See the Rocks of Ages – Top Ten Featured Hikes
By Dixie Brunner
Hiking has become the great national past time. It’s the perfect activity for everyone of all ages and abilities to recreate, and made more special by our beautiful surroundings. With largely unrestricted access on most public lands, you have a whole lot to explore, so you better get hiking! Who better to present their top ten hikes than the friendly folks at the Kane County Office of Tourism? Trail maps are available there, as well as at the BLM, Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument, Forest Service and Park Service visitor centers. Talk to the experts before you go! Hundreds of trails are available for those wanting to hike in the beauty of this area’s majestic surroundings. There are short hikes for novices, and lengthy, overnight treks for the more-seasoned hikers. While traveling in this beautiful country, remember the geography and elements are unforgiving. Heat, flash floods, crumbling sandstone and slickrock are just a few things to be concerned with when hiking here. If you’re going to hike, here are a few important safety tips to remember: • Dress sensibly and layer! Temperatures can vary radically in the high desert plateau of southern Utah. Daytime temperatures can reach into the 100s, with night temperatures as low as the 40s. • Take plenty of water! Experts recommend at least one gallon of water per person, per day. Heat exhaustion and dehydration take their toll on hikers. • Take sunscreen, Chapstick and matches for safety. • When taking longer hikes (any hike for that matter) – tell someone where you’re going! Should you get lost or injured, time (and occasionally life) can be saved if rescuers know where to search. Some BLM and NPS trails require hikers to register before they begin, so check with the Land Management Agency. Kane County Office of Tourism Top Ten Hikes: 1) Peekaboo – A local favorite! Guide recommended. 4WD required. The actual hike in the slot canyon is less than one mile round trip. 2) Southfork Indian Canyon. 4WD required. Two miles round trip. 3) Toadstools. Easy hike – great for families with young children. Two miles round trip. 4) South Coyote Buttes – permit required! Lottery system. 4WD required. Guide recommended. 5) Bunting Trail. Three miles round trip. 6) Wirepass. Two miles round trip. 7) Wahweap Hoodoos. Nine miles round trip. 8) Dinosaur Tracks. Two miles round trip. 9) Mansard Trail. Five miles round trip. 10) Belly of the Dragon. Quarter-mile round trip.