Friday, April 11, 2014

Paria River to Lower Hackberry Canyon, Utah

This trail was the last of our 4 rides based out of Kanab, Utah. We and our horses stayed at the Litl Bit Ranch  Great facility and wonderful hosts.

Follow Highway 89 east from Kanab and turn off between milepost markers 31 and 32. Proceed north on a dirt road five miles.  This dirt road is extremely dusty, steep in spots and is IMPASSABLE when wet.  Our trip was April 7, 2014 and the weather was perfect. Highs around 73. I would not recommend it during the high heat of summer.  

(Remember to click on any photo to open enlarged images.)

Driving in

Photo courtesy of Nancy McKay

This shows where we parked.  There are three small parking areas, but very little room to turn around unless you are the first or only one there.  There is a primitive outhouse.

Distance ridden:  14.11 miles; Minimum Altitude=4,402 ft; Maximum Altitude=4,940 ft.  Total descent=2,915 ft; Total ascent=2,864 ft; Trail conditions: 80% sand/dirt, 15% water (including some rocks in a streambed),  5% gravel road

This shows a couple of details for our route.  We began by travelling south down the Paria River, then went overland approximately following Cottonwood Creek.  There was some travel on the road, but it can be done without even going on the road.  

Starting out heading toward Paria River

Cowboy Bob wanted a photo of his "black" horse on the white sand.

Lots of sand on this one.

Reached the river

Following the river downstream.

Now going upstream near Cottonwood Creek

There is one gate to go through.  Be sure and close it.

Heading up toward the Cottonwood Canyon road

This ancient petroglyph is right by the road.  Our guide told us he was named "Jazz Man"

Cottonwood Road...can follow it all the way to Lower Hackberry Trailhead  OR can turn left to travel along the creek bottoms.

The sandy creek bottoms of Cottonwood Creek

Heading over to find Lower Hackberry
You CAN make a shorter ride into Lower Hackberry by travelling up the Cottonwood Canyon road and bypassing Paria altogether.  There is a trailhead with some daytime parking.  There are several places about a mile south of this trailhead with water access where free dispersed camping is allowed.  This is on BLM land, Grand Staircase Nat'l Monument.  

The Lower Hackberry Creek narrows just beginning.

The canyon walls of the "Cockscomb" begin rising around.

What spectacular country!!

This spot was 7 miles in from our starting point at Paria.  We stopped in the refreshing shade for lunch, then turned around.

And headed back out.
Further up the trail out of narrows, there is a rock with dinosaur footprints.  We didn't make it that far, but here is a  photo courtesy of Nancy McKay.

Heading back out on the Paria

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