Thursday, November 1, 2012

We Soar Above Kanab Without Wings

Come to Kanab, Utah. It is the "Greatest Earth on Show". That is what the welcoming sign says. But if you don't like the desert stay away. We do so we retired here.
It is 9:00 A.M., October 25, 2012, the temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
We start the hike at the corner of 100 East and 200 South.
We head east on 200 South to the junction with 300 East.
The historic Farnsworth house is on the southwest corner. This town is full of wonderful old homes.
We turn left or north on 300 East, looking directly at the radio towers. These towers are our not so beautiful landmark on this hike.
We turn right or east on 100 South. ("K" Hill is straight dead ahead. There is a big "K" for Kanab on the cliff face, we do that out west.) The road soon runs out at a scenic dumpster.
A dirt track passes on the right of the garbage can, which we take.
We turn immediately left at the next dirt track.
There are many dirt tracks here but we stay down low from "K" Hill, heading north again toward the towers.
20 minutes from our start we are at a tiny wash which goes right at a hiker's sign. This is Tom's Canyon Trail. A city trail signboard is ahead if you want to read it.
Tom's Canyon Trail is cool today in the shade as it winds up and down the clay hills at the bottom of the Vermilion Cliffs. The trail is marked with sign posts. We do not take the first right which goes up "K" Hill but continue straight and up a hill.
There is a fancy subdivision on our left, "K" Hill on our right.
We reach a gate in 20 minutes and go through. In a few minutes more there is a picnic table left and up a hill. We go straight, passing some horse tie up posts.
Eventually the subdivision runs out; because of the recession it may never grow larger.
Tom's Canyon Trail is supposed to be 1 1/2 miles in length and we walk it in 1/2 hour.
Cliffs Trail (for Vermilion Cliffs) passes on the left of the next Kanab trail system signboard. A right spur here goes to horse tie up posts and a nice spot with a picnic table.
Freelance hiking looks to be available further up Tom's Canyon past the picnic table, but not today.
Cliffs Trail is a sweaty deal even at this temperature. It climbs vertically up the Vermilion Cliffs. The Vermilion Cliffs are part of the "Grand Staircase".
This trail is marked but not as well as Tom's. As we near the top there are no more signs, just pink ribbons.
Just below the top of the cliff the trail levels and heads west around the escarpment (good views of the Chocolate Cliffs, which is the lowest "stair" to the south, and the radio towers), then north a short way, then east up a short canyon.
Cliffs Trail is 3/4 mile long and takes us 45 minutes.
At the end of Cliffs Trail we take the sandy track to the left. This is part of the Hog Canyon ATV trail system.
We will be on ATV trails now for about 45 minutes. It is sandy and still good aerobically with ups and downs.
After 10 minutes on the ATV trail we go right.
After 10 minutes more we bear left quickly 3 or 4 times, looking directly at the radio towers.
1/2 hour after we first get on the ATV trail we are at a gate. There is a "No Trespassing" sign on the gate. I think this gate is always open now.
Five minutes after passing through the gate we go straight, not left, at an ATV and hiker sign.
About five more minutes pass and we go left.
The ATV trail is blocked soon now.
Straight ahead and to the right is a bench to sit on. Available here are the best views of the "Grand Staircase". There is a #21 and #22 signpost here. I don't know what these signposts mean, have never found a guidebook for these. To the north are the White, Grey, and Pink Cliffs. The highest elevation Pink Cliffs are where Bryce Canyon National Park resides.
So the staircase is: Pink, Grey, White, Vermilion (the second step which we are on), and Chocolate Cliffs.
We head directly south from the sitting-bench on what is designated the Squaw Trail. Now the radio towers are left and above us.
Shortly after leaving the scenic bench we see a post with #03 and go left, following the trail to #17 post.
The Squaw Trail winds around and downward with good views of Kanab town and the Chocolate Cliffs.
At signpost #01 there is a view west of the "bottles" rock formation.
The Squaw Trail is 1 1/4 miles long and takes us 1/2 hour.
We go south from the third and final signboard, down Main Street, then left on Center Street, to where we started.
The "bottles" may be reached with a scramble from the signboard.
If you are having trouble finding Main St., the library and hospital are on it.
It is 12:45 P.M., October 25, 2012, the temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Total hiking time and distance: 3 3/4 hours, about 6 miles (I think). This includes time for a bite to eat and the walk on the spur trail to the Tom's Canyon picnic table.
You may do this faster or slower than we did. We are 60 years old. We met some hikers who said they did it in 1 3/4 hours. But they ran a lot. We told them, "We go to the track when we want to run."
Cliffs Trail is brutal in the summer heat.
Monsoon season is July through September roughly, every year being different.
Stay away when trail is wet!
Pack all trash out!

1 comment:

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