The Vermillion Cliffs
By Mignon Slentz
Early October, Mal Roode, Chris Dulk (from Germany) and myself journeyed to Paria, Utah to explore the Grand Wash Overlook area. Rain the previous couple days and reports of slick dirt roads and high water crossings led us instead to the Vermillion Cliffs region off Houserock Road which runs between 89 in Utah and 89A in Arizona and where you can access the well known “Wave” hike. The normally deep sandy roads had been compressed with the recent rain and were a delight to drive on. We camped at Pinnacle Valley, visited Big Pockets and discovered Ed Laws’ 1911 signature. Joe’s Ranch had several intact buildings and the two natural ponds nearby were full, making it an ideal setting. We hiked up a cliff to find foundations of Indian structures, a great view and good cell service. Other stops led us to pictographs on a rock wall, more ranches and additional signatures.
The whole area is made up of fantastic geological formations resembling a myriad of toadstools, hoodoos and other apparitions. Rain was forecast again and Chris’ Jeep was making noises so we scurried back to Paria for the last rainy night. ~ Mignon