Friday evening after work, my brother David and I loaded up the Explorer and drove down to Escalante Utah where we got a room for the night.
The next morning after breakfast, we gassed the Explorer up and headed south down the Hole-in-the-Rock, which was particularly “wash boarded” this year. About the time our teeth and every bolt on the Explorer had bounced loose, we turned off on the Early Weed Bench road and headed east to end of the road and the trailhead.
From the Early Weed Bench trailhead, we began hiking almost northward, down the steep sandstone and across the sand hills to a south side canyon of Twentyfive Mile Wash called Fox Canyon.
Here we expected to find a large natural arch. However, after hiking a ways down both sides of the side canyon, we could only find one rather small class “C” natural bridge which we referred to as Fox Canyon Bridge. (A class “C” arch or bridge is large enough to drive a jeep through.)
We then began the gut busting climb back up to the trailhead and arrived at the Explorer a little ill from the climb and heat. Another hour of bouncing along the Hole-in-the-Rock road didn’t help much.
On the way back, we did stop at the Devil’s Garden area just in time to take some excellent pictures of Mano and Metate Arch as well as the sandstone towers as the sun was going down.
We then headed back to Escalante Utah for a motel room and a much needed rest.
The next morning, we again enjoyed a breakfast at the local cafe before driving to the west end of Escalante and visiting the new visitor center for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This allowed us to check out area books and pick up the latest maps.
We then headed northeast to Boulder Utah and then east along the Burr Trail to the east end of Long Canyon.
We then left the paved road and headed south on dirt roads to the Wolverine Petrified Wood area. Here we parked at the top of Silver Falls Canyon and hiked down the canyon for several miles to see the natural arches along the way. All of the natural arches and bridges were fairly small (including Bills Arch, Emigrant Spring Arch, Emigrant Spring Jughandle Arch and Not Bill’s Arch) but we needed an excuse to explore the canyon.
We were dragging our backsides on the way out and I was glad we hadn’t gone deeper into the canyon than we had. I did spend a few minutes taking pictures of some “mushroom” rock formations in a gulley just off the main trail. By then, the storm clouds were gathering in the west and it was time to leave.
It seemed like an exceptionally long drive back to Utah Valley that evening. I required several stops for naps and Mountain Dew to get us home.