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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Canyons of the Escalante‏

April 8th, 2010 · No Comments

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This is canyonland. The beauty of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument shines most intensely in its canyon.

The Sierra Club outing that I took here hiked our first full day down a canyon known as Harris Wash, a name that hardly does justice to the location. We hiked along and on the creek that runs through the wash for eight easy miles. Our hike took us out of the national monument into bordering Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

We crossed and recrossed the creek maybe 100 times as we walked through the narrow canyon. Sometimes the water was almost a foot deep, leading me to appreciate my new waterproof Sorrel boots that I bought for my New Zealand trip all the more.

The vegetation in this dry place is sparse. However, a few flowers were already in bloom, notably this lilly.

A Lilly Along the Trail

A Lilly Along the Trail

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Animal life was correspondingly scarce. This black rosy-finch was the only bird I saw.

A Black Rosy-Finch at Home in the Wash

A Black Rosy-Finch at Home in the Wash

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The only other animal life I saw was this lizard. I followed it around at a rest stop until it stopped to rest too.

A Tiny Desert Lizard

Narrows at Harris Wash

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We often walked right along the canyon wall, when we weren’t hiking in the creek itself. The canyon was narrow, although not as narrow as in this picture.

Narrows at Harris Wash

Narrows at Harris Wash

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Fortunately, after the rain and heavy wind of the previous evening and night, the day dawned clear and quite calm. The weather was cool, something to be expected in this area at around 5,000 feet. Even a brief snow flurry on our hike back out of Harris Wash surprised no one.

This is a harsh land. But even its harshness can be beautiful.

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