Friday, April 5, 2019

Lick Wash Slot Canyon

Thursday we drove out Johnson Canyon Road to it's end and, challenged by the "road closed" sign, turned onto the broad, recently bladed Skutumpah Road.    With nothing particular on our schedule, we thought it may be interesting to see why the road was closed, and how far we could go before we were stopped.

our lunch spot just off the road, see us hiding?

We made a few detours along the way, I always want to "see where that road goes" and Dave indulges me.     We try to find water to eat lunch beside but sometimes it's hard to come by.

we like to eat with a water view - any port in a storm sometimes!

After a riparian lunch we continued along Skutumpah Road until we saw a turn off for Lick Wash.   The name intrigued us so we decided to park and hike in a ways to see if there was anything to see.

After about a half mile or so we entered the Canyon proper.   The colors weren't as beautiful as Peek A Boo slot and the walls weren't quite as narrow, but it had it's own beauty.   A small creek gurgled along over multi colored stones and rocks.   Our path took us across it many times in an effort to avoid the deep mud along the sides.   Ah spring....

stepping stones to avoid the mud

After awhile we came to a choke in the canyon.   It looked like a large boulder had fallen in at some point and it had caught a large, dead pine tree and a considerable amount of mud and debris recently.

There were only two ways around it, one through the creek and under the dripping mud bank, and one which entailed crawling up and over the whole muddy mess.

I opted to stay below and let Dave venture over to see what was on the other side.   One pair of muddy shoes was enough.

I wait

He reported that the rest of the canyon, while beautiful, was full of deep snow.

Since neither of us had planned on hiking when we left home and weren't really prepared to continue on through the snow we decided to back track and leave the rest for another day.

During the entire day we only met five others.   Two pleasant Canadians getting ready to head home and then these three....

isn't she pretty?

On our way back Johnson Canyon Road we noticed this nice small arch on private land.

Today, Friday, we had a relaxed morning, ate lunch at home and then set off to replicate yesterdays explorations.   By replicate I mean just wander along and explore whatever road took our fancy, no destination in mind.   That strategy often works nicely for us.

through the gate

On one track we wound around below and then along a large basalt ridge sandwiched between a swiftly flowing creek and the beautiful White Cliffs of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

We left the Jeep and explored the ridge and stream on foot.

part of the wall bent and smoothed by rushing water

can you spot Dave?

We came to the end of our rocky exploration when we came to a large culvert carrying the creek under Johnson Canyon Road.    We scrambled back up the bank and back to the Jeep.

After a good gin and tonic outside in the sunshine with sweet Lewis we finished the day off with two insanely expensive steaks at Juniper Ridge Restaurant,  just over the border in Arizona.  Ask me if they were good.   And, yes Gay, I did have garlic mashed potatoes.


I just love these "no where special" kind of days!


  1. Another fun day finding lots of very cool things. Love all the little interesting rock features. Too bad spring is so muddy. You certainly meet three very cute furry new friends:) What a yummy way to end a great day! Looking forward to tomorrow's adventure!

  2. Your "nowhere special" days of exploring seem to always turn up unexpected treasures!

  3. I’m so loving all the “nowhere special” adventures. Lick Wash is such a cool name full of beautiful rock walls all tthe colors and layers. It always amazes me how the wind and water magically turn these canyons into pieces of art.

    Those mashed potatoes made my mouth water...I could eat them everyday!

  4. Add Aron Ralston's 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place' to your reading list and avoid the cokes in the canyons. But for certain you found some beautiful serendipity unplanned stops!

  5. You guys are really adventurous! Looks like you're living the good life. Somehow I have to wonder if you ever came across unpleasant Canadians. No need to comment, just the way my mind works.

  6. One more try in posting a comment :) I had not been able to post to all blogger websites.
    How was the steak? Steve has been marking all the places you had been and Im excited too. Love all the photos with Dave in it, his shirt is complementing all the colors.