upper calf creek falls and having a hell of a time getting back to our tent in the dark. We got some great photos in the 'golden hour' for our trouble!
Escalante came into view about 30 min after passing Calf Creek Canyon, and we made a quick stop for fuel before hitting the HITR road. There are two paths to HITR, one is a challenging 4x4 trail that takes you to the opposite side of the lake (see my report from last year), and the path we were on this time was an improved dirt road that takes you right to the landmark itself.
We had to push hard on this road to be able to set up camp at a decent hour, and at the end of 53 miles of harsh washboarding and shock fade we were enthusiastic to exit the vehicle.
The morning brought on a walk to the top of the rock to enjoy breakfast and some great photo opportunities!
This is the Hole-In-The-Rock, a channel in the sandstone that a group of Mormon pioneers were forced to create to be able to progress through this area when they were settling in southern Utah. The scope of this project is staggering, even for today’s standards and equipment.
After breakfast and briefly exploring the HITR, we drove back out to the trailhead for the Zebra Slot. This was a fairly easy (but hot) 3-mile hike in to a terrain feature that encouraged some of the best photos we have ever captured!
Last edited by ColoRam; 06-26-2012 at 01:17 PM.
2003 Tacoma DC TRD - Gets me where:
"There is splendid freedom in solitude, and after all, it is for solitude that I go to the mountains and deserts, not for companionship. In solitude I can bare my soul to the mountains unabashed. I can work or think, act or recline at my whim, and nothing stands between me and the wild."- Everett Ruess