Friday afternoon, after I got off of work, my wife and I drove out to Vernal Utah to stay overnight with my folks. The next morning we drove to Ouray Utah (pronounced “OR-Ray” by the Uintah Basin residence and “U-Ray” by the tourists). From the Ute Indian community of Ouray, we drove south across the Green River just before the Duchesne River joins, and then east into the oil field country before crossing the White River.
After navigating a confusing route of oil field roads, and after stopping to watch a small herd of wild horses, we stopped at an area on the north side of the gravel road where there were rock formations similar to Fantasy Canyon.
When I had camped here with fellow boy scouts years ago, we called the area “Modern City”. If you think the area is interesting by daylight, you should experience it by moonlight! We played night games most of one night until most of the group was injured in one way or another. (Only one boy, Blair had to be taken to town to visit the hospital.)
A few miles further down the road, we arrived at Fantasy Canyon, a small wash hidden in the gray hills along Coyote Wash.
At the trailhead, there is a parking area and information board. Someone has laid out a loop trail that guides hikers up one ravine and down into the main “Fantasy Canyon” area. Along the way you can observe nature’s serendipitous erosion effects on the gray sandstone that is exposed in the area. By turning on your childhood imagination, you can truly make this a Fantasy Canyon.
Unfortunately, a unique structure called “The Teapot” had collapsed several years previous. There was nothing left of it but a pile of rocks.
The most difficult part of taking pictures of Fantasy Canyon is dealing with the light grey rock which can cause pictures to wash out and lose detail. Waiting for better light in the evening can cause the shadows to overwhelm the rock formations. If the sky is overcast, the gray sandstone and the sky all look the same.
After a couple of hours wandering about the “canyon”, we headed north in search of paved roads and civilization again.
Fantasy Canyon is yet another interesting area of Utah that can be best described only in photographs.