Exploring East Zion Backcountry–Watch out for the Quick Sand! (No, really!)

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted, I know. I’ve lost my mojo for it. It seems I’d rather be out in the wild adventuring versus reporting my adventures per se. Also, I’ve taken to off-the-beaten-path explorations, the kind that require a backcountry guide or advanced GPS and navigation skills to demystify. While my zeal for verbal show and tell has waned, I’ve become quite keen on photography. For now, my posts will be picture focused. Sorry, not sorry.

East Zion is magnificent, vast, and remarkably people-free. It’s also free of official trails, which makes navigation a challenge, except for those intrepid, experienced back-country types with finely honed navigation skills. This territory is not for families, recreational hikers, “tourons”, instaorons, or tikorons, if ya know what I mean. It’s potentially dangerous with hazards like quicksand and near vertical scrambling on slick slickrock with precipitous drops. Yep, you read that right—quicksand. “Did you see where little Timmy went?” Oops, that first step can be a doozy. I didn’t realize they had quicksand out here either. Not something you want to find out the hard way. Another reason to hike with a buddy and to have some kind of emergency alert system.

Sound scary? It should. It seems weekly, there are rescues and deaths in the ravishingly beautiful, but harsh playground of Southern Utah. A simple reflecting pool in a wash can turn into your worst nightmare. Quicksand can be lurking in the glistening sand next to a puddle in a wash like the one below. Your foot may sink up to the ankle or in a split second you could be submerged up to your waist and immobilized as happened to an experienced backcountry hiker I know. On the same hike, another experienced backcountry hiker I know slipped on the slickrock and fractured and dislocated her shoulder. Sure, accidents can happen walking out your front door, but you’re particularly vulnerable to the elements when you’re out in the backcountry.

Enough doom and gloom. Just be careful out there. Adventure and explore, but don’t get in over your head so to speak.

Happy & safe trails!

4 thoughts on “Exploring East Zion Backcountry–Watch out for the Quick Sand! (No, really!)

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