Not Long Canyon
This canyon was first encountered on the way to Cobra Arch In April. It is the canyon you pass through on the way to the Middle Route Trailhead. From the side of the road, you drop down north into the drainage. Walk upstream (west) for about 3/4 of a mile or so (depends where you park). The stream narrows gradually, and the walls rise dramatically, for the short stretch we hiked. One slight dry fall is bypassed to the right. The walls are pocketed with what we locals call Moqui Marbles. These spherical nodules are iron oxide concretions and are present for most of the hike. It seems that this canyon passes through a sandstone layer that is chocked full of them. High on the wall, we spotted a bee hive with intricate comb in a pocket of sandstone. This all ended for us in the form of a dramatic 80 foot dry fall. Because of time constraints and the amount of backtracking involved, above this dry fall was not explored. Two stream branches break off from above this dry fall and Long Valley Road travels between them, up a ridge and out to Middle Route trailhead, which is 4 miles later. Driving on the upper reaches of Long Valley Road is not recommended during wet or frozen weather. It has a clay base and is incredibly slick when wet. Because of the shortness (but sweetness) of this hike, it would be an excellent addition to hiking the Rimrock Toadstools, Car Wash, or Cobra Arch.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.