#TalleyYourMiles on the Wiregrass Trail @Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Moving to northern Arizona has reminded Clinton and I of our travels back in 2011. We worked odd jobs near Bullfrog, Utah in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and near the Panamint range in Death Valley National Park. It was wonderful being in each location because they were immensely remote and close to many other national parks. I remember our epic drives and the gorgeous but difficult hikes that we went on back then. I was new to elevation, dry air, and temperatures that exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That may sound crazy, but I grew up in Orlando Florida. I didn’t leave the state until I was a teenager, and when I did start traveling the first few years I did so by boat! Sea level had been my friend for most of my life up until 2011.

Now that we are back it has been amazing to discover the other parts of Utah and Arizona that we did not see in the past. One of those places is close to Page, Arizona, where we live now. The location is literally miles away from Glen Canyon NRA and while it reminds me of Bullfrog, there is still so much that is different.

Starting off the new year right Clinton and I decided that we wanted to hike in Glen Canyon near Big Water, Utah. Take US 89 into Big Water and turn onto Ethan Allen to access the county road out into the recreation area. You’ll pass homes and businesses so be respectful – the area is NOT your personal party zone. Head down the road awhile and you’ll see the sign for the trail. There is no parking area and remember that the road is not necessarily maintained. If the road does not look cross-able, don’t test it. We drove our Honda Accord out there but we had only made it out maybe twice before this hike. We’ve turned around many times because of the hazards! Be smart!

The hike itself was moderate but difficult if you don’t want to climb up and down a few areas where there is no steps or obvious way down. The path is through the wash so it is easy to follow, and we did take our dogs. There was one spot where they almost refused to go on because of the high jump (for them!) and the slick rocks, but we found a small groove in the rocks that allowed them to trot down. No animals were harmed, just laughed at! They were rather vocal with their protests until we showed them the path in a few areas but they always managed. As normal, we packed them a “snack” (a cup or two of dog food) and fed them when we reached the end of the trail.

The trail is beautiful but very long. Hiking in January is also cold. We did see snow, but since we hiked at a good pace it never felt too cold. The hike was about 12 miles so hike in layers and pack water and food wisely. We are still learning which food to take with us and how often to eat, so while we had enough food, we could have eaten more often throughout the hike! When you arrive at “Lake Powell” (the end of the trail) you see immediately how far the lake level has fallen. The ground is cracked and dry, and absolutely magnificent to view! The lake is another few miles further but impossible to navigate due to the canyons and cliffs that were left behind as the water retreated.

The hike is an out and back experience that takes a few hours. We started fairly early in the day so that we could end before it got dark, which was about 5 p.m. We didn’t encounter a single person along the path and no one else was parked next to us when we ended. It was a great experience for all, including the furry ones! Another twelve miles down in the #TalleyYourMiles challenge!

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