Kanarra Falls & the scenic byway

It’s the second day of 2021 and the Covid virus is still here, no matter how much good will and optimism people put out into the Universe. I check to make sure I have my mask with me as I head on over to hike Kanarra Falls. This is a hike that has gained quite a bit of notoriety lately, forcing the city to mandate purchasing a hiking pass before hand to limit the number of people in the area at any given time.

I get to the trailhead just as the sun is rising, and the parking lot is empty. I guess people don’t feel as adventurous hiking through the snow, and I wish I had my trekking poles myself. It’s icy and slick.

Slowly I make my way up the mountain as the sun starts to illuminate the peaks. I come to several creek crossings that make me nervous as the stepping stones are slippery, and I almost fall in the water more than once. I need to stay dry to stave off hypothermia.

A couple of miles in and I see the red rock mountain shining in the morning sun. I feel that my final destination is somewhere in this area, and excitedly I trudge through deeper snow as I try and make my way to the end of the trail.

It doesn’t take too long though before I realize that I am ill prepared to go any further. The trail suddenly disappears under the snow. I could follow the creek, but that would require me wading in the freezing water, which I know is a bad idea. So after a spell I decide to turn back around. The beauty of Kanarra Falls will have to be seen another time.

After making it back to the parking lot, I head out onto the scenic byway, which is an old dirt road through the backcountry between Zion National Park and Kanab, Utah. Time to take it slow as I off road it through the high desert.

Steep descents force me into an intensity as I grapple over large stones and divets in the road (if one can call it that). You must stop to enjoy the scenery out here, as one must focus on your off road driving unless you want the trip to end in disaster. I see a few vehicles that have not been so lucky, rusting away at the bottom of the desert washes and canyons.

As late afternoon approaches, I come to the small town of Kanab. The restaurants here were sparse to begin with, and the pandemic has only made finding a place to eat increasingly difficult, but after driving around a bit, I eventually find a great little Thai place where I can load up on tasty vegetables and a local IPA before calling it a night.

Tomorrow I head back home. Ready for the New Year, New Decade, and new personal goals.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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