Monday, August 23, 2010

Goblin Valley, Little Wild Horse Canyon, and Calf Creek Falls

With summer break officially ending this week with the kids heading back to school, we hit the road for one more weekend of family adventuring before getting back to the grind.

Stop one was Goblin Valley where the world class scampering among the hoodoos was only outdone by the world class evening and sunset.
Now I'm not sure if there are actual classes of scampering, but if there are, GV has to be world class. Have heard all sorts of great ideas for play down there, from easter egg hunts to capture the flag, and don't know that there's a better place for any of that stuff. Being GV rookies, we kept it simple with hide and seek and some other gimmicks the kids came up with and had a blast. The place set the kids imaginations on fire and made us parents/grown ups feel and act like part of the kidlet tribe.
Watching for inbound pirate ships or something of that nature. At the end of the trip, Goblin Valley stood atop the list as kids favorite place of the weekend - a testament to the theory of whatever inspires their imaginations the most is the best in their eyes.
Day two would be their first slot canyon experience in Little Wildhorse Canyon. It was set up perfectly with the heavy rains a few days prior leaving several good water crossings, the kids got the full slot experience. We had them (sometimes forced them) hike through the water (chilly but not cold) on the way out, then let them do it how they wanted on the way back - the obvious choice was to climb the walls...
Even the 3 yr old figured it out pretty good.
We had to tell Kylie to stay within a reasonable height, think she would have climbed out the top if we let her.
Little Wildhorse was really a great place to give the kids a taste of slot canyons - short hike in and there were some high quality narrows sections that everyone enjoyed a lot.
Around the entrance to the canyon is this little feature that just begs to be jumped. Not posting the rest of the sequence, will let you look at trajectory at the midway point and determine if you think the kids are standing in a safe spot or not.
More shots from the canyon...

Day three was Lower Calf Creek Falls, which also didn't disappoint. ...

The traditional sprint finish that seems to always happen on the waterfall hikes. Once they see it, they're off. The oldest was already stripped down to her swim suit and in the water by the time I got to it. The middle was increasing her gap on the littlest as seen here, he's trying, but just not hangin yet....

It was a little overcast, and the fall itself creates a strong breeze which made it chilly. The water was cold, but my adventure book says you've gotta swim under it for the excursion to count.

The girls wisely stuck to wading and mud pie making on the pretty great beach.

The area even had a place for a workout on the bike. If it looks steep.......

it's because it was... sign at the top of the hill after turning around to head back down.
Fun trip topped off maybe the best summer we've had as a family, the kids are all old enough and plenty capable to do just about any adventure we can drum up. Pretty excited for the next few years while we've got them all in the "sweet spot" where they still think we're cool to hang out with and don't have better things to do with their weekends.


eeeeeeeeeevilbanks said...

Looks like a great trip man! I totally agree with your assessment of the "sweet spot". Gotta take advantage while you can.......u down for a PC light and easy ride on Sunday?

Jason said...

eeeeeeeevilbanks - yep, this summer's felt like the first part of those "prime" years with the kids - almost all fun with minimal drama - total blast. Yes on PC this weekend, unless it's one of those 5:30 am jobs....

dug said...

that's the anderson trifecta too: goblin valley, little wild horse, and lower calf creek.

and if we're feeling frisky, upper calf creek (equally spectacular, and likely to be void of people), and delicate arch.

we've never had the big rain right before. that's fortunate indeed.

sardines is our game of choice in goblin valley. pick some boundaries, and send someone to hide. last one to jump in with the hider is the next hider.

Jason said...

Dug - that makes for one fine weekend of fun indeed. And not one bit sad at the prospect of needing to do the trip again to get to the upper falls. Last time we did Delicate Arch happened to be with you and your clan.
The only miss we had was not getting into Hells Backbone Grill in Boulder for a meal, closed on both on the way in and out.
Sardines does seem like the perfect game, but we couldn't get the 3 year old's head around the concept of not running every time he was found - made for some good laughs.

Have you done Bells Canyon next to Little Wildhorse? Any good?