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Zebra and Tunnel Slots
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mini location map2015-03-24
51 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Zebra and Tunnel SlotsSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Hiking avatar Mar 24 2015
Hiking7.00 Miles 480 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
480 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Slot #4 on my Trip...Should have been #4 and #5 but that's for later... ;) Somehow when I was Researching Areas before I left, I overlooked this Hike...I found out about it from the Ranger in Escalante...She gave me a Generic Looking Map of the Area, the Mileage to the "TH" and marked a couple of Hashes on the Map. On my way to Peek-a-boo the Day before, I found the TH for it and saw a distinct Trail going East, so I knew that had to be it.

Parked at the "TH" which is right on Hole In the Rock Road. It's just a Pull Off the Road, Dirt Area. It can handle maybe 10 Cars and there is no indication that there is a TH there, except you could see the Trail across the Road...No Signs...

Started Hiking and I must say, what an awesome Trail this was, all the way to Harris Wash and even beyond (I'll get to that later) The Trail is hardpacked Sand or Dirt with no Rocks...There were a few spots that had a short stretch of loose Sand, but that was it. You could really cruise on this Trail and even run it if you wanted. It was Sweet...

The Trail parallels and eventually ends up down in Halfway Hollow...The Geology in Halfway Hollow is Amazing...You pass Formations that have "The Wave" Characteristics and then near Harris Wash, it changes and it almost has a "White Pocket" Appearance in places...When you hit the Bottom of Halfway Hollow, the Trail continues even though you're in a Wash...In a few Spots you cross the Wash and in a few other Spots you walk the Wash for a bit, but if you keep looking, you'll pick up the Trail again out of the Wash. At one point, you walk under a Fence... :lol: Eventually the Wash bends right, but you keep on the Trail going straight and you leave the Wash for awhile. You do a Roller Coaster over a few Hills and then the Trail dumps you into Harris Wash which is good sized. Now you turn Left and start walking in Sand...A little more Effort here...After about 1/4 Mile, you see another large Wash coming in from the Left...Don't go Left, stay straight and continue to follow the Wash that you're in, curving right and then left and then you will see the Entrance to the Zebra Slot straight ahead...It's Easy to Spot.

If you expect to be able to go quite a ways in this Slot, you may be disappointed depending on how Agile you are. But you won't be disappointed in the little bit you do get to see...There were two Pools of Water but they were shallow and short so I just waded on in...Calf Deep is all. I guess at certain Times though, this Slot can be a Swimmer...There was an Obstacle past the Pools where I Chimneyed up and around...This Slot was also hard in Spots because there was no "Floor". You were walking in a Crevice and you had to watch to make sure your Feet didn't get stuck...If you can make it to what I would call the "Hallway" you will be in Awe and understand how this Slot got it's name...Once you negotiate the "Hallway" you will run into another Obstacle. I couldn't Chimney this one and getting up and over it was going to take some moves that I wasn't sure I wanted to try since I was alone. Unlike the Peek-a-boo Area, I only saw 6 people all day on this Hike...So that was my Turn-around Point.

On the way back to where the Trail came in, I started looking for the Tunnel Slot. The Ranger had said that it was about 1/2 Mile from Zebra which would put it right about where the Trail came into the Wash...I didn't see anything so I walked down the Wash past the Trail. Then a Trail appeared on the far side of the Wash and it looked like a continuation of the same Trail I followed to get down here. There was even a Cairn. So I took it. It didn't follow the Wash, but the Wash took a Turn and you crossed it to where the Wash was now on your Left. But the Trail continued up out of the Wash, and paralleled it about 30 Feet over, so I stayed on the Trail. I went over a 1/2 Mile or so on the Trail and it just kept going. I was hoping it would lead me to the Slot, but I never saw any kind of an Opening in the Wall to the Left. I just didn't get it and couldn't find it...I finally turned around and headed back, content with what I had done and deciding I would try it again another Time...

Just before ascending out of Halfway Hollow for good, I stopped for a Break and had Lunch. As I was putting on my Pack to get going again, an older Man was Hiking up and getting ready to ascend as well. I found it interesting that I hadn't run into him before this and it turns out, he had done a Loop using Harris Wash, so he had come down a different way...He was a Local and had been Hiking this Area for Years. We ended up Hiking out together, had some nice Conversation and I got to pick his Brain a little bit about the Area. He told me that the Upper Zebra Slot was Technical and that I would have had to turn around anyway. There are two big Pour Offs that will keep you from going any further...Sounds like it might be fun to go from the Top, down... :D

It also turns out, it took him 3 Tries to find the Entrance to the Tunnel Slot. He was not surprised that I couldn't find it. Apparently it is hard to spot unless you are right up against that Left Wall and it wasn't 1/2 Mile from Zebra, it was 1/2 Mile from where the Trail hits Harris Wash. Instead of staying on the Trail, I should have gotten off and hugged that Left Wall to see it...I may have walked right by it and didn't know it...He also stated that Tunnel is definitely a Swimmer and very Dark...It is literally a Tunnel with no Sky in places...I'm betting that that Water would be pretty Cold... :sweat:

The Conversation continued until we got back to the Vehicles and parted ways...Really a nice guy and very helpful...Also found out about a Road I can take before Boulder that would have some Dispersed Camping. I will log that Information away for the next Trip, as I was done in this Area and was going to Hike up in the San Rafael Swell the next day. I wanted to get some of that Driving out of the Way before this Day ended. I ended up spending the Night at Capitol Reef National Park.

Nice Hike and especially since I didn't get to do Tunnel, I will do this again...But even without Tunnel, it's a Sweet Area and rates a Return...And guess what? Another large Photoset.... :o ;)
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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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