Arizona Trail Approach Day 6: Paría Canyon and Buckskin Gulch (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

I’m running low on battery in these canyons with extremely limited solar power to recharge. The day starts with a flight of bats flying down the canyon. After that exciting start, I decide to hike up to Slide Rock and then turn around and hit Buckskin Gulch. Just past the confluence of Paría Canyon and Buckskin, I run into a friendly guide named Jeff who gives me one of his battery packs. (When I later tried to return it, I’m told by several others who encountered him that he said I could keep it, that he was heading out but was happy to give it to someone who needed it!). Trail magic is awesome.

Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon-Buckskin Gulch Confluence, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paría Canyon, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Slide Rock, Paria Canyon (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.)
Slide Rock Arch, Paria Canyon (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.)

Leaving my pack at the confluence of Paría Canyon and Buckskin Gulch, I scout the east end of Buckskin. The only potential issue I encounter is the major boulder jam or “Rabbit Hole.” I use a rope to get up and over it and continue on, meeting more people hiking through Buckskin (most people do Buckskin and the Northern section of Paría as a two day hike, entering at Wire Pass and exiting at White House). I wind up ending at the middle exit, where I gain satellite service with my Garmin inReach and I’m informed of an expression of interest and potential interview with Organ Pipe at 4:30. I try to call but there’s no cell signal, so no luck. I doubletime it back to the rabbit hole in an effort to get to White House and get service. The rope is gone. Talking with Jim and Tim, two others who I crossed paths with on the way out and met up again on the return, I identify an alternate path across. I get back and pick up my pack for about 1/2 mile and then abandon it when it’s clear it will prevent me from making it.

Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.)
Reflections of the sky view up in the water in the Gulch floor, Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.)
Reflections of the sky view up in the water in the Gulch floor, Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.)
Reflections of the sky view up in the water in the Gulch floor, Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

When it becomes clear I won’t make it at all, I reach out to inform them that I tried but can’t make it. As it turns out, they are having phone issues so we reschedule to next week. I give some local advice to Tom and Reagan and head back to camp near the confluence for the night. Tomorrow I’ll head through Buckskin toward Wire Pass, and from there to the actual AZT start at Stateline Campground.

Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Boulder jams in Buckskin Gulch. This isn’t the major one. You don’t want to be here when one of these comes through.
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Tight squeeze! Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.
Buckskin Gulch narrowing to one of its tighter segments. Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Petroglyphs (Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Landscape above the Middle Exit of Buckskin Gulch (Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
View into Buckskin Gulch from the rim at the Middle Exit (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Buckskin Gulch (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Paria Canyon (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Paria Canyon at sunset (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Paria Canyon above the Narrows (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Paria Canyon above the Narrows (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)
Paria Canyon above the Narrows (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

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