About a week ago I got done walking through the canyons of the Paria river down in south Utah and north Arizona. It was a great way to unwind from a busy first half of the year. With my first paper published and second paper submitted the day before I left it was a much needed mental break.
The hike took four days. It was HOT, but the river provided the needed cool-down. We entered the area via Buckskin canyon, which is a thirteen-mile rock hallway till you reach the confluence with the Paria.
Our first day in the Paria was the best aesthetically. The walls were wider but you still felt enveloped. The canyon was a lush oasis from the gently flowing river and the perennial seeps.
As the canyon became wider and deeper with the increasing miles the sun became a bigger deal. Hiking in the afternoon was out, so we scaled back the hiking time and found camp and shade by noon. We read and ate snacks. I build a rock wall in the river and laid down in the resulting cool pool.
Although, my watch read 127 F after I left it out in the sun, I think the afternoon temps were about 107 F tops.
If I were to recommend one hike to do in the Utah desert this would be it.