Hiking Grand Gulch in Utah: Day 2

We woke to a peaceful morning on the second day of our hike in Grand Gulch. Quiet surrounded us as we filtered water from the creek near Junction Spring.

Cottonwoods thrive along the creek
Backpacking in Grand Gulch in late April
We found an intriguing collection of rock art at Turkey Pen Ruin. It is thought that the sheep pictograph on the right has a spear in its back.
Peering inside an ancestral Pueblo structure

Day 2-4: A Rough Start


Day 2: Long Creek (Mile 4.7)-East of Justus Creek (Mile 15); 10.3 Miles

Our first night on the Appalachian Trail brought bitter cold and powerful wind. We had planned for cold weather but 9 degrees (with wind chill) chilled us to the bone. Neither of us slept much.

In the morning when we pulled the tarp stakes out, clumps of dirt were frozen so solidly to the stakes that we couldn’t remove the dirt. We finished packing up quickly and started hiking to get our blood flowing. Gradually our fingers and toes began to defrost.


As we warmed up, Shutterbug began to notice that his left knee was sore. The pain was slight but it was bothersome to swing his leg forward, especially on downhill sections.