Oh Grand Staircase, how do I love thee?
I will point out one thing about this place, if you go in the summer, it is hot-Hot-HOT. The first time we went here, it was 110+ degrees and I was not a happy camper. I mean, of course I loved being here, but the heat honestly took a lot away from my experience. If it gives you an idea, the hike we went on was so hot that when we FINALLY ran into other hikers, they were all naked. Kind of a hilarious experience. We went again when it was the perfect weather and that was when I discovered that this is HANDS DOWN my favorite place. It is my place.
We started off this trip by hiking down to various slot canyons. We found our way all the way down to where the canyons began, and our doggo was a big chicken and WOULD NOT BUDGE. We tried carrying her through, but it got so tight that we couldn't easily get her through and we didn't want to risk any injuries for us or her, so we decided to turn around and adventure to another slot canyon. The first day ended up being a pretty chill day. We explored a bit, came back to eat a fantastic dinner, and finished the night off by looking at the gazillion stars in the sky.
This was our first trip with our dog, so we wanted to gauge how she would act with everything, and the pupper is scared of pretty much everything... Except apparently rattle snakes, which we found her with her nose touching. WHAT?! We very, very quickly "noped" out of that situation.
The second day, we did my most favorite hike of all time - Broken Bow Arch. This trip was our third adventure to Grand Staircase and our THIRD TIME visiting Broken Bow Arch. Even though there is SO MUCH exploring that can be done in this place, we always find ourselves going to the same place. Why? BECAUSE IT'S AMAZING.
It was very, very hot on this day. We had to dunk our dog into the water more than once to make sure she wasn't over heating with her black fur. The hike was spent chasing the shade. A bit after getting to the spot, Joe wandered off (as Joe does) and my dad and I decided to chill at the arch and take in the scenery (there was shade and cold slick rock to lay on... that's why we stayed). We actually ended up falling asleep for a little bit until Joe came back. We all just hung out, ate some snacks, and took in our favorite place.
There's not a lot of places where you can sit in one spot, next to a little waterfall, a rock wall with greenery growing out of it, and see a GINORMOUS arch at the same time. It is hands down my favorite place to be. We both can agree when I say that if it was possible to plop a get-away house anywhere in the world and just appear there on-demand, it would be in that spot. It's our spot.
The hike back from the arch was even hotter. The poor little dog was just DONE. The ground was hot. She was hot. She was done walking. There was only once choice if we wanted to continue to get out of there.
Not pictured: Her doggy backpack full of poop that I was carrying... right by my face. BUT LOOK HOW CUTE JOE IS CARRYING THE PUPPER! I'm probs a little biased. Oh well.
We hiked up out of the canyon and got back to the car and had THE BEST SANDWICHES EVER. They were just normal sandwiches, but after an exhausting (amazing) day of hiking, everything just tastes better, ya know?
If you ever get the chance to make it down to Escalante area, I can't express how highly I recommend this hike. HOWEVER, getting there is no easy journey. The first time we went there, we spoke with the ranger, who suggested a vehicle with high clearance and 4-wheel drive and I kid you not, when we got back into our HONDA FIT, Joe said, "Silly ranger. We will be fine." We were so lucky. Thinking back, I have NO IDEA how we weren't stranded out there. We were moving around rocks to clear out a path to do whatever we could to get back out. The second time we were out there, we were a lot smarter and made sure we had friends with us with another vehicle along with our 4-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicle. Both vehicles got flats. If you're ever going to take a trip out to Hole in the Rock Road, be smart with what vehicle you take. Don't be like me and Joe.
Also, side note, if you ever find yourself down there and end up in Boulder, UT, GO TO HELL'S BACKBONE GRILL. It's some AMAZING food!