Canyon Exploring in Southern Utah, and Wilderness

Canyon exploring in southern Utah this weekend
Canyon exploring in southern Utah this weekend

Canyon exploring in southern Utah this weekend

This weekend I hiked up a quiet, water-filled canyon in southern Utah that was on the same road I’d camped on for years – right under my nose – and I never knew it was there.

I’ve been coming to the desert of southern Utah every spring and fall since I was 21.  It’s always good to know I can never run out of places to explore.

My friend Char brought lamb curry, and with a little wine by the campfire, with the stars, next to the Colorado River – a finer dinner couldn’t be had in NYC.

Our campsite next to the Colorado River

Our campsite next to the Colorado River

Living under the stars gets in your soul. In my twenties, I spent a couple of summers as a Wilderness Ranger, hiking the red rock country of Sedona, Arizona. Exploring old line camps, skinny dipping in remote swimming holes, and cooling off with cold ones on the deck of our ranger housing by Oak Creek canyon. The conversations on that deck, the friendships and adventures, changed everything.

I am so lucky to now live only a weekend’s drive from the glorious canyon country Utah is. It’s floors, bending and cracking and turning and pouring into canyons, until they make their way down to the Grand Canyon – the motherlode of adventures.

Edward Abbey, hero to twenty-somethings, author and environmentalist of the west, was the first wilderness ranger in Arches National Park of southern Utah. If you want to read the west’s Sand County Almanac, well Desert Solitaire is it. In his immortal words …

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.”

What more is there to say?

A friend climbing beautiful cracks in the sandstone desert

A friend climbing beautiful cracks in the sandstone desert

What is deep in your soul that you can’t live without? Scroll down and leave a comment, I’d love to know…


  1. Kelly Jones says:

    This makes me want to go back to Utah so much. The little taste I’ve had of hiking in the canyons made me fall in love with it. When I get the opportunity to go again, I’m going to ask you where to go. I haven’t been backpacking as much this fall, just day hikes, and I am missing it. Your art show with your parents looks great!

    • Kellie Day says:

      Hi Kell, nice to hear from you! YES, let me know if you get out to Utah and I will give you some direction for hiking. We are only a few hrs drive away, and go there often! … Also, someday I”m going to offer an art retreat out here! Take care xo

  2. KATHLEEN says:

    Hi Kellie,

    charlie and I hiked in Moab this summer and what a glorious place. What is it about these powerful rock formations that totally fascinate me?? When I was young my little brother and I would lie in the grass for hours and find images in the clouds. I found I do the same with all the mysterious rock….Love it, love it!

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