Is this real life? Zebra Slot Canyon, Escalante, UT

Family pic in one of the coolest slots around — Zebra Slot Canyon in Escalante, UT
Fall is absolutely my favorite time of the year in southern Utah. The temps are perfect — only getting into the mid 70’s, the parks are empty, and the skies seem even bluer than normal. One of the best hiking spots (in my opinion) is anywhere off of Hole in the Rock Road. From Kanab, the drive is about 2 and a half hours. That might seem like a haul, but the trip there is through gorgeous open landscapes filled with colorful mountains and looney tune-esque red rock structures. 
When deciding where to go this weekend, we took into account that the kids (now 5 and 7) are getting considerably better at hiking longer distances with more obstacles. I really REALLY wanted to get back to Zebra Slot in Escalante. It’s not a hard hike at all, but it’s about 5 miles round trip with some hills and there’s also waist deep water to navigate through (very tight walls). We decided to give it a shot.
The trail head is only 8 miles down Hole in the Rock Road (which can still take a while depending on the road conditions). Park off to the left and then you’ll see the trail on your right. The trail to the wash is about 2 miles and it’s easy to follow. After about 3/4 mile the scenery changes and you are surrounded by awesome buttes and really trippy rock formations with zigzag stripes and woven textures. Our kids love to climb. So off they went up the sides of any mountain they thought they could scale. I have a feeling this mama is going to be having panic attacks once they are old enough to go off on their own 🙂 
Me and the boys en route to Zebra – super awesome fall afternoon.

Swirly orange rocks and lots of things to climb on.

My little mountain goat, Harry

purty desert flowers

When we got to the wash (after about 2 miles give or take…) you head to the left and look for the cairns across the creek bed. You follow these another quarter mile or so until the mouth of the slot canyon. We ran into some other hikers who were sure they found the wrong canyon because this one “had waist deep water”. Yup, that’s typical. So prepare to get pretty cold and wet.

You have to wade through the icy water for  about .2 miles. It varies from ankle deep to waist deep but it is worth it. There was a fair share of screaming 🙂 (bad mom right here…) but we did manage to hoist JJ up on Steve’s shoulders and I carried Harry through the worst of it.

Once in the actual Zebra slot, the awesomeness unfolds before your eyes — swirly purple walls on both sides and just enough room to feel like you can dart in and out of the magnificent folds. It’s really such a mind-boggling place.

Another family pic — one with everyone ALL SMILES! (see, totally worth it)

My lil’ explorers

Hi Mom

Harry is in awe.. JJ’s ready to climb

My little spiderman

Getting a lift from Daddy

A cute little hiking buddy

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