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The San Rafael Swell - where Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyons are located - is full of slots with difficulties ranging from easy scrambling to skilled canyoneering. Slots are big fun on a nice day. They can be deadly in a rainstorm. Water falling on the rock above a narrow opening has no place to drain but DOWN. In a hurry. And then it has no place to go but OUT. In a hurry and pushing boulders, logs and other debris along for the ride. Caught in a slot filling rapidly with a torrential rush of water, you have no place to go but UP - which very often isn't possible. Nope, change your plans if showers are in the forecast, and pick a sunny, or at least dry, day to explore the tight spots lest you find yourself in one.
Ending up on the wrong side of a wash during a flash flood can keep you there awhile too: there's no crossing them until the water has receded to a safe level. I'm including a link to the account of some folks who got stranded at LWH during a flash flood. They were lucky to be in a safe place but their vehicles - parked in the wash - were not. Moral of the story? Never park in a wash. Duh.
Updated Feb 16, 2012
We have mossies the size of 747's here in Minnesota but I've never met any as bloodthirsty as the beasties in Hanksville. Out taking pictures one early morning, I felt an itch and looked down to see probably 25 of the little b*stards having breakfast on Yours Truly. Stand still for even one moment and you are toast so I made tracks back to motel, swatting and cussing all the way. New local friend, Wayne (of the 8 fingers) was chewing the fat with The Husband when I came tearing in and he says, "Darlin', I saw you out wandering around in those shorts and knew you were going to be one sorry lady." I was: at least 50 bites in the spaces between shorts and shoes.
The town is surrounded by irrigation canals necessary for agriculture and livestock, and they're fertile breeding grounds for the wee buggers. They're worst early in the morning and at dusk so if you're camping or hiking in the vicinity, cover up every inch of you and keep that tent zipped until the coast is clear.
Updated Oct 22, 2011
Free-range ranching is common in this part of the state so sheep, cattle and other livestock wander at will - including on and across the roads. Obviously, they have the right-of-way as connecting car with critter would not do your bumper any good at all.
Written Oct 22, 2011