The Gulch 2010 – Day 4

Synopsis: Hike down The Gulch to see pictographs and narrows. September 13, 2010.

Like the previous day, this one would cover some new ground for me. While I had previously visited the pictographs, I hadn’t been downcanyon further than that, and it was rumored (i.e., I read in the guidebooks) that there were some good slots further down.


The seep across the canyon, where we had tried to collect water. We only got about 1/4 or 1/3 full, sadly, so we decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

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The walk down to the pictographs is not too far. They were a bit tricky to find, which is good. I won’t reveal too many details of their location here.


Me, Ben, and Kurt admiring the pictographs.

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Kurt adds: I loved seeing the pictographs in the cave. That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen on a hiking trip and I bet I’ll remember it forever. When I tell people about the trip, it’s one of the first things I mention.

Kelly adds: The overhang where the pictographs were was magical. I could have stayed in this place for hours.


A black widow spider near the pictographs. Shortly after I took this photo, Kurt’s camera stopped working. Coincidence?

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After the pictographs, we continued downstream.


Another cabin in The Gulch. This one is fairly new and has a corral.

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The canyon narrowed, and suddenly there was a pool of water blocking the way. Again, a good time for lunch.


The beginning of the lower narrows.

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After lunch, I put on my water shoes and went through the water and downstream a little ways to scout. The puddles we could see were the only significant obstacle, so we elected to continue.


Passing through required removing shoes and wading.

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Russ scraping off the mud. Note Ben doing the same with a cow rib in the background.

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The narrows were short, and pretty soon we were in a wide sandstone bowl. A couple of bends downstream, we were blocked by a small dropoff.


End of the road. Here, the streambed dropped 8 feet or so into a slot, which was beyond our skill level to safely climb down and back up. (There is a way around this blockage, but we were running low on time and energy.)

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Scoping out the terminal slot.

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We hung out and played in the shade for a while and then turned for home.


Returning again through this remarkable slickrock bowl.

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Wind-sculpted sand.

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Re-crossing the muddy pools.

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The cabin as the shadows lengthen.

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The hike home felt quite long and dry for most folks.


The shady approach to our camp. Our hanging food packs are visible in the background.

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Please continue reading on Day 5.

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