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Paria River, Utah/Arizona - Day 1 of 5

Paria River, Utah/Arizona - Day 1 of 5


Postby ndhudson » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:01 am

Date walked: 03/11/2011

Distance: 14.5 km

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I have been meaning to create a TR about this hike for months now! Between work stress, wedding stress, and a generally miserable winter here in Utah (NO snow!!!!), we haven't had much outdoor fun since this hike. But I thought a few of you might enjoy the scenery. This one's for you ChrisW! :D

5 Days 51 Miles
Participants: Me, Gale, my Dad, my Sister, my Brother-in-law
Whitehouse Trailhead Utah to Lee's Ferry Arizona

The Paria river carves out a portion of what is known as the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area, flowing south from Utah into Arizona. It is desolation at it finest and rugged desert at it's most harsh. 20 people per day are allowed by permit to enter the canyon and most take 5-7 days to complete the entire walk. There are only so many safe camping areas throughout the canyon hence the limited number of people allowed through. Flash flooding is a very real danger. Once you are in, you are committed to finish, there are very few practical ways out. This adventure is only for the well prepared and skilled hiker. No fires are allowed anywhere in the canyons and ALL waste must be carried out. The hike follows the river almost the entire way, so getting lost is not much of an issue. But walking in and out of water for 5 days straight can be. Depending on the time of year, the level of the river varies anywhere from ankle deep to mid thigh. Neoprene socks, gators and canyon shoes saved our feet and legs from the frigid water.

Beginning at the Whitehouse trailhead we walked aprox. 9 miles to the confluence of Buckskin Gulch for our first day. Buckskin is an amazing adventure in itself which Gale and I hiked one month before this hike (report to come some day). It is the worlds longest slot canyon at 16 miles. Absolutely incredible. But that's for another report...

Because of time, or lack of it, I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves mostly, and comment where I can. There are so many to choose from, I thought I would break it down by day. Enjoy day 1 of the Paria River! :D

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6:30 am and a very cold start...
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The confluence of Buckskin and the Paria
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Our first night campsite...safely elevated about 30 feet above the river on a small sand dune at the very end of Buckskin Gulch. A red rock amphitheater!!!
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A new little friend sharing our campsite
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ndhudson
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Re: Paria River, Utah/Arizona - Day 1 of 5

Postby fraochydug » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:13 am

WOW! :shock: stunning scenery
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Re: Paria River, Utah/Arizona - Day 1 of 5

Postby ChrisW » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:38 am

Hey ND, I wondered where you had gone, sounds like you've been busy but from a purely selfish perspective, its great to see you posting again. Thanks for the dedication, you know what I like :lol:

Day 1 is stunning....I'm off now to view day 2 :mrgreen:
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Re: Paria River, Utah/Arizona - Day 1 of 5

Postby Alastair S » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:12 am

Great stuff :thumbup:
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Re: Paria River, Utah/Arizona - Day 1 of 5

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:28 am

Fantastic stuff, the whole set of reports :D The scenery reminds me of the movie "127 hours".

I used to work with scorpion toxins so I'm quite interested in these wee creatures. The one in your picture, I guess must be the Arizona bark scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus), but can't be sure. Just as well we don't have them in Scotland (but we have ticks and midges to make summer days miserable :lol: :lol: )
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Re: Paria River, Utah/Arizona - Day 1 of 5

Postby Alastair S » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:36 am

BlackPanther wrote:I used to work with scorpion toxins

Panthers & scorpions? Were you some sort of assassin in a former life? :lol:
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Re: Paria River, Utah/Arizona - Day 1 of 5

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:55 pm

Alastair S wrote:Were you some sort of assassin in a former life?


:lol: :lol: :lol: A lab animal assassin, I must admit... Did some research in toxicology. Killed hundreds of poor lab creatures :twisted: for the sake of science... So if God is a cockroach or a mouse, I'll definitely go to hell!
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Re: Paria River, Utah/Arizona - Day 1 of 5

Postby pollyh33 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:38 pm

Soooo good to have you back Nicole and in such fine form too :D :D

Fantastic stuff! Utah still looks a bit 'other worldly' though :shock: :shock:

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Re: Paria River, Utah/Arizona - Day 1 of 5

Postby morag1 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:13 pm

Nice to have you back online Nicole :D

these are great reports with stunning photos - i will need some time to read them all then will post some more comments :thumbup:
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