Sunday, June 21, 2009

Parowan Valley Freehike - Aug. 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007 the Freehiking Utah Group traveled to Parowan Valley, north of Cedar City, to share in some fantastic nude hiking. The Parowan valley is surrounded by
many amazing trails which are seldom if ever used.

Five members of the group participated – Ken, PJ, Ben, Cherie, Steve, Kitty, and Harrol. We met in SLC at 7:00 am to share rides, and by 10:30 had arrived in Parowan.

We decided to hike a different area than last year, near the Parowan Gap, where we stopped before hiking to see the unbelievable Indian petroglyphs that cover the rocks along the sides of this unique geologic feature (see photos of this hike at: )

After, we parked off the side of the road just before the Gap to hike up Brown Cliff Canyon. A few minutes of walking from the cars and it was safe to undress. The day was warm, but the breeze blowing down the canyon, and along the ridges made hiking very comfortable, cooling our naked bodies. It was ideal nude hiking weather.

We enjoyed talking as we walked with our friends. This is always one of the most enjoyable aspects of nude hiking.

The hills in this area are brown, becoming reddish as you near the top. The valley is narrow, with weathered brown cliffs on both sides. Sage brush, Juniper, and Pinion trees sparsely covered the hillsides. The trail follows a wide, easily hiked wash that rises towards the crest of the hill. It gets a little steep near to top. Kitty and Harrol decided to turn back at this point (Harrol is still nursing his ankles).

The rest of the group continued to the top, and then hiked for about another half hour through some hills and valleys to reach the crest of the hill overlooking Parowan valley. The view was beautiful - the green fields in the valley, and the dried lake bed of Little Salt Lake spread out from the base of the hills below us. We could see the towns of Parowan, Paragonah, Summit, and even the west side of Cedar City in the distance. Brian Head Peak and ski resort area could be seen atop the hills across the valley. This is such a beautiful area of Utah.

We spent some time resting and talking at the highest point along the ridge. We took several group photos. PJ climbed on a large rock balancing on top of the cliffs overlooking the hills to get a photo of her signature pose. Ben climbed up on the rock to get his photo as well; the rest of us we too afraid of the drop below to participate.

I pointed out the place a friend had written the word “HIKEN” with rocks on a freehike nearly six years before. It was till there.

Steve ate a little lunch. The rest of the group had decided to meet Harrol and Kitty at the Parowan Café after the hike. We’d definitely be hungry by then.

Soon it was time to hike back to the car. The hike back was mostly uneventful. I led the group so we didn’t get lost in the hills. Climbing down the steep area as we dropped into Brown Cliff Canyon was a little scary as the gravel was loose, but we all made it back without injury. Too soon it was time to dress and drive into Parowan.

We stopped to eat lunch at the Parowan Café where Kitty and Harrol were waiting for us. The service was slow, but the food was very good. It’s just a small-town, old-fashioned place to eat. After filling the car with gasoline we drove back to Salt Lake City, getting back a little later than normal – about 7:30 – the end of a wonderful freehiking day.

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