UT – Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Phipps Arch

Weather oh weather, you sure make being a traveler challenging. Following a fab hike at Red Canyon on the Losee Canyon Trail and a night of snow, a few hours in town made sense. When the morning turned to blowing snow with temps below 30, I knew I’d made the right decision. However, once the storm ceased, it was time to drive east on Highway 12. I chose not to stop at Bryce Canyon National Park as it was getting late in the day and I’d been there before during the off season. 

With fresh snow the drive was outstanding. I believe this is Powell Point. I stopped several times to take photos as the light was spectacular.

Someday I’d love to explore Powell Point’s Table Cliff Plateau.

It might have been a little chilly that night in my dispersed campsite with a view of Powell Point. Interestingly it was 34 outside when I arrived but the sun was shining in my window and warmed my car to a toasty 67 before bed.

After a stop in Escalante at the BLM Grand Staircase-Escalante Visitor Center to determine road and trail conditions, I decided to hike a nearby route to Phipps Arch. This is a WOW guidebook recommendation. It was great to be back in GSE. 

Being back hiking on slickrock made me even happier. Finding water from the recent storms made me smile. 

Did you just say WOW? I did! Is that a cat sandstone sculpture? 

Water magic. 

I mentioned earlier, this is a route not a trail, although most of the slickrock was marked with cairns. Soon enough it was time to drop into the wash. 

There were several dryfalls requiring detours out of the wash; this was the tallest with 150′ drop.

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit, I didn’t find the arch, which resides on this fin. I got distracted and kept walking the wash staring in awe at the canyon walls. 

Once I realized I’d passed my objective, I didn’t have time to continue on to find Maverick Bridge or find the route to the arch. Oh well . . . destinations for a future visit. 

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 19, 2018

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