We're Onto Utah : Horseshoe Bend / Rimrock Hoodoos / Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon / Pink Coral Sand Dunes

Date of Hike: 5/23 & 5/24

Horseshoe Bend: 1.2 miles  /  Rimrock Hoodoos: 2.0 miles  /  Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon: 8.6 miles  /  Pink Coral Sand Dunes 1.2 miles
Total Miles: 13 miles (1,600 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:  
- On Sunday we woke up to more unseasonably cold weather with a forecast of showers as we left the Grand Canyon.  Our destination was a small motel in Orderville Utah, east of Zion and south of Bryce Canyon.
- Before we crossed the border we stopped in Page, Arizona and headed to Horseshoe Bend.  It's a easy ten minute walk from the big trailhead right off highway 89 to the viewpoint.  It's a pretty awesome view looking down to the Colorado River as it bends around a huge massive rock wall.  We didn't get too close to the edge because the drop off was straight down a few thousand feet and the edge of the rim always has a chance of eroding away!  After taking a bunch of picture we jumped back in the car and then drove past Lake Powell and into Utah.
- There was a ranger station along highway 89 that we stopped in where it was recommended that we check out the 'Toadstools' at Rimrock Hoodoos since it was a short hike and perfect for a day where the weather was sub par.
- The Rimrock Hoodoo trail was a nice little two mile hike through a palette of beige scenery.  The toadstool hoodoos are kind a funny looking, they ended up being the dwarf version of hoodoos compared to what we ended up seeing a few days later in Bryce Canyon.  The hoodoos form from a layer of soft rock with a layer of hard rock on top.  Time and weather wears away and erodes the soft rock at a greater pace than the top layer of hard rock and a toadstool hoodoo is formed!
- Hitting up the Horseshoe Bend and the Rimrock hoodoos was the perfect road side diversion on a sub par weather day.  From here we headed to Orderville but not before stopping at a small trailhead just south of our motel where we found the perfect hike for the following day.
- At this trailhead we stumbled upon a local gem, Red Canyon, AKA Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon.  There was only one caveat, the road to the slot canyon was red clay and with all the recent rain there was no way I was comfortable letting air out of the Jeep's tires so it could 'float' over the soft deep clay.  Floating, what the hell is that??!!.  Instead we studied the map and researched online how to hike into the entrance to the canyon using these roads.  It ended up only being a 3.7 mile walk to the entrance which seemed easy enough.
-  On Sunday we woke up early and headed back to this trailhead as we had a decent window of weather in the morning before the storms came rolling in.  The thing about slot canyons is that you do not want to be anywhere near them when heavy rain is falling as the potential for flash flooding increases.
- As we were about to start our hike an SUV pulled in, the driver jumped out, let air out of his tires, jumped back in the SUV, and then drove down the sandy road.  I guess there's not much to this floating stuff if you're from the area, probably like driving in the snow is second nature to New Englanders.
- The walk over the red clay and sandy road ended up being uneventful and easy.  I had my little crib notes making sure where to go at each turn or at each random ATV road crossing.  The last mile or so is through a wash that lead to the southern end of the canyon.  The canyon is very small, less than half a mile long but is pretty freaking cool!  Red or Peek-A-Boo definitely fits as a name for this small but fascinating slot canyon.
- After roaming into then back out of the slot canyon we headed back to the trailhead where a few rain drops fell on us just as we reached the car.  From here we headed across the street to the Pink Coral Sand Dunes.
- What can I say about the Pink Coral Sand Dunes ... just outside the park entrance is a parking lot where you can park for free and roam around some dunes.  I would advice everyone to just go there and not head into the actual park where there is an eight dollar fee.  The dunes outside the park are a lot more fun than the ones in the park, as you'll see from the images below.  I would only suggest heading into the park if you are ATVing.
- After leaving the sand dunes the rain eventually came rolling in, it wasn't too bad but it was much worse in Zion and Bryce so staying local for the day ended up working out perfectly!

 Trailhead and info for Horseshoe Bend

 Heading out to the viewpoint

 Horseshoe Bend

 Looking down at a beach below a rock face and a plateau

 Horseshoe Bend

 Whitney nervously smiling for a picture near the edge!

As you can see the route is fairly short to the viewpoint! 

 Heading into the Rimrock 'Toadstool' Hoodoos

 The trail travels through a wash on its way to the hoodoo garden

 Flowers spotted along the way, they were everywhere!

 Entering the hoodoos

 Whitney gets a picture below the most prominent hoodoo

 The pictures we saw online made it seem like there were a lot more of the toadstools.  Mostly the ones we walked by had fallen apart.  Still it was a cool spot to walk through

 Whitney around the 'Garden' section

 Off to the right side of the hoodoos were interesting rugged rock formations above with wavy formations underfoot

Heading back to the Jeep.

Route for the Rimrock Hoodoo Hike, click here for details

---- Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon  /  Pink Coral Sand Dunes ----

 Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon Kiosk and the sandy clay road we have to hike, BLM 102, but first...

 We read the hiking directions to the slot canyon

 and study the map, X marks the spot!

 Hiking along BLM 102 in an easterly direction

 As you can see the directions were very helpful since there were roads going everywhere!

 After a few miles we reach a cattle-guard and take a left onto BLM 106C and head in a northerly direction 

 BLM 106C heads into a dry wash, after a half mile it leaves the drainage, we stay in the wash and follow BLM 106H

 BLM 106H ends at the entrance to Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon

 We head into the narrow canyon with high walls

 The slot canyon curves from one narrow section into another

 Some sections the sun reaches the floor when there is enough of an opening above, but mostly we are in the cool shade shielded from the sun

 Looking up to the top of the canyon

 Some mossy vegetation clinging to one of the walls

 In the middle of the canyon has a smallish opening but mostly it is narrow and dark

 Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon

 Heading back out of the canyon

 One last corner before heading back into the open

 View from above Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon

 After hiking back to the Jeep we head to the Pink Coral Sand Dunes, where I spot 'Jesus Saves' and  take off towards it!

 I add to it...

 Before / After :) 

 Pink Coral Sand Dunes

Route for Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon, click here for details

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