This past weekend was Blake’s birthday as well as Spring Break. We knew that we had to take advantage of this and get out of town for a few days. We decided that Escalante would be the best location, because there were a few hikes and a backpacking trip that we have been wanting to do. Also, the weather is quite a bit warmer there! Thursday morning we were on the road by 10:30; we drove on our favorite highway in Utah, highway 12, which has amazing views starting on Boulder Mountain. We made a quick pit stop here to view the incredible overlook.
We reached Escalante by about 2:00, filled up and headed down the historic Hole-in-the-Rock road. One hike that I requested we do was Zebra Slot Canyon. I had heard a little about this hike and had seen some photos that looked stunning, so we did some research about where to find this hike. This hike is fairly easy and is about 5 miles round trip; it took us about three hours. You will be walking in sand so be wary of that. The trailhead is 8 miles down the road, immediately after a cattle guard. There is a small parking area on the right side. Unfortunately, there is no sign marking the trail head so you simply follow the very obvious foot path on the left side of the road. You follow the trail, which is very well marked and easy to follow, until you reach Harris Wash. From there, you simply walk up the wash until you reach the mouth of Zebra Canyon. Interestingly, there is a cattle guard before you reach Harris Wash that looks like it is blocking the trail, you can easily open one of the gates and pass by; it is only there to prevent cattle from passing into the wash. As you get deeper in Zebra Canyon, the walls become more narrow and the zebra stripes begin to appear. The last 100 feet is definitely the most beautiful section of the canyon because the walls are so vibrantly striped. This was probably the most stunning slot canyon that I have been in. I have heard that there can be standing water in the canyon, luckily there was not any for us. When you exit the canyon, you can either head back to the parking lot or you can walk about a mile down Harris Wash to Tunnel Canyon. We were feeling pretty hungry at this point so we decided to walk back and get some food and find a camping spot.
We returned back to our car and headed down the Hole-in-the-Rock road about five miles to Devils Garden. Metate Arch is in this area so we thought this would be a fun place to camp to try and take some star photos under the arch. The Devils Garden is great because there are some picnic tables and BBQ pit; it was nice to be able to cook our dinner on a table and have somewhere to sit other than the ground. I recently got a new camera so it was really fun to test out star photos with it. I could definitely tell a difference and am soo happy with my purchase.