Friday, May 26, 2017

Wiregrass and Wild Orchids

Two more hikes while at Lone Rock Beach

1.  Wiregrass

While we were at Lone Rock, there were lots of different hikes scheduled.  One of the hikes I chose was called Wiregrass, it was offered as an easy hike.  It was fun when we started out - lots of climbing up and down rocks, and pretty flowers along the way.


Some of us only hiked part of the way.  Our leader (who knew the way) and another hiker got ahead of us, but we were able to catch up.

Then they headed over to this canyon and descended to the bottom and were in the wash before we could get to the rim to see which way they took to get down.

Four of us just stood there, looking at them down in the canyon and at each other.  We were yelling down, asking: Which way did you go?  I don't know if they heard us, but we didn't get a response.  I didn’t take a photo from the edge, but it was deep and I didn't see any way down! Finally one of us said, “I’m not going down there.”  Whew!  (I was thinking, "I'm not breaking a leg!")  We agreed to head back to the car and go to another hiking location on our own.  We yelled down that we were heading back, and they continued on with their hike.  Luckily we had two cars.  

This hike is listed on the National Park Service website as a moderate hike, but up until we turned back, it was easy with only a few places where we had to scramble, which I think made the portion we did more fun.  Maybe next time I'll go further and climb down into the canyon wash.  😉

As we walked back to the car I got more shots of the beautiful scenery.  I'm sure the men who went on with the hike got some great photos that we missed.  But I'm usually pretty risk-adverse, and this looked a bit risky for me at this point.

We all jumped in the car and headed to Hanging Garden.  This was one of the hikes that I especially wanted to take, so I was glad we all agreed to head over there.

"Wiregrass Canyon
From Page, drive north on Hwy 89 approximately 12 miles (19 km) to Big Water, Utah. Between mile posts 7 and 8 (at the Big Water Visitor’s Center), turn right (away from the VC). Turn right again 0.3 miles (0.5 km) from the junction of Hwy 89 - there is a sign at this intersection which reads “Glen Canyon Nation Recreation Area – State Highway 12”. Drive 4.6 miles (7.5 km) to “Wiregrass Canyon Back Country Use Area.” Park in the pullout provided. Sandy wash, requires some scrambling and detours - look for rock cairns to lead you out.
6.0 miles (9.7km) round-trip
Moderate"     --From National Park Service Website 


2.  Hanging Garden 

This was an easy trail lined with rocks:
Hanging Gardens walk 2 
There were some beautiful pink cactus flowers along the way:
Hanging Gardens walk 1
The red rock surrounded us on all sides.
Hanging Gardens walk 3
Hanging Gardens walk 4
Hanging Gardens walk 5
Hanging Gardens walk 6
I’m not sure I’ve seen this flowering bush before, it was lacy and pretty:
Hanging Gardens walk 7
The other two women, Diana and Rose, walked on ahead,
Hanging Gardens walk 8 
and Bob and I slowed down to take some photos.

The Hanging Garden has both helleborine orchids and maidenhair fern living on the wall:
Hanging Gardens walk 9
It’s not large, but the fern area is taller than it looks in the above photo, way over my head. I had to reach up with my camera to get the overhead shots close up.  It's really beautiful.  The underneath protected part of this huge red rock has wild maidenhair ferns and helleborine orchids growing out of it. 
Hanging Gardens walk 10
Close-up of one of the orchids growing out of the ferns.
Hanging Gardens walk 12
Hanging Gardens walk 13
A little bit of fern growing from the overhanging rock ceiling:
Hanging Gardens walk 15
Hanging Gardens walk 14
We looked around, took in the area, snapped some pictures then headed back to the trail head.

"Hanging Garden
Turn off is one quarter mile (.4km) east of Glen Canyon Bridge (the opposite side from Carl Hayden Visitor Center) on Hwy 89. Trailhead parking is 500 yards (455m) off of Hwy 89. This hike leads you to a luxuriant Hanging Garden on the mesa top high above the Colorado River and Lake Powell.
Securely hidden by Jurassic Navajo sandstone, this seep spring quickly takes hostage every drop of rainwater it can absorb. Slowly it liberates this water over time to create a surprisingly lush plant and animal habitat that delights and surprises those who discover it.
The desert is astonishingly subtle and delicate. If you walk quietly, you will see and hear more. It can refresh observations and awaken inactive senses with each step you take.
1 mile (1.6km) round-trip   Easy to Moderate"     --From National Park Service Website

Looking out from the Hanging Garden - isn’t this beautiful?
 As we got  closer to the trailhead, we could see a boat in the water below.Hanging Gardens walk 16
Sure turned out to be a nice day!
From Me and Katie, have a great day, everyone!  😎😊🤔🙄😨😉


  1. It looks like you're having a great time with the Wins!

  2. Beautiful pictures, I really enjoyed them. Looks like a nice scenic
    hike. Do you ever cross paths with a snake?
    Maybe it's a little early for them

    1. Ive seen a couple in the last few weeks. None that were dangerous, though. :)

  3. Great images. I've saved this post to my Bucket List of places I want to go!

    I think you were very wise not to attempt the canyon descent. On April 1 (April Fools Day, ironically) I was taking photos near the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. I had climbed up a small hill for a better vantage point. It was not a big hill, but when deciding which way to descend, I chose the quicker but steeper descent, and slipped on some gravel. My left get got behind and under me and I crashed down on my left foot, breaking it in three places. Seven weeks later. I'm just now being allowed to put partial weight on that ankle. Needless to say, I'll take the less challenging route from now on! I hope you will too! Keep safe! Rhonda F.

    1. Rhonda, I'm so sorry. Wow. Yes, I wasn't happy with the people knowing how to get down not showing us the way. I sure wasn't going to guess. I didn't even see a way down. So... Discretion is the better part, and all that. I'm glad you're on the mend. :)

  4. You were smart not to push yourself more than your comfort level. We lost many hikers on the AT to injury when they tried to go too fast in rugged terrain.

    1. Yeah, I figured at least I'm in one piece. We all have to make our own decisions on these things. And I don't even know how good a hiker I am, since I haven't been hiking for long. Walking I can do, but I'm more careful when I'm hiking.

  5. Sounds like you having fun there and know when tor turn back when it looks too challenging, Great photos.

  6. This place is amazing. Great pictures thank you for sharing

  7. Great photos and it looked like you had a good time.
    When someone that has been to an area is acting as the guide they should wait for the entire group to catch up, otherwise taking the wrong direction could lead to serious injuries which is not why you are there.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  8. Thanks, Rick - that's kinda what I thought! :)

  9. I'm really impressed! I don't think I could do either of those hikes any more. I really liked the Hanging Gardens.


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