The weekend of 27 Apr 07, Tracy and I backpacked Hurricane Wash in Escalante National Monument. This was a really cool hike. The first couple of miles of the hike started in open desert, and we had to take it really slow in the heat. We didn’t hit the trail until about 11 am (thanks to yet ANOTHER flat tire on a dirt road 30 miles from the closest paved road), and the 80 degree day was awfully hot in the open desert. When we got into the canyon we took a break in the shade of a cliff, and then continued on to Coyote Gulch. The best campsite we found was where we rested about 2 miles in just past a short slot section, so we backtracked and camped there for the night. I wanted to camp there because it was next to some nice slickrock, and there was a bright moon, and I wanted to enjoy it from the slickrock. We climbed up around dusk, watched the sun set and the moon rise…it was really nice. Then Tracy panicked when she had to climb down the steep slickrock in the dark, but she survived. There were some nice canyon sections, lots of water, some really pretty desert flowers, and it wasn’t too crowded. This was our first desert backpacking trip since we got to Utah, and we really enjoyed it. It was already pretty hot, though, and we were rationing water toward the end of the hike. I think late April is probably the latest you can comfortably backpack in the open desert. But we may check it out more in the winter…even though it gets really cold in the winter. I love slickrock, and I enjoyed finding all the different desert flowers.