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Team: South
Saturday, September 14, 2002
Exploring the Grand Staircase-Escalante
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Moon over Calf Creek Campground, Grand Staircase

Moon over Calf Creek Campground, Grand Staircase
Courtesy Lorie McGraw

While the trekkers are hiking toward Deer Creek campground, the support team has many opportunities to do some hiking and exploring of their own. Starting right from the campground a 2.75 mile-long (one way), well marked interpretive trail leads to 126-foot Lower Calf Creek Falls. Another interesting 3 mile-long (one way)hike will take them down the Escalante River and up Deer Canyon to Boyton Arch. The hike is made even more interesting by the abundant pictographs and petroglyphs along the trail, including a large panel at the mouth of Deer Canyon. Boyton Arch and nearby Phipps Wash are named after two early cattle ranchers who had a shoot-out in the 1890s over a ranching dispute near where Highway 12 crosses the Escalante River. Phipps was killed and presumably the dispute was settled.

For those less inclined to hike, there are scenic drives the likes of which are not found anywhere else. Hell's Backbone Road follows and old mule trail across a narrow ridge of solid rock that separates two canyons then passes through stands of pine and aspen, with fantastic views along the way. Highway 12 as it passes over the east side of Boulder Mountain is another gorgeous drive with panoramic views of the Circle Cliffs, Henry Mountains, Navajo Mountain, La Sal Mountains, and the Bullfrog Basin area. One could spend days just sitting a place like Lookout Point, drinking in the view and Team South would need months to explore all the scenic drives.
for Saturday, September 14
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