Goat Vacation Day 8: Little Wild Horse Canyon

We took the trip from Escalante to Rye in two days so we’d have time to stop along the way. We decided to swing back by San Rafael and hike partway up Little Wild Horse Canyon. There was water in places because of a rainstorm earlier in the week.

We found fossilized footprint evidence of massive prehistoric goats!

We came to a boulder that was easy for people and young goats, but Cuzco could not get over it.

I ended up taking Cuzco up the canyon wall and around. This was fairly easy on the outward journey, but proved quite difficult on the return. It took us almost half an hour to figure out how we were going to get our big guy back to the trailhead. He tried scrambling up the canyon wall the way he’d come, but the slope that was easy to slither down turned out to be too steep for him to climb up. Poor fella. He tried his hardest and was very cooperative to try to follow me up every weird route I tied to lead him along. I finally ended up taking him along a very narrow shelf with a low ceiling where we both had to crouch down. From there I was able to scramble down to the narrow people trail (not navigable for hooves), but Cuzco had to leap on top of the high boulder. The only way down from there was to jump, and jump he did. It was a long way down (probably six feet), but luckily the landing was soft sand.

It has finally hit me this trip that Cuzco really isn’t up for much serious hiking or climbing any more. We’ve tried to be careful about the type of terrain and length of trails we take him on, but even when we think we’re being easy it’s still sometimes too much for him. Because while the younger goats can do this:

Cuzco is not able to do much more than this:

The canyon walls were weird and beautiful.

Slot canyons make for some great shadows.

After hiking for maybe an hour, the canyon opened up before continuing on into another narrow slot, and here we decided to take a break before heading back down. We climbed up onto a big rock and let the goats browse. Whatever that bush is that Sputnik is eating, the goats couldn’t get enough of it. The stuff was like candy to them and we had a hard time pulling them away from it when we had to leave.

A final look back at the canyon.

I hate it when they do this! Makes me nervous. At least there’s water at the bottom of this one!

A final drink.

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