Thursday, August 18, 2011

Spooky Gulch

There is probably no wilder or more remote area in the lower 48 states than the canyon-laced lands southeast of Escalante, Utah.  Most of the canyons are located long distances from the roads and require difficult hikes to get to but Spooky Gulch is an exception, lying less than a mile from the trailhead. To get to the trailhead though, requires a bone jarring drive of nearly 30 miles over washboard dirt roads.

Spooky Gulch is over 30 feet deep, rarely wider than a few feet, and narrows down to under 18" in spots. I had to take my backpack off and hike sideways for a good chunk of the time. While I am always nagging people to use the time around sunrise and sunset to do most of their photography, slot canyons are different. The slots are so high and narrow, the sun has to be nearly overhead to bounce any light off the walls and down to the floor of the canyon. Save you sunrises and sunsets for the sandstone landscapes above, slot canyons are best during the middle of the day.

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