Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day Four: Price to Bryce Bicycle Ride


Wednesday, August 29, 2012.  Day 4, Price to Bryce Bicycle Ride: Boulder to Escalante.


Map and Elevation Change graph for Day 4.
x-axis: starts at zero miles, each hatch mark equals 10 miles.
y-axis: starts at 5000 ft. each hatch mark equals 500 ft.

         Early morning's low light and cool temperatures accompanied the cyclists as they left Boulder at 7:30 a.m.  Today’s short ride included a series of ups and downs along Utah Highway 12, a designated Scenic Byway through the canyon country of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument


Undulating Highway 12 winds its way through the Monument.

Tim overlooks the canyon containing Upper and Lower Calf Creek
Falls and Calf Creek Recreation Area.

          Calf Creek Recreation Area is the main attraction along this stretch of highway.  The six-mile round-trip hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls and the four mile round-trip hike to Upper Calf Creek Falls provide excellent examples of the geologic and scenic wonders of this region.  Tim and I have hiked both trails in the past; however we didn’t take the time for this side trip today.  


Along the Lower Calf Creek Falls trail.
Upper Calf Creek Falls.

Lower Calf Creek Falls.




          Leaving Calf Creek the road climbs through multi-colored sandstone formations, then descends through ranchland to the town of Escalante.  Tim and Mark rolled into town by 11:00 a.m. and we found our luxury B&B, the Slot Canyons Inn, 5 miles west of there.  We arrived too early for check-in—what to do instead?   We decided on a trip to Peek-A-Boo and Spooky slot canyons in the National Monument.  These two slot canyons, although non-technical, are full of challenging climbs and narrow passageways.  Click here to read my report about our day of action and adventure in the slots.


The arrow is pointing to Tim as he climbs a hill between Calf Creek
and Escalante.  If you can't see the bright jersey, click on the photo
to enlarge.
This photo illustrates why Highway 12 was
designated a National Scenic Byway.

Tim and Mark, rolling into the town of Escalante.

            After our adventures in the slot canyons we returned to the appropriately named Slot Canyons Inn and savored meals of local grass-fed beef while dining alfresco at The North Creek Grill, on-site at the B&B.  Everyone agreed—this was our favorite day of the journey so far!


This piece of tile work graces the
front wall of the Slot Canyons Inn.
To view the other four days of the Price to Bryce bicycle adventure, click on the following links:

4 comments:

  1. Glad to hear this journey wasn't all grueling climbs and sore muscles! What a beautiful route - and amazing waterfalls.

    Sounds like you've enjoyed some wonderful inns and meals on this trip, too - that's my idea of a great journey.

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  2. Day 4's route was truly short and sweet. The waterfalls are an added bonus in this area—southern Utah's canyon country is not known for an abundance of water!

    And you're right, the comfortable inns and great food made this an all-around great journey.

    Thanks for your comments, Vickie!

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  3. You and Tim could well have been the models for the two hikers depicted in that piece of tile work that graces the front wall of the Slot Canyons Inn!

    Anyway, this Part IV of your Price to Bryce series is another enjoyable read, and the photos are impressive! A great sense of perspective on the vastness of this region is provided in the photo which shows Tim as a diminutive figure on the landscape. And yes, your photo of a portion of Highway 12 clearly illustrates why it is designated a National Scenic Byway.

    John

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I thought those hikers in the tile work looked kind of like us...

      Thanks for posting your thoughtful comments, John!

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