Dec 31, 2011

Hiking in Escalante 2011

See what others have experienced in Escalante, Utah.

Jun 8, 2011

Hole-in-the-Rock Road

Click the title to see FOX 13's coverage of Hole-in-the-Rock Road in Escalante, UT

Many people, busy with their daily lives, rarely get to experience the Grand-Staricase Escalante wilderness. However, if you have the time and the gusto to go into the backcountry, you'll find that the average day holds the adventure of a lifetime. The following clip follows an old 56-mile Mormon Pioneer trail filled with bike trails, river hikes and slot canyons called the Hole-in-the-rock Road.

May 20, 2011

Utah Week: Best hikes in Grand Staircase-Escalante

Excerpts from Deb Stanley's recent article in the Denver Hiking Examiner:
One of the best places to explore in Utah is Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It's one of the country's newest National Monuments. It was created by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Grand Staircase-Escalante is a rugged frontier. The National Monument's Web site says this was the last place in the continental United States to be mapped. The Monument includes 1.9 million acres of canyons, streams, mesas, cliffs, etc. It's a vast place, most of which is only reachable on foot, horse, raft, mountain bike and ATV. My favorite hikes here:
1. Spooky & Peak-a-boo. Spooky & Peak-a-boo are slot canyons. Spooky is so narrow, you'll have to remove your backpack to make it through some of the tight spots. The canyon walls got so high, my camera refused to take photos, even with a flash. The walls are colorful and at times knobby with embedded sand. Expect to walk through soft, deep sand and expect to do some maneuvering to get up and down some of the canyon obstacles. This is not a hike, it's an intro to canyoneering. And don't forget, never go into a slot canyon if it is raining or rain is expected, people die in slot canyon floods.
2. Calf Creek Falls. Grand Staircase-Escalante is not known for its waterfalls, but this is a good one. A 2.75 mile hike takes you to a waterfall with a 126-foot drop and a pool at the bottom. At the falls, it seems the temperature drops 10 degrees even if you don't get in the water. The trailhead is just off Utah Highway 12, 15 miles east of the Town of Escalante. There is a day fee to park and hike here. Bring cash.
3. Devils Garden. Hole-in-the Rock Road is filled with adventures, but this one is for families and people who are kids at heart. Devils Garden features dozens of interesting rock formations and even a few arches. Get out of your car and start walking. This isn't a long hike, just a great place to explore.
To read Deb's entire article go to:

May 15, 2011

Summer has Arrived!!

We recently had our first international group of the seasons at Red Rock Ranch. Micha, Simon, Jochen, Silke, Kai & Birgit came to Escalante from all the way from Germany for the week. They had a great time, and were able to get all of the major area hikes in during their week stay.

Their sign says it all. Summer in Escalante is a great place for experiencing all of the the great outdoors that the southwest has to offer.

So far, the RRR has several international groups staying with us this year, from Germany, Italy & Canada. We hope that they have a great time and area able to learn and experience as much as possible about America's vast wilderness areas.

Apr 30, 2011

Calf Creek Falls

Click the title to see video of Calf Creek Falls in Escalante, UT

If you only have the time and energy for one hike this summer, make sure that you visit the Lower Calf Creek Falls near Escalante. The falls themselves are one of the most awesome sights in southern Utah, and might become the most memorable swim that you ever take.

The hike to the falls is approx 3.5 miles each way, and can be a bit tiresome, as there is deep sand in some places. Stay on the look out for beaver dams, and Indian petroglyphs. The hike to the falls is slightly uphill, so going back is somewhat quicker. Once you are there, make sure that you bring lunch and a bathing suit; and plan to spend some fun down-time at one of the best waterfalls that you will ever visit.

Beware that the water itself is very cold, but if you are brave enough to swim all the way under the falls themselves, it is an experience the you will never forget -- so be sure to take a picture. Bring plenty of water - enough for both ways. If you have a water filter, bring it along, as the water in Calf Creek is clean, cold and fresh; and makes for very easy refill.

Apr 10, 2011

Spring Hiking in Escalante

The Red Rock Ranch Escalante just had a group from St. Louis this week stay with us. Even though they had very little rappelling or canyonering experience, they were game to try some more technical climbing. So we hooked them up with Amie and Rick at Excursions of Escalante (
Rick and Amie took them to some very remote slot canyons, and taught them all of the basics necessary to safely repel and enter these once in a lifetime locations.
They loved working with the team at Excursions of Esclalante, and thought that both Rick and Amie helped make their trip to Escalante one of the best vacations that they have ever taken.

Apr 6, 2011

Hiking Slot Canyons in Escalante

Another example of slot canyon hiking that you can only find in Escalante, UT

Apr 5, 2011

Peek-a-Boo & Spooky Slot Canyons

Click the title to see video of Peek-a-Boo Slot Canyon in Escalante, UT

Weather in Escalante is starting to really be nice. It was about 65 degrees most of the day -- perfect for hiking. I took a group of friends to Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Gulch, and although it was a bit windy, we had a great time, and the temperature was perfect. These are some of the best examples of slot canyons in the area, and you don't need a guide to have a great hike. Peek-a-Boo and Spooky are a 'must see' as you tour the Escalante area.

Peek-a-Boo is pure fun; it requires scrambling up ledges, under overhangs and into arches. Spooky is deeper, darker and tighter. It is the narrowest canyon "normal" people can hike through. Everyone will have to turn sideways and scoot to make it through. Folks will will find their chests and backs rub against the canyon walls as they scoot through, and some will have to suck-in to squirm through. The normal loop is to go up Peek-a-Boo and down through Spooky. The loop is a moderate hike of about 3 miles total. It is a great family hike; however, younger children might need help climbing over rocks. It is usually dry, but there could be water in potholes for a few days after rainstorms.
Never enter a slot canyon when there is any danger of rain anywhere in the area.

Apr 1, 2011

Best Day Hikes around the Escalante Area

Having hiked around the Escalante area for most of my life, many folks have asked me over the years, to list for them my favorite hikes around the Red Rock Ranch. Below are a list of day-hikes that are all light to medium-impact. These are generally great family hikes, which can be done without the help of a guide.

  • always let someone know where you will be hiking
  • always bring a good map/GPS
  • and always bring plenty of water!!
  1. Lower Calf Creek Falls (Highway 12 to Calf Creek State Park)..4 hours
  2. Peek-a-Boo & Spooky (Hole-in-the-Rock Road to Dry Fork Coyote)..4 hours
  3. Pose Lake Look-Out Tower (Box/Death Hollow Log Road to Pose Lake)..1 hour
  4. Devil’s Garden (Hole-in-the-Rock Road)..2 hours
  5. Table Top Mountain (Red Rocks up past the “E”)..5 hours
  6. “E” Mountain (Red Rocks)..3 hours
  7. Escalante River (Dirt Road past the Cemetery)..10 hours
  8. Upper Calf Creek Falls (Highway 12 to Mile Marker #81)..2 hours
  9. Little Desert (East Side of town above the Water Tanks)..2 hours
  10. Pine Creek (Box/Death Hollow Log Road)..5 hours
  11. Broken Bow Arch (Hole-in-the-Rock Road to Willow Gulch)..3 hours
  12. Petrified Forest (Highway 12 to Petrified Forest State Park)..1 hour
  13. Sunset Arch & Crack-in-the-Wall (Hole-in-the-Rock Road to 40 Mile)..3 hours
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