Willis Creek & Bull Valley Gorge


WILLIS CREEK
We had one more day to spare and wanted to find a good place to view some canyons without too much trouble so we came to Willis Creek and Bull Valley Gorge.  It was nice to break away from the "adventure tour" of Bryce Canyon and back to the remote Escalante back country.  This time we went to another section of the Escalante but with the dirt roads only being 6-7 miles from town, people still found their way to Willis Creek. 

WILLIS CREEK

 
Willis creek is a nice easy access narrow canyon with light and dark shaded sandstone walls molded from the hydrology that water finds its way through.  As you walk down the canyon, you find sections that narrow up enough for two people to walk side by side allowing a cool breeze to blow through and sections that open up to the dry morning sun.  There is a stream that flows from the top of Willis Creek down into Sheep Creek eventually connecting to the paria river. 
WILLIS CREEK
We continued down the canyon and had a REI adventure outing following us from behind which sounded more like a mobile speed dating event than a hike through the desert for an REI adventure.  Kinda annoying?  yes....rather amusing?....oh yea. 
WILLIS CREEK
We had hints of civilization around us as we walked back out of Willis Creek but it was nothing like Bryce Canyon,..... thankfully!  We got to the parking lot and found it pretty backed up from when we started so we set off to go to Bull Valley gorge.

WILLIS CREEK
We pulled up to Bull Valley Gorge and noticed the canyon below was deep!  nice, It would have been nice to rappel into this one but the canyon was easy enough to enter a mile upstream so we started there and started our circuit traverse.  We ran into another "group outing" and as I walked up closer to the 10-15 ft restriction, I noticed a Justin Beiber impostor hugging the keyed-in rock like he was about to fall into a pit or snakes.  The fear in his eyes lit up his aviator shades while his tour guide and 5 other friends of his coached him from the bottom.  As he was about to make his leap of faith,  ignoring the fact that there was a hand line and a log to ladder to walk down next to him, the tour guide grabbed his foot and stuck it in a hand hold.  Now maybe I was just too tired to deal with this shit but for a split second I thought about giving him a little "motivational push",...with my foot,  but instead I reminded him that there is a nice red hand line to slide down on.

CAR KEYED INTO BULL VALLEY GORGE
They finally made it down and we came down shortly after them to find that they were moving full speed ahead and we didn't run into them anymore.  nice..back to our semi serenity!!
BULL VALLEY GORGE
As we proceeded down we noticed the walls getting taller in this narrow passage and also noticed a Buick keyed into the top of the canyon, this must have been apart of the bridge that we saw at the surface.  That sent chills down my spine when I saw that,.. not because of the crushed car dangling 80 ft in between rock walls, but what the rental car company would have said if that was our car.


BULL VALLEY GORGE
We continued on the passage watching it open and close up as we continued down the canyon. 
BULL VALLEY GORGE
The canyon walls opened up a little bit and there was a place where we were able to climb out instead of backtracking which saved us some time.
BULL VALLEY GORGE
We found an exit point and climbed out on talus and scree till we got to the top of the canyon.  After a week of not showering, I was feeling rather sick so I stopped for a bit and had to take it easy for the walk back to the car.  It was a beautiful thing to get back to the campsite and into the waterfall for a quick shower and rest for the ride back to Salt Lake City the following day.  We had a couple of stops to make while making our trip back to civilization, the hot spring, and the lava tubes.
BULL VALLEY GORGE FROM THE TOP




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