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Skutumpah to Willis Creek Canyon

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It was really more by accident that we came across the Willis Creek Trail. On Pioneer Day morning we were looking for dog-friendly day hikes close to Hurricane, something that would get us out of the hottest day of the year so far, with water for Ginger and Maryann. In her search, Mindy found a hiking trail, Willis Creek, near Kolob Reservoir. When she went back to search Willis Creek, a different spot came up, this one with the promise of slot canyons.

And a bit of pioneer history, it turns out, since Mormon Pioneer, Utah Scapegoat, Colorado Plateau resident, Federal fugitive and Indian Farmer John D. Lee was one who coined the name "Skutumpah," borrowing a Paiute term meaning "an area where rabbit brush grows and squirrels can be found," arguably, Skutumpah is much less of a mouthful.

In 1866 a group of Mormon pioneers were sent to Green River from St. George to help efforts in the Blackhawk War. They traveled through Johnson Canyon to Cannonville where a few me…