Monday, December 26, 2011

The view from Canaan

Arizona Strip
 To say you can see Zion from Canaan is to make a declaration of Biblical proportions.  If Zion is Heaven on Earth, then I think we found another piece of it today. In fact, we not only saw Zion to the North and East, but we saw Pine Valley Mountain (largest laccolith on Earth) to the West; the Arizona Strip to the West and South; and Bryce Canyon's Paunsegaunt towering over Zion to the East--each of which are  destinations in their own right.

Andy Ballard and Leon Gubler knew the route to the abandoned lumber drop off the West face of Canaan Mountain.  Getting up on Canaan Mountain from Short Creek canyon is a bit rough, and the light snow on the sandstone was slick as ice.  Between icy streams and snow covered sandstone, we had about 4 or 5 fall-downs.  Thankfully no persons or, even more importantly, no animals were harmed in the making of this story.  (Got that PETA?)

We took the Outlaw Trail up out of the deep Short Creek canyon into the newly designated Canaan Mountain Wilderness.  The trail gets its name from its illegal construction by some 4-wheeler enthusiasts who hacked the trail out of the mountainside with heavy equipment and concrete saws.  God bless 'em too, because there just isn't any other good way to get to the lumber drop now that the feds have closed the roads into her heart. The Squirrel Trail, which we accessed to come back off the Canaan, used to be the only way up--and it definitely isn't for the faint of heart.  The year-old Outlaw Trail makes getting where we went and back a one-day project, where before, it was too risky or too far.

The pioneers who named her Canaan knew, from the view on her forested sandstone tops, that such a name was more than just hyperbole.

Pine Valley Mountain in backdrop
Paunsegaunt (Bryce Canyon) over Zion

Canaan Gap, Arizona Strip

Mule Skinner

Lumber drop

Dizzy Much?

Cable Spool at the lumber drop


Cindy said...

That was an AMAZING ride!!!

DrGooch said...

You were tough. Good thing you were on Minnie Pearl!