Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Hurricane, UT (3/18 &3/19/2017)

Hurricane is one of many towns in rapidly growing Washington County, having around ten percent  of the county's population that now exceeds 150,000.  The city of St. George is the largest and best known, originally popular with early Mormons wanting to enjoy warmer winters than offered by the Salt Lake Valley.  The county is home to a large number of state and federal parks due to its many rugged areas of spectacular mountains, valleys and streams.  Originally established for agricultural purposes, the county has become the commercial center for the entire region extending into Arizona and Nevada.  Farms, ranches and orchards still represent a significant part of the county, however.

Pam and I moved our base camp to Hurricane in order to visit two specific attractions located in remote parts of the county: Toquerville Falls and Yant Flat.  Both of these I had learned about through internet articles and added them to my list.  My friend, Win Heger, who lives in the town of Toquerville with his wife Yo, confessed to me that he had never been to either place and wanted to join us on a trip to Yant Flat.  They were off on some other adventure the day we chose to visit Toquerville Falls.

The drive to the waterfall is more than ten miles of rough road that took about an hour.  Needless to say, it shouldn't be done in the family sedan.  Most of the vehicles we saw at the falls were ATVs, although some SUVs also managed to get there.  I made a video of the drive that condensed the trip into about eleven minutes.  If you get tired of watching the drive, fast forward to about the nine-minute mark and watch the end.  It can be seen at Toquerville Falls.

It was a warm Saturday when we were there, so we learned that it's a very popular spot for the young people from the area.  Although the silty water did not look that inviting to me, they didn't mind jumping right in, and seemed to be enjoying themselves.

That evening, we scurried about to find a suitable place to view the sunset.  We finally stopped where the paved road ended and a rutted two-track entered a wilderness area.

The next morning, we met up with Win near the freeway on the road to Yant Flat.  He brought a friend, Felicia, who is an experienced canyoneer and wanted to see this particular canyon.  We stopped to pick up another friend, Robert, who was the only one in our group to have actually been to this place.  We drove about ten miles into the national forest, parked on the roadside and hiked about 1.5 miles up a very sandy trail.  The views we found there were certainly worth the effort.

Yant Flat is anything but flat, being a rather large series of canyons and colorful sandstone hills.  It was fun exploring the area, but we never found an easy way to the very bottom, and were concerned about getting out if we had.



After hiking back to the Jeeps, Pam and I left the group and enjoyed our picnic lunch on a boulder overlooking the intersection of three canyons.  Later that afternoon, Win and Yo hosted a pleasant get-together for the group at their beautiful home, with delicious snacks and drinks.  It was the perfect way to end a great day in the wild.  Also, it was Pam's last day before her return to Minnesota, hopefully with a few good memories of her visit to the southwest.

1 comment:

  1. Fitting dramatic and fun photos for the close of an outstanding trip. So many wonderful sights to see in Arizona/Utah: charming towns, trails to explore, canyons to hike, lakes to kayak, plus sunrises/sunsets - all so beautifully photographed. Most, especially the remote areas, would be missed without the LRJ and you, Stan - it's knowledgeable owner. For anyone interested in natural beauty, you can't go wrong with a trip to the areas described and photographed in your travelogues. Two weeks barely scratches the surface of all there is to see and photograph.