The Gulch

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IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,128
Southern Utah Wanderings 2014
Saturday & Sunday, October 4-5, 2014


On Saturday morning I left for my annual week-long trip into southern Utah. This year I planned to spend the whole week along the canyons of the Escalante River in the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. I met Jared, who would be joining me for the entire trip, in Boulder and we took off down the Burr Trail to the trailhead for The Gulch. Our plan was to start out with an overnight backpack trip into The Gulch so I could visit a few rock art sites that had been on my radar for a few years.

Backlit cottonwoods as we enter The Gulch.


The Gulch
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jared photographing the first petroglyph panel we came across.


Photographing Petroglyphs
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A few closer shots of this interesting panel.


Circle Sheep
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Gulch Petroglyphs
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Horned Sun Panel
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice light in a large alcove we explored nearby.


Big Alcove Stripes
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We found a very impressive set of pictographs hidden in a shallow alcove.


Atlatl
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Three Figures
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were some Barrier Canyon Style figures as well as some designs similar to those found in the Weavers Caves.


Pictograph Cave
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Pictograph Detail
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We hiked a little way up Sand Hollow to search for a spring that was supposed to be there, but were unable to find it.


Sand Hollow
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We setup camp just below the confluence with Sand Hollow.


Gulch Camp
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After setting up camp we hiked further down-canyon to this cabin before turning back around.


Line Cabin
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After returning to camp we had some dinner and then I climbed out of the canyon and onto the King Bench to explore more of the area.


Dome Stripes
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Sandstone Exploring
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking back down into The Gulch.


Hiking Out of The Gulch
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice views from up here.


The Gulch Sunset
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When I reached the closest high point this little gray fox started following me around.


Follower
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Mesa Top
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Disappearing light on sandstone domes.


King Bench Light
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When the sun was down we hiked back to camp and pretty much went right to bed. It had been a long day and we were pretty tired.

On Sunday morning we were up shortly after sunrise and took down our camp so we could hike back out to the trailhead. Since we were camped near the creek in the bottom of the canyon, it was a bit cold when we got up, but it quickly warmed up once the sun reached the bottom of the canyon.

We climbed up to this large alcove with a smoke-stained ceiling on our hike back out. There were no ruins or rock art inside, but we did find some pot sherds, corncobs and plenty of lithic scatter.


Alcove Exploring
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jared in the entrance of the alcove.


Exiting the Alcove
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jared spotted this arch on our way back up the canyon. At first we weren't sure if it really was an arch since we couldn't see through it, but we eventually found this view that let us see the opening.


Arch
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Two hoodoos above The Gulch.


Hoodoos
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before leaving the trailhead, we visited a nearby granary that is marked on some USGS topographic maps of the area. It was pretty easy to find.


Gulch Granary
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Opening on the top.


Granary Door
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After leaving the trailhead we stopped in Boulder for lunch before continuing on to the Escalante area for the remainder of the week. On our way we explored a few seldom-used Jeep roads that didn't appear to go anywhere interesting. Luckily, as we were ready to turn around and find a campsite for the night we spotted some sand dunes off in the distance. We were unaware of sand dunes in the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument so we hiked over to them just before sunset so we could check them out and take plenty of photos. It was a nice little area of dunes that were pristine without a footprint to be found anywhere. We climbed some of the higher dunes and took photos until the sun was down and the light was gone. It was a lot of fun having some nice sand dunes all to ourselves!

Sand blowing off the top of the dune when we first arrived.


Blowing Sand
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Great light and shadows.


Dune Shadows
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Sand Dune Ripples
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were no tracks when we arrived, but I had to leave some behind in order to explore this area and take plenty of photos!


My Footprints
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were ripples in the sand everywhere catching the evening light.


Ripples
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jared photographing from the top of a dune.


Photographing Dunes
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Catching Light
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before we left, we just had to run and jump off the top of a few of the dunes. We must be crazy for jumping into soft sand with expensive camera gear in our hands and on our backs, but it sure was fun!


Jump
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The skeleton of a tree, the Earth's shadow and the almost-full moon as we hiked back across the desert to my Jeep.


Twilight Tree
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> The Gulch Photo Gallery
>> The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

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Laura

freespirittraveler
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
957
Wow, so cool! Thanks for taking us along. I was in the vicinity last year but didn't get to explore much so it's great seeing what's out there. Looking forward to the next installment!
 

intuitive cat

Jurassic Dust in my Bones
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
Messages
402
sand dunes.... the winds coming from the west push the sand up the Spencer Flats area ridge (which is the southern part of the Escalante Monocline system) between Harris & the Escalante River and the drainages wash them back down, so there is a LOT of recirculation of fine sand between Harris/Alvey Wash and Spencer Flats and in the upper HITRR area due to that Spencer Flats Ridge dividing the drainage systems. I am guessing the ones you found are somewhere within that area or nearby? (just looked at the pics again and saw the formation of the cliff that is near the Harris Wash Road in the background of the first one, so I am guessing you are a bit further south) This is especially a very apparent process in the drainages above Zebra Slot where the majority of the erosion is from wind/sand particulate rather than water.In the Gulch area, the Sand Hollow spring isn't reliable. At least not the lower one which is more of a mucky seep when it is available. There is supposedly one closer to the thin tall ridge that lies closer to Deer Creek a bit further up & west next to the Liston Tanks.
 

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