I was able to convince Chris to go down to central Utah with me for a day of hiking and sightseeing. It’s hard for me to justify trips to the desert when I don’t plan on actually climbing anything. But I’ve lived in Utah for several years now and I’d still never done a slot canyon, so I figured it was time.
First we drove down to the San Rafael Swell (~2.5 hours) and hiked a canyon called Box Canyon. It was kind of lame. We thought it was going to be a slot canyon, but it wasn’t. Then we tried to find another canyon nearby, but couldn’t. We’d had enough of the lameness, so we decided to head for the big time: Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon, two real slot canyons at the southern end of the San Rafael Swell.
I won’t give a detailed travelogue, but I will say the following: Little Wild Horse Canyon was rad. The several mile walk that connected the end of LWH with Bell Canyon wasn’t so great. It was hot and it was a relatively uninspiring hike, and Bell Canyon was cool, but not worth the extra hike.
Then, to make a long story short, we went to Goblin Valley State Park (which is even cooler than its name would lead you to believe), then drove through Hanksville and finally on to Capitol Reef National Park, which… was OK. Not sure why it’s a national park… It kind of looks like everything else in the desert southwest.