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.
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.
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…