Lick Wash Trail
Why to go:
Because you want a quiet, out of the way, easy hike.
How long will it take:
As long as you like since it is 11 miles out and back – you can cut it short at any point. (Unless it rains in which case we may not see you for a long while.)
What to bring:
Depending on the time of year, extra water if it is summer, good hiking shoes (the terrain is rocky so ankle support may help), a dog that won’t drag you through random cracks in the rock, a nice picnic lunch.
We went to Lick Wash on Saturday, November 3, 2018. If 1000 years have passed, take this review with a grain of salt.
Saturday morning we slept in (if you call 7:30 sleeping in – which was actually 6:30 AZ time where we had just come from.) . We luxuriated a while talking about what to do for the day and I, being the extremely adventurous one in the relationship, suggested we do something we had never done before. I know. Out of the box thinking gets you everywhere. Mr. M, when he reads this will say out loud, “HEY, I’m adventurous!!!” and I will confirm that yes, in fact, he is- thanks to moi.
I scrolled through local hikes on All Trails (a MUST have app if you are an avid hiker) and found a highly rated trail not far from Kanab called Lick Wash Trail. After we giggled from our inappropriate jokes at the name of the trail, we decided from the reviews and photos that it actually looked like a cool place to adventure. We had said many times we wanted to explore Johnson Canyon as we longingly passed the turn off from Route 89, and now we were finally going to go! I made the sandwiches and packed water for all, and Mr. M got the dogs in the car.
The drive was mostly paved, which was a pleasant surprise – even the dirt road was very smooth most of the way once the paved road ended. This was good for our Ford Flex and other non-Jeep (yet) people.
We parked at the trail head and merrily hiked along the creek bed. The cliff walls were impressive and there was a section I would actually term a “slot canyon” but most of the way the path was quite wide and the walls of the canyons loomed high above us at times.
Unfortunately there was one point that we had to get creative – climbing over a large fallen boulder while letting the dogs go through a crack below. My sweet 2 year old black lab was a little too excited to see what was in the other side and she pulled me down rushing through the opening. I was fine, just some rocks are now embedded permanently in my hands and knees – no worries. But on the way back I gave the dogs to Mr. M thinking I had cleverly avoided disaster – when I wailed my knee into the boulder and saw stars for a moment. Certain I had cracked my knee cap, I doubled over for a second before giving myself the “buck up old gal” speech. That worked to keep me going and I was pleasantly surprised that I could walk without pain. No permanent damage! (This episode also reminded me that I keep forgetting to put the first aid kit in our pack so let this serve as good advice for us all. First Aid kits are a must out in the wilderness and also at home!)
Let this not discourage you from going, it was just my own lack of coordination which led me to near crippling, but you, my friend, will certainly fare much better.
The views were great and there was plenty of shade which I imagine is quite welcome in the heat of the summer. We stopped at about 1 3/4 mile in because our old Akbash was huffing a little and we knew we should head back before we found ourselves carrying an 80 pound dog to the car.
We picnicked before we turned back and it was a lovely relaxing time. I have uploaded our photos for your inspiration and vicarious living. The fall colors were pretty. It is an easy hike and both Mr. M and I agreed we would go back and do the entire trail when we had the chance. Sans crippling, of course.
We decided we were not ready to head home and we wanted to see if we could worm our way through the myriad of dirt roads up to Bryce Canyon. Mr. M had heard that there was a way to get up to the park through the back roads from Kanab so we wanted to try our hand at it. Let’s just say – don’t try this at home folks. Without true GPS and / or a current map, we really were just guessing, which in a Ford Flex is really not the thing to be doing in the back country.
Here is a short video of us not dying:
We had another close call where we probably should not have attempted a deeper drop off into a wash but we made it out alive! This is why I have to convince Mr. M we need a Joyful Adventures Jeep, and a Joyful Adventures Razor, and an Airstream, and a….