Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Just outside Goblin Valley State Park is Wild Horse Canyon, which can be a four-mile or eight-mile hike. We opted for the four-mile, which meant we would hike up the slot canyon until it meets a gravel road, then go back down. A sign warned to check weather before hiking. Flash flooding can put you in danger in a slot canyon. “Be aware of your escape route.” Capitol Reef National Park had big flooding issues three weeks ago. Six people had to be rescued and 60-80 people were stranded in a parking lot.
Although an incredibly beautiful storm came through last night, there was nothing expected today, and it was a beautiful morning. It starts out walking up a dry stream bed. We talked with an experienced family with three small children, who said the forecast was good. They were obviously experienced hikers with all the right gear. The husband had climbing gear and a rope over his shoulder. I felt good following them, but when we stopped to photograph a few lizards, they were gone. I’m pretty sure they were doing the 8-mile loop and would come down the slot canyon on their way back.
As the canyon narrowed from 60 yards to four feet, to 3 feet, we had to negotiate rocks and puddles of water. Once we surrendered to getting our feet wet, it became easier, but still challenging. Karen and Nathan are tremendous athletes and the kids are too. Melissa, usually silent until after noon, was leading the way, talking and laughing the entire way. I couldn’t help but laugh. She is a gymnastic star and cheering team member with strength and flexibility that are incredible. She was playing a Disney star describing the challenges presented.
As with most hikes, Martha and I were glad to get to the top, but already wondering if going down would be even tougher. Fortunately it was easier. I think everyone rated it one of their favorite hikes. It was pretty, challenging and very different. I kept looking for mountain lions or goats, but never saw anything. Karen, however, spotted several pronghorn on the way to the hike.