On Friday November 7th, David and I drove south after the work day was over and got as far as Panguitch where we spent the night. Our room at the older motel didn’t have a good working heater so we froze most of the night. The next morning we drove east to Escalante Utah and immediately reserved a room at our favorite motel in the area, the Circle-D. (Rooms disappear quickly here and we weren’t sure when we would get back to town.)

We then took off to drive south on our favorite washboard road, the Hole-in-the-Rock road, past Dancehall Rock and parallel to Fortymile Bench and the Straight Cliffs.

Dancehall Rock & sign

Dancehall Rock

It was about 35 miles to the trailhead for Willow Gulch were we began our hike down canyon almost two miles to Broken Bow Arch. It was afternoon and the days are short so I didn’t get to linger as much as I wished. Still it was nice to see that Broken Bow Arch was still there and still impressive.

Mortar Board Rock

Broken Bow Arch

Willow Gulch steam

Walking down this canyon affords several trail options. When I first hiked this canyon years ago, I chose to take the dry rincon loops but still managed to fall thigh deep into a pool of quicksand. This time we mostly followed the small stream course down and ended up doing a lot of bushwacking. On the way back, we chose the dryer and probably faster routes. Either way, it was a real pleasure to walk the quiet canyon with the cottonwood trees bright yellow in fall foliage.

Willow Gulch

We arrived back to the Explorer just after sundown when the air immediately turned cold. Two more hours of washboard road driving put us back in Escalante but in foul moods. Warm beds and a couple of aspirin helped though.

Sunday morning we drove east and then north across the Escalante River and along the HogBack to Boulder Utah. This area is one of my most favorite locations in the entire world so I was content to just meander with no real destination in mind. My (and David’s) Great-Great Grandfather Christian Moosmann homesteaded, farmed and raised cattle in the Escalante and Boulder areas. We have lots of Moosman and Justet family buried in the small community cemeteries. It almost seems like home here.

Boulder Barn

From Boulder we drove the Burr Trail eastward, poking along in Long Canyon just enjoying the sights and taking pictures.

Long Canyon Arch

Circle Cliffs

We spent a little time poking around the Wolverine Petrified Wood Natural Area but couldn’t make ourselves get out of the vehicle and do any hiking.

Wolverine Petrified Wood Natural Area panorama

We also spent some time around Muley Twist Canyon area before dropping off the switchback and joining the Notom road which we took north back to highway 24.

Burr Trail Switchbacks panorama

Along the Notom road, we stopped to examine a small class ‘D’ arch that we had just noticed for the first time. It was called Bow String Arch.


Once we hit the main highway, we turned east and headed to Hanksville Utah. We arrived in the Factory Butte area about sunset which allowed for some nice last minute picture taking.

Factory Butte

After picking up a Mountain Dew in Hanksville, we headed north for the long trip back to the Provo and Orem area. Reluctantly, we both had to be back at work the next morning. They just don’t make weekends long enough. Sigh…