Many or most people that are lucky enough to win the permit lottery do not hire a guide service but with the recent weather, hiring a guide was the best course of action for many reasons:
1)Lad, our guide is a Kanab local…grew up here and knows the terrain
2)We were able to hike in other areas that un-guided hikers would probably miss
3)Lad was able to share quite a bit of history of the area making it more enjoyable. And, he brought lunch!
Before the hike, the BLM provides permit holders a 30-minute debriefing on what to expect, gear, water, etc. They recommended good hiking shoes with ankle support and at least a single walking pole. Both items comfortable parked at home in the garage. I ended up doing the hike in my Pearl Azumi mountain bike shoes with metal clip-ins which made traction on some of the steeper slick rock difficult. A walking pole would have also made that easier as well. Word to the wise – BRING and use the recommended gear…it will make your life much easier for this unassuming 10k hike roundtrip.