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Backpacking Utah’s Slickhorn Canyon

Hiking Slickhorn Canyon is entering an Ancestral Puebloan museum with cliff dwellings, pottery and petroglyphs more than 750 years old. Explore the world of these ancient peoples while backpacking in this spectacular, remote canyon.
Hiking down into Slickhorn Canyon is like entering a living museum. Inside are Ancestral Puebloan ruins over 750 years old: cliff dwellings, pottery, pictographs and petroglyphs—even a pair of sandals over 1000 years old! The area is so remote that some of the cliff dwellings appear as if they have not been visited since their inhabitants left nearly a millennia ago, affording us the opportunity to live in the world of these ancient peoples for the better part of week. This backpacking trip includes five days of examining the history and ecology of Slickhorn Canyon in southeastern Utah. We will take day hikes out of two separate base camps, exploring the surrounding canyons. This is a backcountry trip: we’ll carry backpacks into the first basecamp, sleep in tents, get our water from a stream, and live without such amenities as electricity or running water. Participants should be in good physical shape, open to sharing the responsibilities of “expeditionary” life, and have a sense of adventure necessary to explore a rugged wilderness area. We are fortunate to have Vaughn Hadenfeldt along as a guide and interpreter. An outfitter in Bluff, UT, Vaughn knows this and other canyons of Cedar Mesa as well as anyone alive. When National Geographic or Smithsonian staff writers need a guide for an article or television special, they hire Vaughn!
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