Sunday, April 13, 2014

Snake Gulch, Arizona

(Update as of June 20, 2016, please read before attempting to ride here: )

This was our second ride based out of Kanab, Utah.  We and our horses stayed at the Litl Bit Ranch  Great facility and wonderful hosts.  This ride is about half way between the north rim of the Grand Canyon and the Utah border.  Very remote.

For driving directions, GPS coordinates refer to:
This reference not only provides coordinates for trail heads and roads, but for the major pictograph sites.  This canyon has hundreds of pictographs, petroglyphs and some granaries.

Here is a link to GPS tracks and some other helpful descriptions:

For more photos and information:

Also  has some more information and photos.
  Click on any photo for enlarged images.

Almost there.  Some driving on gravel dirt road.

Parking area and dispersed camping allowed.  We parked here because we were told there wasn't enough parking at the trailhead.  There WAS enough parking, because of the ingenuity of the horsemen and their willingness to find parking among the sagebrush.

Actual parking area 4 miles from the photo above.  No facilities here.  Photo courtesy Julie Heavirland.

Mileage ridden=13.18; Maximum altitude=6,301 ft; Minimum altitude=5,267 ft;  Total ascent=2,525 ft; Total descent=3,025 ft.  Trail conditions: (actual trail) 70% sand/dirt, 30% rocky.  These statistics include only our ride, not the ride of the group.  We rode 4 miles down dirt road that we should have driven.  Thus, we only had time to ride in half the canyon.  In a future trip, we hope to ride the entire canyon.

The road that added 4 miles to the trip.  We ended up not having to ride back up, because Cowboy Bob hitched a ride with someone else and came back down with the trailer.

The trail begins.  Keep in mind, this is best done in spring or autumn.  No shade and no water.

Entering the Kanab Creek Wilderness

Our first sighting of pictographs.

Our second sighting of Pictographs and where we stopped for lunch.

Table rock further into the canyon.  Most of the group stopped here for lunch.  Photo courtesy of Julie Heavirland.
Photo courtesy of Julie Heavirland
Headed back out

In the middle  portion of the photo, you can see the trailers parked at the trailhead.

East Fork of the Virgin, Utah

This was a great trail ride on our way to Kanab.  The parking is about 1/2mile off the highway.  Some good information on this website:

Remember, click on any photo for enlarged images.

Please park at the corral area.  Do NOT drive further in.  It is private property.  Even if you see other trucks and trailers parked by the home.  They are the owners.

Distance ridden=12.67 miles; Minimum altitude=4,774 ft; Maximum altitude=5,122 ft; Elevation change 1,570 ft.; Trail conditions=50% dirt road, 45% sand, 5%  rocky, approximately 10 water crossings

Close up showing parking and camping area.
Showing corrals.  Free dispersed camping is allowed here.  

Heading out on the dirt road.  You may encounter 4 wheelers, so be aware.

Here is a gate for the private property.  The truck/trailer shown parked is NOT one of our group.  Belongs to the property owners.

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PHOTO.  It shows where to turn up to go up Bay Bill Canyon with the slots.  There is a fence to keep out 4 wheelers, but may be traversed at either end.  Keep a look out.

If you have made the correct turn, this is what you will be riding up.  You will have left the river and be riding up a sand roadway.

About a mile up, the slots begin.

It gets narrow in this area.  Please no more than 5 horses at a time here, or you will have trouble turning around.

What a great ride!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Buckskin Gulch, Utah

This ride is a spectacular taste of the slot canyons and desert terrain of Southern Utah.  It is best done in early Spring or Autumn.  The heat gets intense here in the summer and there is no water on the trail. 
From Kanab, UT, drive east on Highway 89 for 38 miles. Turn right onto House Rock Valley Road. This road is compacted dirt and accessible by 2WD cars. The Buckskin trailhead is 4.5 miles down this dirt road. 

Remember, click on any photo for enlarged images.
This is the House Rock Valley road.  It is deemed impassable when wet.

Parking area for horse trailers just before the regular trailhead parking.  You can park in the trailhead parking, but space is limited.  There is a restroom.  Dispersed camping is allowed.  Check at the trailhead for fees and permits.  There is no water.  Bring your own.

Permits are required to hike or ride in the area.  $6 per person.  Half-price for Senior Access passes.  Have cash change ready.
Total miles ridden=9.57; Minimum altitude=4,310 ft; Maximum altitude=4,777 ft. Total ascent=863 ft; Total descent=913 ft; Trail conditions: 95% sand, 5% rocky
Here is a link to GPS tracks and other helpful information:

Petroglyphs at the junction of the Wire Pass access.  No horses are allowed on the Wire Pass section.  This junction is as far as horses are allowed.

Nice place for a lunch break.