Edmaier's Secret

There are two routes into Edmaier's Secret. The first is to park at the trailhead to Buckskin Gulch (BG) and hike down BG about 2.5 miles, then head left (east) and make your way up to the interesting formations of "Brain Rock". The BG trailhead is 4.2 miles down House Rock Valley Road. You will need to pay $6 at the BG trailhead for day use as of 2010. There are no day use limitations. There is a barbed wire fence that needs to be crossed when exiting BG. The advantage of this entry is that when it is time to exit it is very easy to get back to your car, just make your way to BG and turn right, then hike 2.5 miles in BG. The disadvantage is the $6 fee and the 2.5 miles of hiking you need to hike in BG at end of day.

The second route in is via Long Valley Road (also called Long Canyon Road). This road also goes to Cobra Arch. Long Valley Road is the road heading south from Highway 89 at the signed "Paria Outpost". Paria Outpost is 0.6 miles West of the Paria Contact Ranger Station, and just west of where the Paria River runs under Highway 89. Take Long Valley Rd 4.5 miles and fork right onto a small sandy jeep trail. This road is a BLM "administrative road". It may not be "legal" to use it, it may not have been maintained recently, and it may not be maintained in the future. Follow this road 0.6 miles to a small water hole and bear left. Follow the small "Jeep Trail" 1.1 miles and park wherever you can. Mark your location so you can find your car at end of day. You are in a very flat area with many trees and it will be hard to see your car from any distance. Then hike .7 miles to the edge of the escarpment (cliff) and make your way down to the brain rocks. The advantage of this route is that there is less hiking, disadvantages are finding your car in the dark if you hike out at sunset, and the need for a 4x4 on the sandy jeep road.

You should have and know how to use a GPS if you use the second route. Use it to mark the location of your car, and the point at which you descend the escarpment. Edmaier's Secret is best photographed late in the day as the Sun will not hit it until several hours after sunrise.

The Nautilus

Only a few references to this formation can be found on the web. Phillipe Schuler has some good photos but did not give the location as in May 2009 the rangers at the Paria Ranger station asked him not to disclose it. I was given the location in 2010 at the Paria Ranger station and was told it was okay to post the location. I did so but shortly afterwards received an email from the BLM asking that I remove the location from my site as the rock is very fragile. I removed the location from my website for about a year but have now decided to repost directions since the location is now readily available from other sources on the web.

To get to the Nautilus take the White House Trailhead Road (this is the road that turns off from the Paria Ranger Station ) about 1.6 miles to a small wash, right after crossing the wash there is a small place to park on the right. Head up the Wash (East) about .4 miles, the Nautilus is on the right side of the wash. This is a very short hike. There is a barbed wire fence at the start of the hike, it can be easily bypassed by climbing over the wood part at the right side of the fence. The barbed wire fence was installed in 2011 by a local rancher. The Nautilus is on public land. The rock at the Nautilus is made of Page sandstone and is very fragile so please tread lightly.

Photo Tips - The first time I was there on a clear day around 1PM, not the best time to shoot the Nautilus as there are very deep shadows. The second time was on an overcast day with no direct light. The cloudy day worked better. I was at the Nautilus in the evening recently and found that there was some very good reflected light a bit before sunset. Shoot from the bottom just after it goes into shadow, the upper interior has a very nice red glow then. Alternatively try photographing the Nautilus in the blue (30 minutes after sunset) when it will be lit only by reflected light. You will need a fisheye or ultra wide to best photograph the Nautilus. Night time photography with star trails / light painting should also work very well here. Finally - the background is very busy so I would try to eliminate as much of it as possible.

Note - In 2014 the was a partial collapse of the Nautilus and it is not as photogenic as before.

To view the map larger please click on the box in the upper right corner of the map.

The area around Edmaier's Secret is covered by the West Clark Bench USGS 24K topographic map


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