May 31, 2020
Today’s journey will take Carolyn and I to Kodachrome Basin State Park a drive of close to 100 miles up Route 89 and across Scenic Route 12 to Cannonville. Our first stop is in Hatch for some breakfast where the vacation races had an ultra marathon and other trail running events on Saturday. We watched some of the competitors hobble around after yesterday’s event. They were beat up but it must have been a scenic run. We ate breakfast at the Hatch Station and it was interesting to talk to the older lady running the place who stays and works there every summer and lives in Sun City area but once lived in Pine, AZ. Just some small world stuff and fun to hear the stories.
Back on the road we head to Tropic to grab some coffee from the Bryce Canyon Coffee Co. Great little place along the way. Really beautiful little town along Route 12. We turn south in Cannonville and head to the Kodachrome Basin. It is bright and beautiful. Lots of red rock and some fascinating spires to view. It is like an old western and we are right in it.
We hiked the Panorama Trail Loop (Long) that’s about 6.5 miles and around 650 feet in elevation gains and our total time was around 2.75 hours with plenty of stops to take in the scenery. It was hot and we saw very few people on the trail. We hiked some of the side trails including Cool Cave where we chat with an older couple from Texas who travel and hike frequently. They travel pulling a camper during the spring and summer and park in some nice areas. Most interesting conversation sitting in a cave (rock overhang) about all the unrest and COVID 19. It was a nice social distanced hike.
Kodachrome is fabulous with very nice camping areas and the facilities and office are in top shape. The rangers were friendly and helpful. We were genuinely impressed and I could see myself doing some camping in that area. The rock formations are interesting and the terrain is ever-changing. The red dirt reminds me of Sedona.
Getting back in the car, we start heading towards Kanab. As we approach the Red Canyon area we just make a rash decision to head out on another hike. We have passed the Red Canyon area of the Dixie National Forest on Route 12 several times and it is so beautiful that this time we stop and look for a hike. I’m feeling a bit of an adrenaline rush so we decide on another strenuous hike that takes you past some Red hoodoos that are beautiful. The Golden Wall/Buckhorn Loop with Castle Bridge added on. We ended up hiking 5+ miles with over 1000 feet in elevation gain. This hike was magical and we never once encountered anybody out on the trails. This was not only social distanced but it was social isolated. Trails are well maintained and the scenery is incredible. Our journey took us about 2:20 with plenty of stops to take in the views. There are even points that become very narrow on the trail so we had to be careful as the surface can be slippery.
There is so much to see and so little time but I wouldn’t mind coming back here and exploring some more. This area also has some nice campgrounds that were actually full. It was a great hike to end our day before getting on to Kanab.
Tonight’s dinner is another walk in Kanab to Escobar’s Mexican Restaurant. Big Al’s is closed on Sunday. With the COVID 19 concerns the number of workers is limited. We get to sit out on a patio social distanced from most. It wasn’t the best night for food but I understand it is a tough environment to be in the restaurant industry. Service was off and the food wasn’t quite up to the standards that we expected. But no complaints, I just glad to be hanging out with Carolyn, discussing what tomorrow will bring since our time in Kanab is ending. Our plan is to drive to Zion National Park before heading to St. George and a two night stay to explore an area we have never been.
Last year we were fortunate to spend some time in Zion with a stay at Springdale, a beautiful small town. Marching to Zion (Experiencing life in Zion and Bryce National Parks)
So I must ask, “hoodoo you love”?