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UTAH Expedition- looking for info.


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Late May will already be fairly hot in southern UT.


I would suggest going a littler earlier if you can, but a combination of the following in no particular order


* bring good mnt bikes, bike slickrock (Porcupine Rim, Poison Spider Mesa) then go into the LaSal Mnts S of Moab and bike there two. Awesome singletrack in LaSals.

* bike the White Rim (2 days) with light packs/panniers

* Climb Castleton Tower, which you saw when you dropped the bitchin' Porcupine Rim singletrack. Badass.

* Climb one day outside Moab on Potash Road so you can really appreciate...

* climbing in Indian Creek. 2 days ought to make you realize how weak of a climber you really are.

* Now that you are in shape but humbled, and on about day 5 or 6, it's down to Zion for SpaceShot et al.

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Set up a base camp at Maple Canyon from which you can enjoy fantastically fun and unique climbing on steep, pumpy, well-bolted sport routes of every grade in an excellent climate. On rest days, kick back and enjoy the beer that you wisely brought in from out of state, and enjoy nice views of the forest and the big cobble buttresses. Be sure to drive past the main camp ground so you can stay for free! bigdrink.gif

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Based on what you are looking for, I would strongly suggest taking a look at the canyons outside Escalante, Utah, and the White Canyon between the Hite Marina and the Fry Canyon Lodge.


Take Hole in the Rock Road just before you hit Escalante, and you'll soon find yourself in the midst of some of the more remote, spectacular, and concentrated slot canyons in all of Utah.


If you are into slots, Brimstone Gulch is the narrowest, deepest, and generally the gnarliest slots I've ever been in, with a few sections so deep, narrow and convoluted they're dark at mid-day, and sustained passages so narrow that you've got to turn sideways and exhale for many, many, many meters to get through - if you're sporting a waist that exceeds 33" or so by too many inches, good luck getting through.




There's also Spooky Hollow and Peek-a-Boo Canyons a bit closer to the road;



Coyote Gulch, a deep winding canyon with unreal amphiteaters carved out of several hundred feet of sandstone, natural arches, huge cottonwoods, etc. coyote.jpg


There's also neon canyon, which features a sweet trip through narrow slots and ends up with a 100 foot rappel through a hole in the ceiling of a massive ampitheater and straight into a 30 meter pool of nice, cool, H20, and to top it all of there's a 100 meter long pictograph nearby.




The White canyon has quite a bit of this same stuff, with killer narrows in Fry Canyon, Gravel Canyon, and Cheesebox canyon. If you're into swimming through flooded narrows there's the Black Hole of the White Canyon - drop in just a few miles from Hite Marina and you'll be in for a killer hike that involves swimming through quite a few narrow-ass slots for several hundred meters at a time - do this one one a hot day (like 100) or bring a wetsuit top to fend off hypothermia, as the water'll be about 40 degrees or colder in may.


And there's always the Big Daddy, "Buckskin Gulch," supposedly the longest/narrowest slot canyon in the world - which feeds into the Paria Canyon that Erik mentioned, and you can combine the two into an amazing loop (need bikes or two cars to do this combo though). buckskin_gulch_3_sm.jpg


If you're into Archaeology, be sure to hit the Grand Gulch, which has the highest concentration of well preseved ruins in the area, and beautiful Canyons to boot.


And, if you're looking for a guide to the whole area, check out Michael Kelsey's "Canyon Hiking Guide to the Colorado Plateu," which in additon to being the most detailed guide to the slots out there, also features many "foto's" of M.K. in his mega-old-school OP short shorts, tube sock, and feathered hair striking adventurous poses amongst the many natural wonders o the desert.


If any of this stuff sounds like what you're into shoot me a pm and I can give you some more info...

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Great beta Jay. The Buckskin/Paria loop is the only one I've done and it was splendid. I think it was late May or early June and not bad temperature wise, since down in the slot there's lots of shade, and you can often find a big crack in the sidewalls that's emitting a steady breeze of cooler air.


Damn, now you've got me feeling all twitchy. yellaf.gif

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I've done quite a few of the canyons in Zion and all were great fun. Its my understanding that they're changing the permit system so you may want to call in advance.


check out Tom's web page for some spectacular pictures and beta around the Zion area. He's working on a guide book for that area right now so a good source for current beta. For what its worth, I was there in august and I didn't think it was that bad. Stay in the slots during the day, drink yourself cool at night.

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