Paul Bunyan's Woodpile is an interesting geological feature in Central Utah, that looks like a "woodpile" of logs left behind by the giant lumberjack of American & Canadian Folklore. Really the woodpile is a cluster of lava rocks formed about 30 million years ago; the logs were then formed into orderly columns.
White Pocket is a beautiful area for outdoor lovers in search of Navajo Sandstone, including domes, hoodoos, potholes, and more. It's located in a 20 by 20 mile zone, within the Paria Plateau and Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. Hiking around and exploring White Pocket is easy - it's the drive that is the hard part.
It's here - the Ultimate Guide for dog friendly hikes in Escalante, Utah!
These are the questions I get ALL the time, "Where can I take my dog in the Escalante area? What's a good place to camp, or get a hotel?" "When is the best time of year to visit?" So I decided to compile all the information in one place!
The Portal Overlook is a great overview looking down to Moab, UT as well as the LaSal Mountains and Colorado River. It's a perfect sunrise hike or good trail when you need something short with a great reward! This isn't a trail you want to do middle of summer - zero shade and water, plus lots of bikers, along with the desert heat will make this miserable and can potentially burn dogs paws. The best time to hike this is in Spring or late Fall when the temps have cooled off. Winter would be okay too, just bring microspikes. While this trail is short, I still carried 2 liters of water for just me and Charlie and we both drank it all. You'll definitely get a workout in as this climbs 800 ft to the overlook.
Mt.Tomasaki (12,239 ft) is a peak in the LaSal Mountains, and one of seven "12ers" in the range. The LaSal Mountains are the 2nd highest mountain range in Utah, behind the Uinta Mountains. Mt.Tomasaki is accessible by a trail half of the way from the Burro Pass TH, and then the second half is off trail but is easy hiking across the high alpine terrain. The trail itself is mostly exposed, with no water source. Start hiking early in the morning to beat the afternoon thunderstorms that occur almost daily in this mountain range. The best time to summit is Summer and Fall (typically late June to the first snowfall in October). Call the LaSal Ranger to make sure Geyser Pass is open before planning your hike here.
Hiking to Mt.Belknap (12,137 ft) is located in the Tushar Mountains, about 4 hours south of SLC, and is one of the taller mountains in the range. The most popular peak in the Tushars is Delano Peak (12,169 ft) because it is the County High Point for both Beaver and Paiute Counties, and is also a much easier trail compared to Belknap. Mt.Belknap is a challenging peak - steep, loose scree is the name of the game here. Another challenging part can be the winter gates - if they are closed then you have a much longer day. If all gates are open, then this is about a 3-4 mile RT hike. However, the gates don't typically open until mid-July, even though a bulk of the snow may be melted. Forest Rangers told me this is because they need time to get up there and still grate the road as well as clear debris.
Haystack Mountain (11,641 ft) is a prominent peak in the LaSal Mountain range just outside of Moab, UT. The LaSal Mountains are the 2nd highest mountain range in Utah, behind the Uinta Mountains. Haystack Mountain is accessible by a trail most of the way - the last 1.5 miles is off trail. The trail itself is mostly well-shaded, with plenty of water for dogs to drink from, from the creek that flows year-round. As you reach the saddle, you'll hike above tree line and will be fully exposed. Start hiking early in the morning to beat the afternoon thunderstorms that occur almost daily in this mountain range. The best time to summit is Summer and Fall (typically late June to the first snowfall in October).
Grandstaff Canyon (previously known at Negro Bill Canyon prior to 2016) follows a perennial stream, along tall Navajo Sandstone, through an oasis of cottonwood and willow trees. Most people say it's not about the destination, it's the journey getting there that is more rewarding. I beg to differ with this trail. The payoff at the end is the spectacular Morning Glory Arch, which spans 243ft, and is the 6th largest natural bridge in the U.S.! This is one trail the whole family will enjoy. In Summer, bring your water shoes as crossing in the stream will feel refreshing. In Winter, you may want to bring microspikes, since most of the trail is shaded by canyon walls. Beware of monsoon season, as you may just catch a waterfall at the right time (photos below).
Powell Point (10,188 ft) reveals the top-most layer at the Colorado Plateau's Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. This colored layer, known as the Pink Cliffs, is the same geologic layer that forms Bryce Canyon National Park. In 1872 the Powell Expedition, led by John Wesley Powell, took a team of two men and three horses to make the first summit of Powell Point, then called Table Mountain, and later Pink Point (as the locals still call it to this day) to make the first ascent via the Water Canyon route.
Willis Creek Slot Canyon is located only 45 minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park, yet tourists hardly ever make the drive to the trailhead. Willis Creek slot canyon offers not only marbled, narrow canyon walls, but it is also entirely flat, has a small waterfall, beautiful scenery in between the sections of the narrows, and it is suitable for any age or hiking ability.