By Mike Koopsen
Hiking through some of the Paria Canyon (straddling the UT/AZ border) while crossing the Paria River multiple times, expect cold water, lots of slippery mud, and possibly quicksand. If you are unfortunate enough to get stuck the good news is that you will probably only sink up to your waist as I did a couple of times. Make sure you are hiking with a buddy as you might need some assistance in getting out of it. Hiking from the Whitehouse campground, just south of the Paria Ranger Station, downriver it is approximately 7 miles to the confluence where the Paria River intersects with Buckskin Gulch. It is a full day round trip hike to get back to the campground before dark so it is a good idea to practice time management as the hike back might take a little longer than the hike in. Look for some fantastic formations and beautiful desert varnished sandstone walls along the way. Enjoy and be safe.
Mike Koopsen of Trails Traveled Photography lives in Sedona. See more of his work here.