Saturday, May 10, 2014

Paria Canyon

After coming home from the desert last week all I wanted to do was ski.  Andy and I have a longstanding project in the Tetons and were hoping weather would cooperate.  It didn't.  Still in ski mode and with a few days off we scoured the West looking for settled weather and came up with nothing.  When thinking about what to do Jared Inouye suggested the Paria Canyon, a 38 miles long route that wanders through southern Utah and part of Arizona.  After being thoroughly impressed with the Bryce the week before I figured this would be a good replacement for skiing.  Andy and Tom were skeptical but willing to give it a go. Lucky for us, Amanda and my sister Aimee were kind enough to come as well and be our shuttle.  

We got a leisurely 10 AM start from the White House TH and from the get go were amazed with the beauty of the Paria.  The canyon walls were steep and kept growing with every turn.  Once we got to the confluence of the Buckskin (7miles in) it was so amazing we were forced to turn up it and take a look. Here the canyon walls were 800? feet high, vertical, and only 20' apart.  Absolutely stunning.  We only made it a little ways up Buckskin Gulch and if we didn't have 30 miles to go we definitely would have kept exploring. 

Andy entering Buckskin Gultch
From there we sloshed back and forth through the river for the rest of the day.  The running was smooth for the most part but the hundreds of river crossings, the long stretches of slow sandy trail, and the hidden mud pools made for slow travel at times. We were able to run the majority of the day and although we weren't fast we finished in something like 7:30.  I think we were all blown away with this run and would recommend it to anyone.

Amanda and Aimee met us at Lee's Ferry with victory apple pie, drink, chips and ride home!  They made it to within 5 miles of the pick up spot only to find the road closed and were rerouted 90 miles in the wrong direction.  Keep that in mind if you plan on dropping a shuttle...

Andy found the mud

Rest stop

Tired shuffling
Nearing the end!

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