Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Little Wildhorse Canyon

Little Wildhorse Canyon, Utah

Little Wildhorse Canyon, Utah

About halfway between Moab and Torrey, Utah you’ll find two very interesting places to visit.  One is Goblin Valley State Park – containing some very strange sandstone structures that look a little like, well, goblins – and another nearly adjacent spot called Little Wildhorse Canyon.  The latter is a very tight slot canyon that can make you feel a tiny bit claustrophobic, if you happen to be affected by that kind of thing.  It was, of course, formed by water (and debris) flowing rapidly down hill following heavy rains (over thousands of years).  Not a place you’d want to be if rain was in the forecast.  You might remember the 7 hikers who died near Zion NP a few weeks ago.  They were in a similar canyon – and got caught.  There’s simply no place to go when the water arrives – and it doesn’t arrive slowly.

Little Wildhorse Canyon

Little Wildhorse Canyon

Embarrassingly, I almost didn’t get into the darn thing.  There’s a fairly high rock formation (5 or 6 feet?) at the bottom end of the canyon that you have to climb to start the hike.  I couldn’t get up the stupid thing.  Fortunately, another couple came through (from the upper end) and offered to help.  And this is the embarrassing part – the guy was 84 years old.  So here’s this guy who’s actually quite a bit older than I am pushing my butt up the side of this rock.  Very sad.  Actually, he was in excellent shape.  He and his wife live in Alaska where he walks every day – even in the winter.  I don’t know if I believe that, but he sure as hell didn’t look 84.  If he was that old, there’s hope!

Little Wildhorse Canyon

Little Wildhorse Canyon

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to walk the whole thing.  Poor Barbara was waiting for me back in a very warm parking area at the trailhead and probably would have roasted if I’d done the whole thing.  But my little hike was enough.  The place was nearly empty of hikers and very, very quiet.  The good news was that it was also very, very dry.

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4 Responses to “Little Wildhorse Canyon”

  1. TomDills

    It’s hard to get a sense of scale from photographs, but I’ve always felt that those canyons are much bigger than they appear. Interesting to hear you describe one as claustrophobic. But I suppose that they can give you a closed in feeling even if they are larger. Another place for the “one of these days” list!

    Reply
    • Paul Maxim

      Some are fairly wide, but some can get very narrow. There are places in this one where you have to walk with your feet on one wall and your hands on the other. So you’re sort of diagonally oriented. It’s just too narrow to walk directly on the path itself. In those instances it can be claustrophobic. You start looking for the spot where it widens out again. But it sure is fun!!

      Reply
  2. E. Brooks

    First, beautiful photos, Paul. I always think you do these Canyon photos so well.

    I’m glad you shared the story about the 84 year old guy. I can use all the hope and inspiration I can get. Some days it a chore getting out of bed, much less up a canyon wall. 🙂

    Reply
    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks Brooks. Hey, you and me both. If the 84 year old guy can do it, ain’t no reason I can’t. Assuming I live that long!

      Reply

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