The Magical Landscapes of Utah: Cross Country Exploring with a Return through Buckskin Gulch and Wire Pass

As I’ve written time and time again, Utah is a spectacular, amazing state. But for all the myriad of treasures packed into the state, the areas around Buckskin Gulch and Coyote Buttes (home of the famous Wave) in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are some of the most fantastic. Fantastic as in mind-blowing. Both Tom and I have visited here separately, but decided to start at the northwestern end of Buckskin Gulch, an area neither of us had explored. We stuck to the wash for a mile and a half but soon the petrified dunes and sculpted rock landscapes to the north beckoned, so we left trail and went overland exploring. We trekked for awhile, climbing 500 foot dunes and marveling at the rainbow colors, apparently got turned around at some point, rejoined the Gulch, and then proceeded in the wrong direction. Once we realized our mistake we were halfway from the trailhead no matter which way we went so I requested we continue through the gulch and out Wire Pass back to House Valley Road, which we could walk to return to the car. Our day thus turned into quite an adventure. I celebrated the incredible scenery and beautiful sunset with a beer.

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