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Zebra and Tunnel Slot Canyons

Marilyn, Marie, and I took a look at two slot canyons near Escalante, Utah – Zebra and Tunnel – both of which are a short distance from the trailhead just off of Hole in the Rock Road. Marie and I visted both slots for a total distance of about seven miles.

Hiking out…


The trail out crossed the same wash multiple times. I chose to hike some segments of the wash as I found it more interesting than the trail. On the way back, Marie and I stuck to the wash for perhaps three quarters of the way back.


This is Zebra:


Zebra was fairly narrow, though not as long or as narrow as Spooky Gulch which we did the day before. There was a six foot (or so) climb at the point where most people turn around. Marie and I did the climb and encountered a keeper pothole a short ways further. We think that it could probably be escaped with two people and perhaps a small amount of gear – if both people are in the pothole, one can boost the other up out of the hole. Getting the second person out of the hole might be accomplished with a short rope or a piece of webbing. We didn’t try this though.

This is the view from the top of that short climb.  (Marie is not in the pothole – she’s at the base of the climb, waiting to spot me.)

Zebra was narrow at the bottom, but mostly somewhat wider higher up. We didn’t find it to be especially challenging to get through, though we left our packs near the entrance. I carried my camera bag in my teeth for parts of it.

When we finished Zebra, Marilyn hiked back to the truck and Marie and I continued onto Tunnel. The black hole in the photo below is the entrance to Tunnel.

Tunnel has a pool near the entrance that was very cold and about thigh deep at its deepest. I stayed where it was dry and took pictures – I didn’t bring my water shoes for this hike.

The water was cold enough that Marie decided to stem across parts of it. (Plus, she wanted the stemming practice.)

I was most impressed with her body stem, though shortly after this photo was taken, one of her feet slipped and she ended up back in the water.

Once she was out of the watery Tunnel Slot, Marie wanted to stay on slickrock until her feet dried. Luckily, there was a long tongue of slickrock extending from the entrance to Tunnel. A little further along the canyon, it did start to get sandy, but she spotted an easy dihedral that led her to the top of the slickrock on the left wall of the canyon. From there, she hiked back to the canyon entrance where she joined me at the bottom. It became sandy again, but her feet were quite a lot drier, so it didn’t matter as much.

Just as the way got sandy again, we spotted a large pothole that cattle use as a source of water. The pool also had tadpoles…

Peekaboo and Spooky Gulches

Fairyland Canyon – Bryce Canyon National Park

Hidden Canyon Hike

Zion Narrows

View from the Springdale La Quinta

Friday Fitness Hike

Marilyn, Bob, Linda, and I hiked a six mile lollipop-loop in the Dixie Mine area. We visited the mines, petroglyphs, and dry waterfall prior to returning.

Saguaro blooms:

A slightly different view (than what I normally photograph) of the mine tailings and hills / mountains beyond.

Despite a recent effort to eradicate it from the area, tamarisk is once again growing in front of the gated adit.

It’s a shame that the sign doesn’t say what was taken out of the mine…

This is part of the main petroglyph panel:

We saw these petroglyphs just prior to arriving at the dryfall:

The dryfall…

A view from the Dixie Mine Trail on the way back:

Friday Fitness Hike

Bob, Linda, Marie, and I hiked nearly seven miles on Friday. Ranger Amy joined us for part of the hike on her bike, meeting us at various points along the way when our paths diverged.

The saguaros are in bloom!

This is Stoneman Wash:

Views while hiking the wash…

Friday Fitness Hike

Linda, Marlee, and I hiked nearly 10.7 miles on Friday. We hiked up Tom’s Thumb, down East End, left on Windmill, left on Coachwhip, left on Pemberton, and left on Boulder. When we got to the Marcus Landslide Trail, we hiked the interpretive loop before taking it back to the trailhead. Total elevation gain was 1900 feet.

This is a view from the top of the East End Trail:

Marlee and Linda, hiking down the East End Trail:

Prickly Pear Blossom:

A view of Thompson Peak from the Pemberton Trail:

We saw this rabbit just off of the Boulder Trail:

Submarine Rock:

Linda took this photo of me returning from my perch where I took the previous photo.  (Photo Credit: Linda Kalbach.)

The bow (or maybe stern) of Submarine Rock:

The hole / tunnel below Submarine Rock:

Another view of Submarine Rock, this time with Linda and Marlee in the photo to show its size.

One of the mushroom boulders on the Marcus Landslide Trail:

Soon to be blossoms on a saguaro:

Sunday Afternoon Hike – Ballantine to Boulder Flat

Starting in mid-afternoon on Sunday, I hiked the Pine Creek Loop and then, once I got midway through the loop, Ballantine out to Boulder Flat and back, finishing the loop on my return. Trail conditions were better than when I was last there in September. Temps were in the high eighties, good gradual acclimation for summertime hiking here.  Total distance was 7.7 miles with 1700 feet of total ascent.

Prickly Pear blossom:

A boulder pile near Boulder Flat.

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