Monday, October 12, 2015

Hiking and Splashing in Negro Bill Canyon, Moab, Utah

We went to Moab to celebrate a wedding of two friends. While we were there, we went on a fun hike up Negro Bill Canyon. The trailhead is located on Utah Scenic Byway 128, three miles north of the junction with U.S. Highway 191. This hike was listed as a great family activity, and they were right! The main large parking lot was full at 11 am on Sunday (we went to church first, so got a little later start). However, there was plenty of room across the highway to park.

I had the kids put on their new neoprene socks (something I decided we needed after our hike up Kanarra Creek). We tried to make good time up the trail, telling the kids we would hike in the creek on the way back down. But soon I got hot, so we started hiking sections in the creek, and the new game became to find the deepest holes. We saw some small fish in the creek.

The water was chilly, so when we got cold we hiked on the trail and soon warmed up.

The trail crosses the creek several times, sometimes with slippery crossings.

About 1.5 miles up we veered right into the second canyon and in 0.7 miles reached Morning Glory Bridge, the sixth largest natural bridge in the U.S., at 234 feet across. A group was rappelling down the wall next to the bridge. I had read about this trip, where canyoneers start out above this area and do two rappels and hike out. It sounded great, except the group had over 15 people in it and it took each person ten to fifteen minutes to rappel down and they were getting bored and rowdy and started teaching the kids new words that we preferred that they didn't know.

We had brought our lunch, so we tried to get away from that group and enjoy the view.

Water comes out of a crack and flows into a small pool under the bridge.

We knew we had a long drive ahead of us, so we didn't stay too long under the bridge. We started back, with more forays into the creek. This was definitely a hike where the trip to and from was even more fun than the destination!

We did have to watch out for poison ivy, but the kids are pretty good at spotting it. They even learned to tell the difference between the very similar-looking box elder leaves and poison ivy. It helped that the poison ivy was starting to turn a little red.

The rocks along the creek kept changing, and we alternated from shady to sunny sections.

While my husband preferred the drier route, the kids and I were happy to get wet.

We tried a selfie.

Then I gave the camera to my husband.

We hiked in the creek a lot, finding it nearly as easy as the trail and much more fun.

We still got out to warm up from time to time.

This is a great trail and lots of fun with the water. It's free so it can be crowded.
There is so much to see and do in Moab--we'll be back!

1 comment:

Mel Burke said...

Your kids are growing up!

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