Firecracker, a PCT friend, met me for some hiking in Southern Utah. We decided to check out the area around Kanab, starting with Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The first hike: Lick Wash.
We took Johnson Canyon Road north from route 89 and made a right onto Skutumpah Road to get to the trailhead. The road had already dried from the weekend’s rain so our high clearance 2WD vehicle was fine. If the road was wet, you would not be able to reach the trailhead even with 4WD.
Lick Wash starts with half a mile or so of narrows before widening into a larger canyon. It had not occurred to me that there could be snow and ice still, but there was some in the first part of the canyon. There was plenty of slick mud in the narrows as well, the kind that keeps clumping onto your shoes until they are twice their size.
I loved all the tall pines. Once the canyon widened, there was plenty of sun and heat, and no ice or snow left. We walked along the wash, checking out all the cool stones and textures.
The plan was to go 4 miles to the junction with Park Wash, and then return to the trailhead. We missed the junction because there really wasn’t one. The topo map implied that Park Wash extended to the north and south at the same elevation as Lick Wash. In reality, Lick Wash just seemed to keep going to the south. It felt like we’d gone more than 4 miles so we checked the map and saw we were way past where the junction should have been. The north side of Park Wash was apparently filled in at some point, leaving only the south side open as a trail.
We started seeing some dark clouds moving in on the way back and rushed to get to the truck so we could get back to the highway before any potential rain. It ended up not raining and we enjoyed some beautiful scenery as we moved down the road a bit to White House Campground.