Paria Canyon

We woke at our cache camp and had a leisurely morning, not leaving camp until after 10am. It was at that time we finally looked at a map to see exactly where the trail was located and we realized that we were about four miles south of the canyon we needed to follow. We followed the dirt road back to the Paria river and began our stretch following the river up the entire Paria Canyon, crossing the cool water many times throughout the day.

As we entered the canyon two large hawks circled above the river just ahead of us and as we followed them we got an amazing aerial show which included several high pitch screeches from the raptors before they lifted higher into the air and across the mesa in the distance. We were grateful for the experience as we continued to walk up the river and colorful canyon.

We reached the location of the old town site of Paria where we explored several ruins of old stone dwellings. While we rested in the shade of one of the stone walls Shilo barked and alerted us to two large brown sheep high on the rocky cliffs. We again felt incredibly grateful for the spotting as we watched them easily make their way across the loose rocks high above.

Our lazy pace continued as we followed the river and made camp before sundown in a grove of large yellow cottonwood trees. We ate dinner against a log in the sand and crawled into bed under our tarp as the last light of the sky darkened to a deep purple and finally a deep black to contrast the bright crescent moon. It was a very enjoyable day.