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Fish Creek Canyon

Thursday, October 27th, 2011: Southeast Utah, Trips.

Day 3: Cedar Mesa

Highlights: Unforgettable canyon hike, hanging garden, camping on Cedar Mesa

I’d been lucky to find a cheap vintage motor court, the Sunset Inn, in Blanding the night before, and in the morning I left town with plenty of food and firewood for camping.

I headed west, and at the turnoff for Cedar Canyon, I studied my maps and decided to try Fish Creek Canyon. I’m so glad I did.

I got lost immediately in a maze of shallow arroyos crossing the thick juniper forest of the mesa top, backtracked, and finally reached the edge of the canyon. The trail rapidly drops about 800′ over a series of steep ledges; the very top of the trail was a 12′ cliff that required descending a vertical crack. I was alone, far beyond cell range, and nobody knew where I was, so I was super careful.

A late start left me with too little time to explore much of the canyon. I was pretty much running down and back, stunned by the cliffs, the water, the fall colors. That night, I found a campsite along the road back and had a wonderful night’s sleep under the wheeling and shooting stars.

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