When we got to Hole-in-the-Rock road we turned down it. I had wanted to do Peekaboo and Spooky Canyons during the trip, but the clouds were already gathering and we knew it just wasn't a good idea for that day. Lots of traffic was on the road, so maybe others were going to try and do canyons or just check out the 55-mile long road. We went to Devil's Garden, where we found plenty of places for the kids to explore.
I followed Desert Girl, and soon we were off on our own.
She was ready for some barefoot climbing challenges.
The rock was so much fun.
And the sand was nice and soft.
I had her try this tricky traverse and she did just fien.
Next we went to Escalante and had a picnic lunch at this nice park. It was getting cooler as the dark clouds approached, but Desert Girl couldn't resist enjoying the splash park.
We stopped at the Grand Staircase-Escalante visitor center and learned a bit about the ecology of the area, including the amazing cryptobiotic soil, which is held together by a combination of bacteria, fungi, and algae. I asked the lady at the counter if all the traffic was normal, and she said the monument was seeing a threefold increase from last year, mainly due to people learning about the place from the Internet. Many wanted to explore canyons.