Thursday, the Freehiking Utah Group traveled once again to Parowan Valley, north of Cedar City, and hiked Red Spring and Hidden Canyons. Five members of the group participated - Ken & PJ, Bob, Ben, and Steve. Ken and PJ went down the evening before to get a head start on their trip to California. Ben and Steve met in SLC at 7:00 am. Bob came down from central Utah. At 10:30 we met by the Paragonah exit, and drove north a few miles to the trailhead.
After a few minutes walking, it was safe to undress, and we freehiked up the canyon.
The hills in this area are sandy red and white, with weathered red cliffs, covered sparsely with Juniper and Pinion trees. A bald green mountain juts above these hills in the distance. Tall weathered red cliffs and trees guard both sides of the entrance to this canyon, and a small stream flows out of it year-round. Just after entering the canyon the stream splashes down a red cliff, producing a small but picturesque waterfall. It was easy to step across the falling streams of water and climb up the cliff. The spring that forms the stream stops a short distance above the fall, and the canyon floor becomes a wide wash of sandy gravel and slick rock, wide enough to walk side by side. Weathered hillsides of red dirt and sandstone rise steeply on both sides.
The day was warm, but an occasional breeze down the canyon, and shade from nearby trees cooled our naked bodies, making this an ideal hike.
About 10 minutes into the hike, we left the main wash and followed a deer trail which led, sometimes steeply, up the hillside, through the cliffs, and above a steep slot canyon into hidden valley. This is also a wash which winds through the red hills. Pinion and juniper trees abound. Past floods had washed interesting rock formations along the way. We paused occasionally to take a few photos (see http://imageevent.com/justmeina/augusttravelhike ).
After about an hour of freehiking we reached a fairly long stretch of slick rock with several ledges. We sat on one talked for a short time. It’s so enjoyable to sit naked with close friends and enjoy a good conversation and beautiful scenery. Bob mentioned that nudity is not in any way about sex. It's about enjoying nature with friends as god intended - with our own beautiful bodies. At this point Ken and PJ choose to start back (we were tired from moving, and wanted to get down the road to California).
The rest remained and chatted for a bit on the rocks and then realized that it was time for them to head back also. The scenery was just as spectacular on the way back. PJ and I paused to look over into the slot canyon; it was fantastic from above. We also spent a few minutes enjoying the waterfall before returning to the cars.