Buckskin Slot Canyon (North Coyote Buttes Wilderness Area)
Buckskin Gulch runs for miles through the wilderness. It is a popular hike for those who are fit and enjoy camping out. We went for the slot canyon effect. We knew it wouldn’t be as colorful as some of the other slot canyons in the area. After all, it is named “Buckskin” for a reason.
A mile down wire pass via a wash (read “sandy trail”), we encountered the first walls of rock. We hiked through to the narrow passages to the confluence with Buckskin gulch and explored north and south until we encountered large mud puddles. Not that we couldn’t trudge through them, but why get all muddy and risk slipping in with all of our camera equipment?
Perhaps, we should have waded through the mud to explore further. In the end, this one was less interesting than the other slot canyons we have visited.
White Rocks – Point of Interest?
We finished up at Buckskin Gulch earlier than planned which meant it was too early for our planned sunset shoot. On the map for the Grand Staircase Escalante National Park is “point of interest” called White Rocks. Curious, we went to explore.
Directions, best we could tell, head north on route 435 in the town of “Church Wells” (population: a few) and drive 5 miles on gravel road (note, the only road sign was about 3 miles into the trek). After trekking miles through desolate desert wilderness, we arrived at some white rocks. With no signs anywhere, we guessed we had arrived.
Yes, there were large white rocks…. Certainly not worth the effort.
Not every shoot is interesting…
The townsite is known as an old ghost town and nearby movie set with not much left. “The Outlaw Josie Wells” was shot there. What drew us here was the Chinle colored rock formations and colors. Imagine (you’ll see in a moment) cliffs of red with foothills layered in rock colors of greens, yellows, purples and of course oranges. There may have even been some pinks.
Unfortunately, the time of day did not lend itself to good lighting, but we made the best of it. The colors were spectacular, but we couldn’t quite capture them the way we’d hoped. It’s now on our list for a sunrise or sunset on our next visit.
On the way out, we shot some Bull…. Not friendly looking, but we took our chances they wouldn’t charge the fence.