A Return to Desert: Little Wild Horse

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
Jan 4, 2014

After another fantastic summer in the Bighorn Mountains, I again find myself home in Utah. Craving sand between the toes, the touch of sandstone on the fingers, the joy of different spaces, and the company of friends, I grabbed my enthusiastic novice of a camper brother and headed off to the Goblin Valley area to meet my friend Richard for the weekend.

After a nippy and fairly crowded night (running events in Goblin had brought a lot of campers), the discussed hike of the day was Little Wild Horse Canyon. Having not found Richard the night before, or that morning, my brother and I went to the canyon under the hopes we'd run into the others somewhere along the way.

The hike started out nicely with some fall colored cottonwoods.
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My desert itch was quickly being scratched as the canyon squeezed in and the goodness began. Sandstone is such a welcome and wonderful sight after months in the mountains.

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As the canyon widened, we discovered a set of cairns heading up onto ledges and benches above the creekbed. Interested in where they went, wondering if it may have been a cut across to Bell Canyon, we followed the cairns until they disappeared and then some. All we found were cool views and rough terrain but it was certainly a nice adventure.

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Having not run into Richard's group up to this point we headed back down Little Wild Horse. We encountered a lot of dogs, children, and costumed folk as we returned to the parking lot but no Richard. Once there though, a familiar truck was parked right behind my car and we took a siesta while we waited.

Reunited with friends, we took the rest of the day to visit the Goblin's Lair. Good signage certainly made the trip easier than I had expected but it was a darn cool destination.

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We spent the next day wandering the Goblins until driving hour arrived. T'was a downright nice time and after playing out in Wyoming I'm excited for some desert wandering!

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Goblin Valley was one of my favorite scout experiences, haven't been back since, but need to see the chamber sometime.

Check out Ding and Dang next time just east of LWH, fun canyon.
We might have crossed paths down there this past weekend. I was camped at the junction of the Temple Mountain and Goblin Valley roads, and I was at Molly's Castle on Saturday (presumably the day you took the photo of same).

I'm surprised LWHC wasn't full of water after Tuesday's huge storm. All the canyons out of the Reef were flowing that evening.
I'm surprised LWHC wasn't full of water after Tuesday's huge storm. All the canyons out of the Reef were flowing that evening.

Agreed. Everything seemed satuarted and parts of our camp were very mucky. Only one small section had a puddle
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