On a Mission to see Willis Creek
We were on a Mission to see Willis Creek last Sunday but we didn’t even know it. Ashley and I started the day heading to Water Canyon, a hike I had done two weeks previous. As we sat at the Subway about to go in, I changed my mind and luckily for me Ashley was spontaneous and went with it!
I said, “Let’s go somewhere else. I don’t know where, let’s just try another hike!” So we start googling as I drive towards Kanab, UT where I knew a number of other hikes were to be found. Kanab was about 30 minutes away from Hildale where we were originally going to hike.. As we drove, we looked at photos and read up on the hike options we had and although not close by, we came up with Willis Creek. It was a short enough hike, easy enough to do on a limited time span, and the slots started almost straight out of the parking lot.
So we decided to take a little road that we spotted on some blogs that would take us straight there called Cottonwood Canyon. It was a bad choice- we drove 40 miles east on 89 to get to it, only to see that the road had been closed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). So we made the trek back to Kanab and then all the way up and around on the 89 to the 12 east which took us right past Bryce Canyon.
We didn’t take into consideration the elevation change and it wasn’t until we tried to stop at Subway that we realized our mistake. It was friggin’ COLD out!!! We were dressed for a much warmer climate.. Luckily we had sweatshirts on us. We got to the town of Cannondale which was where the trailhead was located and stopped at the hotel/gas station/visitors center to grab some food to eat on our hike. We grabbed premade sandwiches and cheetos to garnish them with. Following the directions from a couple of sites, we made our way to the outskirts of town and then we made some mistakes.
It said to take a well maintained dirt road at the 2.8 mile mark. Well we hit the 2.5 mile mark and got excited when we saw a well maintained dirt road. So we took it 6 miles and tried to make what the directions described be where we were at and it just wasn’t adding up. We weren’t finding the trailhead. So we went all the way back to the main road and finished the last of the 2.8 miles to find the CORRECT well maintained dirt road that took us 6 miles back through the woods to the parking area and the trailhead.
It was after 330pm by this time, and we knew we didn’t have a ton of time to hike and shoot photos so we got trekking. It was a little over a mile in and a mile out for the slot canyon so it wasn’t a huge hike but when I get to shooting photos.. Well you can imagine how much time can get lost.. The slot canyon had a slight amount of water in the creek and we got our feet a tiny bit wet but overall it was a VERY easy hike with a lot to see.. Section after section of slot canyon; definitely a hike you can bring the entire family on, including the dog!
I won’t say much more about it, i’ll just let the photos speak for themeselves..