Halfway Hollow / Harris Wash (Escalante, UT)
It's sure a good thing that the gas station at the eastern end of Escalante has a pressure hose and self car wash. If you ever happen to venture down Hole in the Rock Road and are surprised by a strong shower or summer thunderstorm, you'll know why. As much as I felt like keeping the reddish goo that stuck to me all over as a souvenir, when it started to dry out after a while, it pretty much turned me into living pottery.
So remember to wash off the mud as soon as you get the chance - trust me, it turns into concrete real quick and sticks to everything. Weeks later, our SUV was still dropping the odd red pile every now and then :-). Mud nonwithstanding, hiking down Halfway Hollow and exploring a stretch of Harris Wash is an splendid way to spend the day, especially if your hands and knees are still sore from the last slot canyon that you've been scrambling up or down in one of the nearby drainages like Dry Fork Coyote. You won't need your hands in Halfway Hollow - to scramble, that is. You might need them to operate your camera or GPS, or, for that matter, to tightly hold on to a branch of a smallish pine tree while you are standing on one leg and try to scrape two inches of reddish mud off your boot sole. Alas, I'm told it doesn't rain all that often hereabouts :-).
To hike down Halfway Hollow, leave your car about 100 yds above from where Halfway Hollow flows underneath the Hole in the Rock Road (HITRR). We left ours on CARPRK (37.63435, -111.44430). From there, follow the wash in roughly northeasterly direction. Take your GPS, or frequently take a look back, especially when a tributary wash enters from the right. People have been known to follow the wrong wash on the way back, and have ended up some measly two miles to the south and east of their car, grin. My map (380 kB) won't help you all that much in this case.
About 1.5mi downriver, you'll get to an odd contrapment of barbed wire stretched across the canyon, this used to be a fence (37.64977, -111.42892), but summer flash floods tend to make it look less and less so. From the fence, it is another half mile or so until you get to Harris Wash. You can't miss it - while usually devoid of water, Harris Wash is quite a stretch across and one can only imagine how the canyon looks like when the wash is flowing. No, the rainstorm that turned me into Anasazi Pottery wasn't sufficient to make even a trickle flow down the Harris.
You can explore up- and downriver, and also venture into side canyons. There's a lot to see and uncover, from rock formations to pot holes full of water, reflecting the blue sky and the red rocks nearby. During the dry months (May/June), I'd recommed you check out Zebra Slot, a tight and colorful side canyon only about 300m upstream from where Halfway Hollow enters the Harris. Several locations off the Harris Wash also feature the unique geological specialty that you can see in the picture on this page. I'm deliberately not mentioning how they are called, as I have no intention to provide people who carry them out by the carload and then sell them on Ebay with any directions. If you find some, enjoy them, finger them, but leave them where they are. Remember you're in a National Monument - the fines for removing artefacts are stiff, and rightly so. (back to travel overview)