After enjoying one last sunrise from the rim of Bryce Canyon we were on our way to Kanab, very close to the Arizona border. This would be another repeat for me, but for good reason… it’s central to some incredible and diverse places to experience.
Not too far down the road we stopped for an opportunity to fly our drone at Red Canyon. (Not to be confused with at least two other places in Utah called Red Canyon. This one is very near Bryce on Hwy 12.) It should be noted that since many of our destinations are National Parks, where drones are not allowed, we have very little opportunity to get ours in the air. At Red Canyon we took advantage of pull-outs right along the highway.
What drew me to Kanab while traveling solo was “The Wave”, one of nature’s most striking works of art. You have to hike to get there, and that is done by permit only. BLM doles out only twenty permits per day… ten permits can be obtained ahead of time (I’m not sure their method for this, but I do know it would take precise planning), and ten are available through a daily lottery, in person, at the Kanab BLM office. During my last visit, I gave myself three days to obtain a permit. Three 8am visits to the BLM office, with numerous other hopeful people, in hopes of obtaining one of ten coveted permits. That experience is definitely worth the read, and you can see it here… The WAVE.
So here I was, once again, in Kanab… in hopes of The Wave. The experience was so amazing that I came back… in hopes of sharing it with John. We gave ourselves one week. Seven opportunities… and a total of seventy permits up for grabs. But, I’ll have to get back to that because there’s a whole lot of stuff to do in the vicinity of Kanab!
After we settled into our site at Hitch-N-Post campground, (just down the road from the BLM visitors center I’ve come to know so well) I went to the office to get information and maps to aid me in planning our week of adventure. I wanted to repeat much of what I’d done before, but with more time to play I wanted to see more!
That afternoon, with limited time, we opted to take a recommended drive out Johnson Canyon. Along the way we would see an old movie set for Gunsmoke, a “Pioneer Billboard”, a rock formation called “Lion’s Head”, and Eagle Gate Arch. Worth the drive if you have time on your hands, but not a “must see” experience if your time is limited here.
The following morning we were in the BLM office with numerous other people vying for two permits for the wave. We didn’t get them. (The permits given are always assigned for the following day.)
So, we set out for a hike I hadn’t done before… Wire Pass. This trail actually begins in the same place as The Wave. This is a 3.7 mile hike (up and back) up a wash, and through a slot canyon, to a river (or wash depending on time of year). There is a notable drop in the trail, midway through the slot canyon. I’m guessing roughly nine feet, and nothing to aid you getting up or down but a pile of leaning and criss-crossed sticks. (See pic below) This was rather precarious, since these chunks of wood weren’t even lashed together, and even more so with an arthritic dog in tow! Sadie is such a trooper!!
Getting down was tough enough with Sadie along for the hike, and luckily we had a handled-vest on her at the time. Getting back up was another thing. Going down she didn’t know what to expect and went along with it. Going back up… she knew exactly what she was getting into, and she didn’t like it. But, with John’s help from below and mine from above, she made it!
The following morning we were back in the BLM office for another hopeful attempt to attain permits for The Wave. That and the rest of stay in Kanab are up next!