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Paradise Canyon Kaparowits Plateau, UT
mini location map2013-05-16
38 by photographer avatarRedRoxx44
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Paradise Canyon Kaparowits Plateau, UT 
Paradise Canyon Kaparowits Plateau, UT
Backpack avatar May 16 2013
Backpack26.00 Miles
Backpack26.00 Miles2 Days   4 Hrs      
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Paradise canyon is a long canyon with some water on the Kaparowits Plateau. Access is via the Four Mile Bench road, which continues on past Grosvenor Arch, which is a stop for most tourists in the Cannonville/ Kodachrome park/ Cottonwood Canyon road area. Most people go to the arch, take pics and turn around. The road continues onto the plateau, with many branches to seeps or tanks, ranch outposts and general access to the western Kaparowits or Wild Horse Mesa- a term coined by Zane Gray.
I ventured here in the late 90's in the big red jeep and my friend Jerry from San Diego. A side road went into a canyon bottom, to a corral. Pretty area. We kept driving, quad tracks in the canyon bottom. Ended up being an off road adventure coming out Last Chance canyon, with some tech 4 wheeling, then we connected to Smokey mtn road. Still quad tracks in the bottom of Paradise, and some cow evidence, but no fire rings, campsites etc. I wanted to come back here to hike and get into some side canyons.
Parked at the road end. Cloudy and warm. No bugs thank goodness. I walked a couple of miles in then found a nice campspot near water, which is seep driven and plentiful in mid Paradise. The upper and lower ends were dry. The main canyon is big and easy walking with buff colored eroded walls and cottonwoods to add the green color. The canyon bottom is pretty clean and although boggy good footing. The side canyons I explored, about 5-6, are rugged, most have pour offs short distances up them, but due to the nature of the sandstone here, broken down, a go round is easy to find.
The next day I hiked down the the confluence of Paradise and Last Chance canyons. Some of the scenery was coming back to me. The land opens up here with big buttes and more evidence of the coal formation the Kaparowits is known for. I dropped my pack and walked up Last Chance aways, the coal seams evident in the walls here. I saw some petrified wood but no fossils.
The weather now turned cloudy, cool and windy. Perfect for hiking, this area would be an oven in full summer. I walked down Last Chance abit also, I knew water would be on down but didn't want to go that far so turned around and trudged back almost to the the junction of my side canyon entrance and upper Paradise canyon.
The next day I went up Paradise, the canyon becoming more serpentine and the walls starting to lower. Some huge undercuts here, one was an amphitheater, with a private large fair weather camp area, I was entertained by a pair of ravens circling and calling above me. A seep provided a grass fringed ledge with water.
Finally some small low narrows, then the canyon bottom more rocky and getting into more vegetation. I turned around as the sky was darkening and rain was spitting. It was going to be minimal, no significant rain forecasted. The several days of solitude here was just what I needed. Back to the car and the drive out. I paused at the turn off to Tommy Smith canyon. I had done a short hike here years ago, getting out when hammered by a big storm that turned the roads into a quagmire. It has water too, which is a premium on the plateau, and lots of small alcoves which makes it high on ruins potential. I wasn't motivated and making a short trip this spring, headed back down Cottonwood Canyon road to my next TH near Old Pareah.
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