Team Twilight Hiking Canaan Mountain, Hildale, UT


Spring Break!  For people in college this holds special meaning - like my niece Rylin and her friends, Leah and Dane, who are near the end of the first year of Physical Therapy Grad School up in Portland, Oregon, and just completed a term of INTENSE anatomy and physiology. We were joined by my favorite nephew, Galen, a high school student near Seattle. Together we formed Team Twilight, as we seemed to struggle with getting going before noon, and completed many of our activities just as the sun sank past the horizon. After an evening hike up Angels Landing and a late afternoon descent of Lower Refrigerator Canyon the next day, we headed over to Canaan Mountain near Hildale for a short, casual backpacking trip. Recent snow and cool temps promised a bit of water up on the slickrock rolling hills that are the primary feature of this little hike.


We hit the trail at, you know, noon or so, making our way on sandy roads first into Squirrel Canyon, then more steeply up onto the plateau known as Canaan Mountain, eventually finding a flat and sheltered spot near some water, with a sweeping view of a lovely slickrock ridge. After shrugging off the packs, we hiked out to the top of Water Canyon Arch -- heart-thumping exposure as we crossed the top of the arch with 1000 feet of air down below. Yee Haw! Back to camp for a twilight feast and snuggling into the Megamid.

Morning light on our slickrock ridge;  we hiked up a valley beside the dome/ridge on slickrock eventually reaching a pass, where we dropped our packs and headed to the summit. Interesting hoodoos up there, and a surprising dune ecosystem right on the top. A bit of yoga followed (for some). Then we hiked around to the top of Water Canyon and found a way into the drainage. Following it down, we came to familiar territory for me, having guided up here more than a few times - so I knew when to escape the watercourse and meander over to top of the inobvious trail down Water Canyon. Before descending, we hiked over to the nearby rocky peak for grand views out to Hildale and across to Water Canyon Arch.


All too soon, we descended Water Canyon, noting the very start of the wildflower season, and returned to my station wagon. A delightful, casual backpack trip with great company. Thanks guys for dragging my carcass out of the office and into the wonderful wild slickrock country.