It’s Wednesday here on My Public Lands — which means that it’s Wilderness Wednesday in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Today, we share brand new photos from the field of one of our most beautiful wilderness areas.
Arguably some of the planet’s most unique and spectacular geologic features are the narrow slot canyons of the Colorado Plateau — and the grand-daddy of them all is Buckskin Gulch in the BLM-managed Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness/National Monument. Straddling the Utah/Arizona border, this 13 mile long canyon is 400 feet deep and sometimes as narrow as six feet — not just at the bottom but all the way up to the canyon rims (thus the name “slot”). In places you can’t see the sky when looking up; only the sun’s indirect glow bouncing off the scalloped rock walls & creating an ever-changing colorful tapestry. Logs wedged between the narrow walls 20-30 feet above the stream-bed are a reminder to avoid the area during the summer monsoon, when flash floods combined with no escape routes make the canyon unsafe for hiking.
When combined with the main stem of the Paria River, this 40 mile hike offers an extended backpack.
Check it out at: http://on.doi.gov/P5fEIJ