My favorite SW Utah ride.

On October 1st at 8am we rolled out of Venice, right on schedule for our fall getaway and criss-crossed LA freways till we found the 15 and headed up the Cajon Pass to Nevada & Utah. We had one glitch getting up to St George and that was that our break light switch failed again. We have had problems with our tow package electrics and sometimes when towing the Subi the switch fails and we have yet to fix it permanently. Ryan at the service department for MB In St George was great and he got us on our way except now Rose had to drive the Subi as I was not going to risk any more problems for now.

Our preferred Red Canyon Campground closed.
Our preferred Red Canyon Campground closed.

After St George we went up and around to Panguitch where I wanted to fill up with cheap Utah propane. The Phillips 66 gas station had some but there already a guy waiting at the propane tank. We both went inside to request service and the guy behind the counter brushed us off and said “not for an hour”. F – that and got ready to leave. Started chatting to the other guy who turns out is from Glasgow and we said we’re headed for Red  Canyon. “Don’t stay there” he says, “we’ve been on some BLM land just past the canyon and it’s great.” OK, I think and we go our separate ways.

Well, as the above photo shows Red Canyon was closed so we went to plan B and looked for the BLM turnoff. Left the RV there and went scouting in the Subi, pretty busy with people all over the place but we happened on someone leaving and scurried back to fetch the RV. The dirt road in had one dicey spot but took it real slow and we got in OK. Now we’re settled for a couple of days.

Our site off of Tom’s Best Spring Road.

Next morning got the bikes out and hit the trail. Now if you have a shuttle you can ride Thunder Mountain for 8 miles but you can also make a loop of it by first riding in on some dirt roads, then the ride which drops you out on hwy 12 near the visitor center and then a 6 mile up the Red Canyon bike path. Fine but we kept being passed by these pesky ebikes.

Bryce Canyon scenery without Bryce crowds.
I just like it here.
From the trailhead you ride up through forests and crest into the colored rock backside of the ride.
This section is known as the Sharks Fin.
More fun.
Trail is fun but gets rocky and dusty on the steeper down sections.
Driving down into Zion the traffic starts to backup.

We reluctantly leave our peaceful spot and head  down to Watchman Campground where we have reservations for a week. Zion is busy and we decide on an East Canyon hike to get acclimated. Cockeyed Falls was one we did a while ago with Mark and the gang. The East Canyon hikes are all cross-country, for me that means I can hike it 6 times and each time follow a different route. I remember the start up the slick rock but after that it’s “was it this side or over there?”

Early start means plenty of morning shade.
This is the terrain I love, open slick rock and pick your line.
Another plug for our Solomon boots – they gripped well and provide good confidence on the rock.
View down towards Parunuweap Canyon on the other side.
Someone lost a horn.
Mr Lizard.
Once I was green & alive.
More backside views – not a soul in sight.
We climbed a little outcrop for more views.
There is an alternative way down over there but risky for a first time top down.
Looking up our outcrop.
Heading out.
Evening visitor.
Categories Trips