A Failed but Beautiful Hike. Which Resulted in More Cowbell.
I know I say/write this all the time, but I’m going back to this place. This place being Water Canyon. In what seems to be a theme for me lately, I keep showing up for hikes completely unprepared for the actual conditions. In this case Tom, Terry, and I arrived at the trailhead for the canyon around 8am to find temperatures in the teens (as opposed to the approximately 40 degrees we were prepared for) and a fair amount of ice in the shaded canyon. We started off anyway, being careful with our footing as we rock hopped back and forth across the creek, but before long we realized that water crossings were inevitable and that should we were completely underdressed and not prepared to deal with a likely fall into the water. We had only gotten about a mile at this point so there’s not a whole lot of story here except to say we were all disappointed that we didn’t have warmer clothes and that the forecast didn’t turn out as promised BUT, it was just too pretty not to show you all some photos of what we did see.
Which brings us to Plan B. Tom and Terry were familiar with an area that we had passed on the drive out to the canyon and suggested we stop there. At nearly 2,000 feet lower in elevation, the plateau was decidedly warmer – and entirely free of potential water crossings. The Hurricane Cliffs turned out to be a very nice consolation prize, providing canyons to explore and views from the cliffs, but the best part was when met with a trail junction: We were going to hike the More Cowbell Trail. Incidentally, this trail was one of the nicest sections of the hike as it hugged the rim of a plateau that rose like a peninsula a few hundred feet above the surrounding plains. From here we could easily see into Arizona and west to the Pine Mountains.
To reward ourselves we finished our day at Zion Canyon Brewing Company in Springdale, just outside the west gate of Zion National Park. We ordered flights and most everything was decent though the standouts were the Amber Ale and the seasonal pumpkin. Still, we all decided that should we go out after a hike again that we’d prefer to stop by a place where we could get Wasatch or Squatters – other Utah beers, albeit brewed in Salt Lake.