Every few years I like to take a trip down the East Fork of the Virgin River. It’s very long so there are numerous parts of it that provide a different kind of fun. The last time I tried to get to Labyrinth Falls I didn’t know about the log jam that serves as a major obstacle; nor did I know at the time there is a tunnel nearby that can be used to bypass the falls.
Last summer I went back, ready to access that tunnel, but low and behold, the log jam that had been present for years was completely gone! Despite being gone, I still didn’t feel completely comfortable climbing down the slippery rocks so I took the tunnel anyway. On the way back I opted to try the falls. The rocks are indeed slippery so i might recommend going around or being prepared to jump into the pool on the way down.
The falls where the log jam was. Just past the falls are a lot of familiar looking logs on top of a boulder. Must have been quite a flood because at this point the bottom of the canyon is pretty wide open. I have to admit I did expect things to be different after our record wet winter.
A brave little cottonwood. I wonder how long it will last?
After bypassing the falls I only made it a short distance to a much bigger obstacle. Another fast moving cascade forced me on top of a boulder with a rope tied to a tire, wedged between the boulder and the canyon wall. Unfortunately the rope was jammed into the crack as well, and i could not remove it. Climbing down would have meant trying to climb back up an overhang, and that didn’t look at all promising. It was very frustrating because i was probably 1,000 feet from the last falls. Oh well, maybe another time when the water is lower or I bring my own rope!
The end of Fat Man’s Misery canyon. This exceptionally clear pool is where it comes out of the slot. I left my water bottle here. Sorry. I wasn’t happy about it either. I had one more but it was already empty and i didn’t bring a filter that day. So on the way back I drank out of some springs emerging from the rocks.