The washboard road seemed to rattle our every bone. Trin and I could see the glances from our three friends that we convinced to go with us. The glances said, “Where are you taking us?”
A plate flew out of the cupboard and shattered on the floor. The cupboards had good clasps but the road was just too much for it. We really should not have been driving a 25-foot RV on a road that was more suitable for high-clearance or 4WD vehicles.
“We can skip this hike if you want,” Gene said as he reached for the dashboard again. It’s not that he didn’t trust Trin’s driving, but it was instinct as we fishtailed from time to time.
Doubt was visible in his eyes. Uly and Xandra kindly added that they were okay with us skipping this as well. Angst tumbled around us as we all wondered if the RV would hold up. Ahead all we could see was a flat plane filled with dust and low shrubs.
Twenty-six dusty miles later we parked near the end of Hole in the Rock Road where Dry Fork Road begins. Still nothing new in sight. Together the five of us climbed out and walked down a dusty path. Our friends still wondering if we knew what we were doing.
After trudging for ten minutes, we caught the first glimpse of the adventure ahead. It was as if the plane had been ripped open and created what is now called Dry Fork Gulch.
We hiked our way down to the bottom, some suggest rope for this decent, but it can be done without one. We made our way to the first slot canyon along the edge of the Dry Fork. It is called Peek-a-Boo Canyon and as its name indicates its narrow opening can be easy to miss.
We climbed up into the sandstone passage that gradually twists its way back up to the plane above. We climbed and squeezed our way through winding stone laughing when we got stuck and wiggling our way forward.
“AAAHHH!” Gene yelled.
“What was that?” I asked following not far behind.
“AAAHHH!” I yelled slipping down the same stone he just descended,
“Oh, you found it,” both Gene and I laughed.
At the top of our first slot canyon, we took goofy pictures that emanated from the pure giddy feelings of the hidden treasure we had just traversed.
After enjoying Peek-a-Boo, we followed the gulch to the next slot called Spooky Gulch. This has a large dark entrance that quickly narrows. Taking off our small day packs we squeezed sideways through the winding turns.
Not only is this canyon narrow but it also has a few fun scrambles up through it. At times we had to push our backs against a wall while planting our feet on the opposite wall, trying to crawl our way up.
In places, the canyon becomes very dark and the wavy stone surfaces cool to the touch. Some little scrambles are downright spooky.
At the end of the day, the five of us, dusty and happy, climbed back into the RV for a washboard ride back to the main road. Trin and I heard clapping. Gene, Uly, and Xandra clapped and exclaimed thanks for the day. It became the highlight of our Utah exploration.
Although this remote treasure is a blast to traverse it can be very dangerous due to the risk of flash floods. Be sure to check the weather report for all surrounding areas. The flat plane does not soak up rain quickly so the water rushes to low-lying areas like this gulch and its slot canyons. These flash floods can become life-threatening within moments. There is also danger in its remoteness. Always let someone know your path and estimated return. Be sure to take extra water.
We headed back the same way we entered, down 26 miles of washboard Hole in the Rock Rd. From there we continued on to a breathtaking scenic drive through the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Gene and I discussed many of the theories on how this all formed.
We found another BLM camping spot for the night and stood in wonder as we looked at the stars above us. The weather was so nice that just opening the windows kept the RV at a cozy temperature. This day was the making of a memory that will last a lifetime.