Barbara, Ron, and I moved on to Escalante and parked at the beginning of Hole in the Rock Road. The next morning I awoke to a beautiful rainbow.
We went to the Escalante Heritage Center in town. They have a model of one of the wagons used to go through the Hole in the Rock.
In January 1880, Mormon pioneers, looking for a shortcut to SE Utah, lowered horses, cattle, and 80 wagons down to the river through this crack in the rock.
Since this was before the river was dammed, the drop to the river below was nearly 2000 feet with an average grade of 25 degrees, although some places were as steep as 45 degrees. It looks even steeper than that.
Back in 2009, I got a view of the Hole in the Rock from the water when I was on the houseboat. Looked pretty scary.
We drove down Hole in the Rock Road as far as Devil's Garden. We walked around all the hoodoos -
Ending up at the famous arch.
The road was pretty muddy, and I got a little dirty, although not as bad as some others I saw.
On our final day I went for a hike along the Escalante River to Escalante Natural Bridge.
It's an easy hike, except for the 4 river crossings each way.
This little Plateau Lizard thought I was being kind of a wimp...
But I finally got to the Natural Bridge. It's the 5th largest in Utah, after Rainbow Bridge and the 3 in Natural Bridges National Monument.
There's also a nice arch a half mile further. You can either hike farther or zoom in on it, like I did...
I'll end things with another shot of our great rainbow.
After being parked on the East side of Zion with the WINs, I moved over to the West side to meet up with Barbara and Ron. I had to get through a "sheep jam" and then go through the tunnel, down the hill, and out the other side of the park.
I managed to grab my favorite spot on Sheep Creek Rd, exactly where I was a year ago.
Before Barbara and Ron arrived, I hiked the Kayenta Trail to Middle Emerald Pool. It's a nice trail, on a ridge overlooking the river.
A view of the waterfall between the Middle and Lower pools. There wasn't too much water flowing.
I then walked down to Lower Emerald Pool to view the waterfall from below.
Barbara and Ron finally arrived, and we started out with the Watchman Trail. I had been on this trail only once before, many years ago.
It's a bit of a climb up to our first view of the Watchman, behind some Prince's Plume, one of my favorites.
We also got great views of the Towers of the Virgin.
If we wanted a rest, there was what looked like a stone chair right along the trail.
At the end of the trail is a nice view of the Watchman. Morning is definitely the right time to go. Although you can see the Watchman from the valley, the sun doesn't light it up as well as from this angle.
The next day, we did some short hikes, starting with the walk up to the Narrows at the end of the canyon.
This is usually a popular water hike up the river, but it was closed beyond the paved path because of excess water, and possible flash floods.
It didn't stop this guy from begging, though...
And then we did the short walk up to Weeping Rock, which wasn't weeping very much. Still a nice view, though.
This is the back of the cave where the water seeps out.
And one more stop to see the Court of the Patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.