With 16 new mapped regions and an additional 32 new pages, Michael R. Kelsey has once again expanded his number-one-selling guidebook: Non-Technical Canyon Hiking Guide to the Colorado Plateau. In this new 6th edition, Kelsey has added many new hikes abundant with rock art and ruins that will bring the history and mystery of the Plateau alive. He has also added many new scenic and photogenic hikes whose beauty will be etched into your mind forever. New hikes can be found in Cathedral Valley in Capitol Reef National Park and in White Pockets—an amazing region of the Sand Hills/Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Other new hiking regions include Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, Inscription Rock, Cañon Pintado, and Dinosaur National Monument. Kelsey has also included over 380 color photographs, most of which are new to this edition. Though the hikes that are considered technical—where ropes and rappelling are required—have been placed in Kelsey’s other top-selling guidebook, Technical Slot Canyon Guide to the Colorado Plateau, 2nd Edition, two of the more adventurous hikes still remain—the Black Hole and West Canyon. Whether you are new to hiking and canyoneering the Colorado Plateau or an old desert rat, this new edition is a must have.
416 pages, 385 photographs, perfect Bound, 15cms x 23cms (6″x9″), ISBN 978-0944510-27-8
US$19.95 (Mail orders $22)
Guidebook Updates and Corrections
Sept. 21, 2015; Floods expose delicate balance in twin towns at Short Creek, Utah
Lindsay Whitehurst ASSOCIATED PRESS SALT LAKE CITY — The secluded polygamous towns tucked between stunning red-rock cliffs have survived for more than 100 years, despite Utah and Arizona’s efforts to dismantle them and expose abuses. After at least 12 women and children were killed by flash floods on Sept. 14, two of the fathers of the victims made a rare public plea for Utah to leave them alone, laying bare authorities’ delicate dance between investigating abuses and alienating the very people they’re trying to help in the isolated com- munities of Hildale and Colorado City on the Utah-Arizona line. With cameras rolling, the two grief-stricken fathers read statements that pivoted from the loss of their families to what one called “religious genocide” against people who consider notorious, jailed leader Warren Jeffs a prophet of God. Sheldon Black Jr. and Joseph N. Jessop said their families have been evicted from their homes, leaving them scrambling for a place to live “because they will not forsake their religious beliefs.” Utah seized the trust that holds most of the group’s homes and property a decade ago amid allegations of mismanagement, and state- appointed managers recently began evicting people after residents refused to pay $100-a-month occupancy fees for years, depriving the trust of more than $4 million. Officials say religion has nothing to do with the evictions, but leaders acknowledge government officials are usually shunned in the community. Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox said his welcome when he visited the town after the devastating flash floods was an encouraging sign. “If there’s a silver lining that’s coming out of this, it’s that they’re letting us help,” he told lawmakers. Polygamy is a legacy of the early Mormon church, and while the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abandoned the practice more than a century ago, of thousands of people in radical offshoot sects throughout the western U.S. still believe it brings exaltation in heaven. One of those groups settled in the red-rock outpost in the early 1900s, hoping its remoteness would shield them from official, prying eyes. In the years since, the two states straddled by the twin polygamous towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ari- zona, developed a long history of unsuccessfully trying to stamp out polygamy. A 1953 raid in the area, then known as Short Creek, turned into a public relations disaster for Arizona authorities after news photographers’ pictures of children being torn from their mothers’ arms stirred up public sympathy. The raid also left scars that still linger for families in the two towns. As the decades passed, Utah authorities shied away from prosecuting consenting adult polygamists in favor of trying to build trust and investigate serious allegations of things like under- age marriages. The turmoil increased after Jeffs took over. In 2008, there was another raid, this one in Texas, that briefly removed hundreds of children from their families. But this one also turned up solid evidence that Jeffs had married under- age girls he considered brides, and he’s now serving a life sentence behind bars in Texas. Nevertheless, Jeffs wields considerable influence in Hildale and Colorado City, with about 6,000 of the 7,700 residents still considering him their leader. In town, you can often tell his followers by their prairie-like outfits and distinctive hairdos. In recent years, Jeffs’ edicts have grown increasingly bizarre, and with the help of faithful leaders on the ground, he’s excommunicated a growing number of people from the sect. While some ex-members have left the remote red-rock outpost, others have chosen to stay and open long- neglected lines of communication with the outside world. Parents who were ordered by Jeffs to pull their children out of public school have now returned them to classrooms. The towns have been divided along religious lines. While the tragic flooding briefly eased those deep divisions during the early search, they soon snapped back into place. These days, other polygamists are turning to the courts to make the case they should be free to marry who they choose. Kody Brown and his four wives, known for the TV show “Sister Wives,” won a landmark victory when a federal judge struck down key parts of Utah’s law banning plural marriage, removing the threat of arrest for those families. Utah is appealing the ruling, but some advocates say de-criminalizing the practice could help bring more polygamists out of the shadows. Typically, the people in Colorado City and Hildale avoid outsiders and run from cameras, but those habits changed in the immediate aftermath of the flood, including the grieving fathers’ news conference. The two men also expressed their gratitude for authorities’ help with the search, but it remains to be seen whether the disaster will bring any long-term changes.
The driving distance from Highway 95 west of Blanding, Utah, to the parking place for the Over & Under Ruins is about 10.6 miles instead of what’s mentioned on Map 59 on page 174 (9.6 miles–lost 1 mile in the addition/subtraction!). According to Jim Lloyd, don’t confuse the correct trailhead turnoff with another ATV track leading south which is about 500-600m to the east.
Update for Little Wild Horse Canyon, San Rafael Swell
The road is now paved all the way from Temple Junction on Highway 24, to Goblin Valley, and on to the trailhead at Little Wild Horse & Bell Canyons.
Video —The Subway
In early September, 2011, Isabela Brozyna and Milan Petrik went through The Subway in Zion National Park with a GoPro camera. Click on the following link for a kind of birds eye, or fishes eye, view of most of their hike. In the first part of this video, it shows lots of swimming, but you can avoid some of that by scrambling along a hiker’s trail above and on the south side. If you decide to swim through that part, a wetsuit would make it more enjoyable; but few use wetsuits, at least in summer. In cooler weather, wetsuits would be pretty much mandatory.
Video —The Black Hole—Page 152
In July of 2011, a young couple went through the Black Hole of Upper White Canyon with a GoPro camera. It recorded their adventure which included lots of swimming which is normal for the Black Hole. They did it without wetsuits but were happy to see the sun whenever possible. Milan Petrik is from Ceska–he wore the camera most of the time, while Isabela Brozyna is from Polska. They’re living and working in Chicago.
Update for Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon Photo Tours, near mile post 302 on Highway 98, navajoantelopecanyon.com, has 2 new tele. numbers; 928-380-1874 & 928-209-6646.