Monday, October 23, 2017

Horse Valley, Grafton, Bad Dump and Good News

IMG_1934                                                  Scene from Horse Valley Wash hike

First the good news. We drove to get propane and dump tanks Saturday and the air blew out the vents just like it’s supposed to, so it appears our vacuum leak is fixed. Parts cost around $26 and it took Jim and Chris several hours to do the work, although much of that time was spent planning. We are very happy! Here is a link to a thread on the Sportsmobile forum about how to do the work-around in case anyone out there reading this has the same problem.

When we arrived at the Maverick station in La Verkin to dump we found it flooded by a couple inches of what we hoped was just water. That was a first for us.


I called Andre since he and Rose had gone to dump about an hour earlier. He said it was fine then, so since there was no odor we assumed someone just ran water and because the lid to the dump is locked it wouldn’t drain. Jim went inside to get the key (free but you have to leave your drivers license for collateral) and while he was in the store I made him a pair of plastic bag booties to put over his shoes, since he could not reach the submerged lock without getting his feet in. Luckily the water drained and we were able to go about our business.


Mark and Bobbie arrived on Thursday (Bobbie is recovered from her fall in Capitol Reef), so we all did a hike Friday morning. Being Utah Education Association weekend, where the kids get Thursday and Friday off, we knew we didn’t want a repeat of our nightmare hike in Little Wild Horse Canyon with the crowds a few years ago.

I was searching for off-the-beaten-track hikes near Zion and came across Horse Valley in nearby Rockville. It turned out to be a great place to be on a busy weekend, as we only ran into one other group of people with dogs on our way back.

From left: Rose, Bobbie, Laurelee, Gayle, Chris, Mark, Andre. Jim is behind the camera.


There really is no trail, you just walk up the wash or through the creek as best you can, which made it a bit challenging at times. We were happy to see water in the creek which meant there was a chance of a waterfall at the end.




We did a lot of crossing back and forth across the stream, with some of us getting wet and muddy feet.





After walking 2.3 miles we came to this beautiful waterfall where we turned around.


Here I am contemplating climbing up the rope. Not that I would ever consider doing that even if it wasn’t wet and slippery.



It was a great spot to stop for a snack and we had our choice of sun or shade.


Andre checking out a giant boulder overhead.


Don’t want this one to fall on you.



It really was a lovely canyon, especially with the golden leaves on the trees. We took too many photos, as usual.





We had never visited the ghost town of Grafton, and since we were just a couple miles away we stopped by on the way home to check it out. It was originally a Mormon settlement established in 1859 and was last occupied in the 1940s.


They picked a very scenic location.


The buildings that remain were restored by the Grafton Heritage Partnership in 1997.


The big claim to fame is that the bicycle scene from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was filmed here in the late 1960s.


It’s worth a stop if you’re in the area.


Today we’ll be exploring some canyons on the quieter east side of Zion.


  1. LOL at the title - Bad Dump Good News. Glad you got that out of the way. Glad Bobbies' nose was apparently not broken. Looks like a lovely hike though wet muddy feet doesn't appear. But what a sweet little waterfall. I know all about too many pictures. Yours are great. What happened to the town in the 1940's? Nice that they were able to restore the buildings 50 years after the fact or perhaps the movie studio did some of it in the 60's.

    1. The Mormons abandoned Grafton due to repeated floods from the nearby Virgin River.
      And I found a website that said a new building was erected for the Butch Cassidy scene.

  2. There has got to be a "Dumper's Hall of Fame" out there somewhere with a "Dumper of the Month" empty spot just waiting for that photo...

    1. When you find that website let me know and I will post it!

  3. Glad your problem is fixed. Nice hike. Hard to believe nobody tried the rope. Looks like more work has gone on in Grafton since I visited there a couple of years ago. Am truly bummed I won't be catching up with you all there.

    1. So are we but maybe we'll see you sometime this winter. Feel better soon!

  4. The Mormons picked a beautiful location in Grafton..such incredible scenery. Didn't know that was where the bicycle scene for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was filmed there.

    1. We love the scenery around here, especially in the fall.

  5. I think we may have had to by pass that dump even if it was only water:) Love Jim's outfit:)

    Nice hike with the schools on vacation. Cute waterfall. Grafton is so well preserved. We really enjoyed looking around the grounds. Enjoy the east side of Zion and the lack of crowds!

    1. We did a great hike in a new-to-us canyon yesterday which you guys did, Separation Canyon/Peak. Didn't see anyone else except our group!

  6. Oh how stylish Jim looks in those booties.
    I was looking at Gayle looking at that rope thinking...don't do it Gayle, don't do it...hehe

    Beautiful canyon and setting for the settlement. I have friends that moved to Grafton back in 1970 and never returned to Ohio...only to visit their mom. They fell in love with the area.

    1. It's a beautiful area but too many tourists these days.

  7. The things we do for empty tanks!

    Loving your Utah time, makes me wish we'd routed through there!

    1. I wish you guys had come this way, too. You would have loved our hikes!

  8. Too bad the folks with the key didn't come out and dump the standing water for you :-( What a beautiful little water fall. Can one take too many pictures in these beautiful places? Grafton is a beautiful spot and the restored structures look move-in ready!

  9. I opened your post while eating breakfast. Yuk, even if it is just water at the dump station! Creative thinking on those booties. :-)) Looks like a fun hike with friends -- love those fall colors and red rocks!

  10. Say hi to Chris, Andre, Rose and Laurelee for me. Gosh I was I was there with you guys. And, happy birthday to Jim and happy anniversary to you both! So glad that fix worked.

  11. Nothing prettier than red rocks and fall colors. Looks like Utah was the place to explore this fall.

  12. Jim was styling in those plastic booties, now you've created a new fashion trend! ;c)