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 Cascade Bill (William Mooseker) | Home > Backpacking Trips > 2012-2019 Trips > 2017 Grand Gulch, UT > 
2017 Grand Gulch - Day 4
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Grand Gulch 2017
Day 4 - May 25

Bannister Ruin to The Narrows

Rincon Pictographs
The Narrows
Holding Hands (Harvey) Panel

Bill M. Hiking Down Grand Gulch

Our goal for Day 4 was to hike to the Narrows, which is a relatively short hike. While there aren't many spectacular ruins along this stretch of the Gulch, it is very scenic and pleasant hiking.

Even though the day's hike was short, the relaxed pace allowed time for exploration and visiting several pictograph panels along the way. By afternoon it was very hot, and the Narrows offered a shady and breezy spot to escape the heat.

Unlike our last visit to the Narrows (2006), water was very scarce and we were lucky enough to find a few rock pockets near our camp that still had water. The Nicks thankfully carried the heavy 5 gal jugs up the hill to our camp on the rocks overlooking the Narrows.

Our last camp featured an unbelievable view of the night sky before the chill forced us into our sleeping bags.

Note photo takers are given in the titles under the thumbnails: Bill (bm), Mike (ms), Nick M. (nm), Nick T. (nt)

Kickass Trekkers on this trip were: Bill Mooseker, Will Stong, Mike Stong, Nick McMahan, Nick Tuggle

The descriptions under the photo thumbnails in the album sometimes contain links to maps or additional information. These are identified by "Blue” text for links. I've also inserted links to Google Maps to show where certain photos in the album were taken or to locate features shown in the photos. Click on the link, close the sidebar, and choose satellite view. Basically, you can then zoom in and out using the mouse wheel or drag the map by clicking and holding.

For panoramic photos, I would recommend clicking on the thumbnail photo to enlarge. View at original size for most detail. The thumbnails do not do justice to petroglyphs and pictographs, so I would recommend enlarging them as well. Please take the time to view the many videos to better experience what it was like to be there.

Troop 24 Kickass Trekkers Backpacking Trip
-Cascade Bill Mooseker

Date(s): May 25, 2017. Album by Cascade Bill. 1 - 115 of 115 Total. 0 Visits.
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We pitched our tents in the same campsite we had used in 2000.  You can see mine (green), Will's (white coffin) and Mike's (foreground).  The Nicks had their tent in the area we had supper in.  You can see how much the campsite has changed since 2000:  Click HERE and HERE.  The 2nd photo is from about the same spot as this one.

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Preparing breakfast.

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Morning in camp.

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05-25 07-22 ms.mp4
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Soon the sun peeks over the canyon wall as we are breaking down our camp.  Will philosophizes on the benefits of being young.

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Heading out - just around the bend from our camp near Bannister Ruin.  The canyon loops around that bluff in the distance and loops back just over the canyon wall to the left.

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Sandy stretch just before the next bend.

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05-25 08-45 ms.mp4
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Mike and Will going around the bend with the Bluff cited on a previous photo.

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Unusual "Hoodoo" or arch - I missed this on my way down this trip but had taken a photo of it in 2000.

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A pottery shard in the wash.

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05-25 09-16 ms.mp4
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Mike, Will, and Bill hiking down the wash - we didn't take the shortcuts over the humps at the bends as they were in direct sun and sandy.  This early in the morning the shady spots were still fairly cool.

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05-25 09-56 ms bm.mp4
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Bill hiking in a shady alcove.  Mike and Bill discover a weeping spring, and Nick T passes us by like a thoroughbred going by two old nags.

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Mike filming with his GoPro along the canyon wall.

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Looking back upcanyon

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Don't expect to see mushrooms in the desert!

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All of a sudden the canyon opens up and it seems a lot hotter and drier.

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Telephoto shot of the headland ahead.

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05-25 10-15 ms.mp4
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There was no shade for the last stretch of canyon, so when this shady alcove beckoned, we all took a break in the shade along with a cooling breeze.
(Video shows how beautiful this section of the canyon is)

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Mike and Nick T - taking a break in the shade.

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A rare slickrock section here.

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Looking down canyon from our break spot.

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Looking up canyon from our break alcove.

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Mike, Will, and the Nicks go on a hunt for ruins and art panels. It was too hot for me so I stayed in the shade.

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The exploration continues!

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Panoramic shot by Nick T - if you enlarge it you can find Nick M on a ledge.

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Lizard getting a little sun.

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Nick T discovered these in an alcove - I think that these are cowpies as ranchers of long ago used Collins canyon as an in and out for cattle.  These droppings are fairly common and are found in alcoves all along Grand Gulch and will still be there 100 years from now.

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05-25 10-57 ms.mp4
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Strolling along an alcove and finding a pictograph panel.

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Interesting pictograph panel with an abstract Kokopeli?

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Hands panel with faint images that may be Kokopeli figures.  This panel is adjacent to the one in the previous photo.  Note the different style.

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Unusual rock.

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05-25 10-58 ms.mp4
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Further explorations along the alcove - faded pictographs and hand prints.  Will & Mike think some are fake but they look real to me. You be the judge.

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Further exploration along the alcove with more faded pictographs and hand prints.

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Continuing exploration of the alcove - finding a panel with a multitude of "bird" figures.

