Paria River Wilderness - USA, Utah

In September of 2018 we did a short trip to the Paria River Canyon. Since September is considered a “monsoon season” in Southern Utah, we had the Canyon to ourselves (not counting snakes). The area is absolutely spectacular and the feel of remoteness adds to the sense of adventure. The entire Paria Canyon crossing is 34 miles long. Since we had limited amount of time, we hiked to the Paria River and Buckskin Gulch confluence from the Whitehouse campground (12 miles) and back. It really gave us a sense of what the entire crossing would be like. Since the river is very silty, water is a major concern. We carried 5 litres each. Since it is very hot, 5 lites is good for max 2 days. The nearest spring is 13 to 14 miles from the start. Because of the massive flooding in the summer of 2018, parts of the Canyon were completely submerged and dotted with deep water holes. This forced us to swim across long stretches in some spots. In other places, the water was up to our armpits but walkable. After the hike, everything was covered in filmy mud that required serious scrubbing with soap to wash off. Thankfully, we did not get caught in any quick sand.

Greater-So-Utah-Zion-Map.jpg
paria map 2.gif
IMG_4599.jpg
The Whitehouse campground area

The Whitehouse campground area

IMG_4588.jpg
The entrance to the canyon proper

The entrance to the canyon proper

IMG_4253.jpg
We encountered MUD and a lot of it!

We encountered MUD and a lot of it!

constantly sliding through pools of liquid mud

constantly sliding through pools of liquid mud

IMG_4271.jpg
IMG_4283.jpg
Spectacular scenery of the Paria River Canyon

Spectacular scenery of the Paria River Canyon

IMG_4396.jpg
IMG_4300.jpg
Caverns made by rushing Paria River. When we were there, the river was running at 2 cubic feet per second. We encountered a small flash flood and the river flow increased to 9 cubic feet per second. It was already hard to swim against the current and our packs got washed away. During the severe flooding in July of 2018, the river was punching 10,000 cubic feet per second!!!! Wow!

Caverns made by rushing Paria River. When we were there, the river was running at 2 cubic feet per second. We encountered a small flash flood and the river flow increased to 9 cubic feet per second. It was already hard to swim against the current and our packs got washed away. During the severe flooding in July of 2018, the river was punching 10,000 cubic feet per second!!!! Wow!

Small side slot canyon along the Paria River Canyon

Small side slot canyon along the Paria River Canyon

The gift from nature

The gift from nature

IMG_4544.jpg
IMG_4542.jpg
IMG_4522.jpg
The sun bakes the soil. It was very hot in the sun.

The sun bakes the soil. It was very hot in the sun.

Our campsite on the banks of the Paria River.

Our campsite on the banks of the Paria River.

Drying out in the blazing sun - it was at least 40C

Drying out in the blazing sun - it was at least 40C

IMG_7747.jpg
Preparing to swim through a deep pool of liquid mud. I did not realize that there were snakes in the water! One got logged inside the pack after it was washed away by the river during a small flash flood.

Preparing to swim through a deep pool of liquid mud. I did not realize that there were snakes in the water! One got logged inside the pack after it was washed away by the river during a small flash flood.

IMG_4288.jpg
Exploring the Paria Canyon. We left our packs behind and during our exploration the river flow quadrupled. The packs got washed away. We found them downstream from where we left them. One of them had a snake stuck in it. When the river is flowing high, the snakes flow with it :-). After our hike, we received a lecture from a local on the types of snakes in the canyon. Apparently, the bad one has eyes of a cat. It is hard to check when you are freaking out after finding one in your pack!

Exploring the Paria Canyon. We left our packs behind and during our exploration the river flow quadrupled. The packs got washed away. We found them downstream from where we left them. One of them had a snake stuck in it. When the river is flowing high, the snakes flow with it :-). After our hike, we received a lecture from a local on the types of snakes in the canyon. Apparently, the bad one has eyes of a cat. It is hard to check when you are freaking out after finding one in your pack!

In the Paria River, crossing one of the deeper sections

In the Paria River, crossing one of the deeper sections

IMG_4418.jpg
IMG_4423.jpg
IMG_4427.jpg
IMG_4320.jpg
IMG_4389.jpg
IMG_4414.jpg
IMG_4241.jpg
IMG_4441.jpg
IMG_4476.jpg
IMG_4446.jpg
Near the confluence of the Paria Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch

Near the confluence of the Paria Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch

IMG_4402.jpg
IMG_4405.jpg
IMG_4566.jpg
IMG_4482.jpg
IMG_4515.jpg
The Whitehouse campsite run by the BLM

The Whitehouse campsite run by the BLM

Escalante NP/Paria Wilderness

Escalante NP/Paria Wilderness

The badlands of the Paria Wilderness/Escalante

The badlands of the Paria Wilderness/Escalante

IMG_3876.jpg