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sign: Mossy Cave 0.4 miles

The two RV Gypsies went to Mossy Cave & Water Canyon

The Mossy Cave trail is an excellent hike for children, senior citizens, or others wishing to see hoodoos up close but without having to hike long trails up and down steep slopes. It is rated as an easy trail with a round trip distance of 0.4 miles.

sign: This is a National Park
sign: this area was sculpted bu water

Mossy Cave is located on Highway 12, approximately 4 miles east of the intersection of Highways 12 and 63. Look for a small parking area on the right-hand side immediately after driving across a little bridge. The Mossy Cave itself is at the end of a short trail. Here too you can see hoodoos and windows without having to hike up a steep trail.

At first, this canyon (known as Water Canyon) might look like any ordinary Bryce Canyon kind of canyon. It's not. From 1890-1892 Mormon pioneers labored with picks and shovels to carve an irrigation ditch from the East Fork of the Sevier River, through the Paunsaugunt Plateau, into this canyon. Every year since its completion in 1892 (except during the drought of 2002), this canal known as the Tropic Ditch has supplied the communities of Tropic and Cannonville with irrigation water, but it changed the geology of the canyon by washing away hoodoos. The result is a nice wide path to walk and magnificent hoodoo's high up on the canyon walls. The stream of water flowing through the canyon makes this a unique hike among Bryce Canyon's vast desert hoodoo landscape.

hoodoos
hoodoos

A peek at the hoodoos and the Tropic Ditch Canal from the very beginning of the trail and looking up towards the towering hoodoos that line the short, easy Mossy Cave trail (only 0.4 miles in length). Historically a dry wash, it now flows for much of the year as part of the Tropic Ditch, a canal carrying water from the East Fork of the Sevier River to the arid valley below.

hoodoos
hoodoos and the canal
panorama of the hoodoos

The two RV Gypsies paused at the beginning of the trail for photos, then continued on the trail - which does not involve crossing the creek nor going up the hill towards the hoodoos.

Karen Duquette at the Mossy Cave Trail in Utah
The two RV Gypsies at the Mossy Cave Trail in Utah

Karen Duquette stopped to feel the cold water in a stream by the trail.

Lee Duquette approached a small bridge on the Mossy Cave trail.

Karen Duquette stops to feel the cold water
Lee Duquette approaching a small bridge
Karen Duquette on the bridge
Lee Duquette on the bridge

A panorama and a regular view of The Tropic Ditch Canal from each side of the above bridge

panorama of he canal
hoodoos and he canal
panorama of hoodoos at Mossy Cave trail
the canal running through the Mossy Cave trail

More views of the canal at the Mossy Cave trail

More views of the canal at the Mossy Cave trail
More views of the canal at the Mossy Cave trail
More views of the canal at the Mossy Cave trail
More views of the canal at the Mossy Cave trail
sign: Tropic Ditch
sign about how the canal was built

After taking a short walk, the two RV Gypsies enjoyed the view of the small waterfall.

Here, the rapid trenching of this stream has been delayed by a layer of Dolomite. Dolomite is a special form of limestone that is fortified by magnesium. Dolomite is not only harder than regular limestone, it also can't be dissolved by slightly acidic rainwater. Dolomite is what has created this waterfall and it is also the cap rock for the more famous and durable hoodoos.

the two RV Gypsies are enjoying the view of the small waterfall.
the two RV Gypsies are enjoying the view of the small waterfall.the two RV Gypsies are enjoying the view of the small waterfall.

After crossing the bridge, the trail went gently uphill for a wonderful view of the waterfall

Karen Duquette on the Mossy Cave trail in Utah
the waterfall at Water Canyon
the waterfall at Water Canyon
Lee Duquete and the waterfall at Water Canyon
the waterfall at Water Canyon

Below: Karen photographed the very steep hill and the amazing wall of hoodoos.

a view of a very steep hill and the amazing wall of hoodoos

check it outOh, Look! Two youngsters are jumping over the flowing water just above the waterfall area. Later, the two RV Gypsies learned that their names are Randi and Justice. Later, Randi and Justice visited this website and signed our guestbook, then the two RV Gypsies e-mailed them these photos in a higher resolution.

Randi and Justice.
waterfall

Looking upwards and across from the canal at a wall of hoodoos atop a very steep hill. Randi and Justice took several breaks on their way up the steep hill. The two RV Gypsies knew that if Randi and Justice were having a hard time making it up that hill, there is NO WAY that the two RV Gypsies would even attempt it.

wall of hoodoos
Randi & Justice resting
Randi and Justice almost to the hoodoos
Randi and Justice almost to the hoodoos
Randi & Justice made it to the hoodoos
Randi & Justice made it to the hoodoos
Randi & Justice made it to the hoodoos
close-up of the hoodoos

Randi and Justice made it to the hoodoos. In the photo below on the left, notice the smaller window to the left of Justice. Then in the below photo on the right, the black spot seen in that window is actually Justice.

see the window to the left of Justice
Justice in the hoodoo window

The two RV Gypsies took a short walk further on to see Mossy Cave, which isn't a cavern but just a shelter cave which was created by an underground spring. The sign indicated that icicles form on the cave in the winter and can sometimes last until June.

sign: about Mossy Cave
Karen Duquette at Mossy Cave
The two RV Gypsies at Mossy Cave
Look below

go back to the Colorado Menu page Please return to the Utah menu page for the other eleven adventures of the two RV Gypsies in Utah - national parks, goblin valley and more.
[YOU CAN ALSO GET TO THE COLORADO PAGE FROM BOTTOM OF THE UTAH MENU PAGE]