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Panel with bird figures.

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Nick M, Will, and Nick T at the Bird panel.

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Nick M, Will and Nick T.

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View from the alcove.

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Back from their explorations, we have lunch and get ready to head back out.

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Will, Nick M, & Nick T.

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Lost Ranger Flippy competition - Will & Mike.
Click Here for an explanation of the "Lost Ranger Flippy".

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Packs on via Lost Ranger Flippy!

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On our way again after our lunch and exploration break, Bill & Will hiking over a slickrock section of the wash.

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Bill rounding a bend in the canyon.

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Mike's commentary as we are on our way down the Gulch in the increasing heat of the day.

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Will & Mike outpacing Bill (as usual) as the wash becomes rockier.  The bluff in the distance is at the head of False Trail Canyon.

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Back on slickrock, will and Mike getting further ahead as we near False Trail Canyon.

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Along the way (near False Trail Cyn), we see that our friend the bear is continuing down the Gulch.

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Photo of the bear tracks.

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We see our first water at the mouth of False Trail Canyon - with multitudes of tadpoles. Video continues on past Collins Canyon to the Narrows with the Nicks passing us along the way.

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Interesting pattern in the rocks of the streambed.

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Sandy stretch at the mouth of Collins Canyon.

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Headland is on the south side of Collins Canyon.  From here it is a short stroll down to The Narrows.

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Nick T passing Bill at Collins Canyon.  The Narrows is at the notch in the skyline.

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Telephoto view down canyon from the previous photo - you can see the top of The Narrows ahead.

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Nick T

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Bill, Nick M, & Nick T approaching The Narrows.

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Nick M at the Narrows.

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Logs from past flash floods show how you wouldn't want to be here during one.  I was hoping to find water here - in 2000 there was a sizable puddle and in 2006 there was a "lake" as SHOWN HERE

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Patterns in the rock at the narrows.

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Looking up at The Narrows below the log jam.

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View of the Narrows - we had planned to go down canyon a lot further, but even though it was only 2:00 pm (Mtn Time).  It was too hot and with undependable water sources, we made the decision to camp nearby.  There were a couple of small pools of water just upstream of the Narrows.

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Mike and Nick M explore down canyon from the Narrows for a possible campsite.

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Fun with a lizard at the Narrows.

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Lizard (No Lizards were harmed in the filming of this video!)

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Back home

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Close up

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View of the Narrows from the rincon cut off by the Narrows.

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Relaxing in the shade

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Video of the bedding layers in the sandstone of the wash below the Narrows.

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Cacti not quite ready to bloom

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Looking for a campsite, I found these cacti blooms.

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Yellow and red blooms of prickly pear cactus.

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More blooms

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Close up of cactus bloom.

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Cactus bloom heavy with pollen.

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Sun behind one side of the Narrows.

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Bill coming back from his trip looking for a camp downstream of the Narrows.

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Looking at the downstream end of the Narrows - Nick M is doing a little climbing practice.
HERE is a photo from the same spot in 2006.

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Panoramic shot upstream of the Narrows.

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The old man is worn out!

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Exploring the upstream end of the rincon, the Nicks attempt to climb up onto a higher ledge.

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Views from the ledge of the rincon as well as looking down into the Gulch.  The Nicks continue their attempt to get to the upper ledge.

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A small ruin found by the Nicks

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Panoramic view from the upper ledge with the Narrows about 1/4 from the right edge.  Nick M is at the right.
(Best viewed at original size)

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Another panoramic photo from the ledge but this one has the Narrows to the left of center.
(best viewed at original size)

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Following the ledge upstream, False Trail Canyon appears with it's distinctive bluff to the left of center.

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Will shows his scars from bushwhacking through the cacti.

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05-25 15-15 ms.mp4
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Mike and Will explore a more recent pictograph panel, possibly by Navajos.

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Watching the Nicks getting down from the upper ledge.

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Finding animal tracks in the wash.

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Late afternoon sun on the canyon walls just below the Narrows.

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Mike and Will - Pictograph panel including what I call the "Harvey" pictograph.

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Mike and Will along the ledge with several pictograph panels.
(Enlarge to find them)

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"Harvey" pictograph with adjoining group that looks like those stickers people put on the back windows of their minivans.

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Bighorn sheep? with a faded group of marching people?

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Pattern - similar to a much older one at the Green Mask Panel

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Another grouping, which includes a faint "corn" symbol at the upper left (enlarge photo), several human figures, and a large white "turkey".

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Some of the images have faded away here - hard to determine what they represent.  Possible "corn" symbol at right (red circle with white stem)

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A lot of faded images here - a red "corn" symbol, some human figures including one with a red (blood?) swath.

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More birds?

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Hard to interpret this one - looks like humal figures in some way with those diagonal strips.

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Will & Mike at the Narrows

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Shortly after we set up camp, the skies darkened and it looked like we were going to be in for a sudden storm, but it dissipated just as fast as it came up.

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Mike talks about our campsite for the last night of our trip while water heats for our supper.

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Will & Mike braiding yucca as taught by our shuttle driver.

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Nick T's photo looking towards the Narrows from downstream.

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After supper the Nicks went exploring down canyon and wound up HERE
(note distinctive "fishbone" pattern in rock)

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Another view of the basin with the "fishbone" pattern.

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