Mar 11, 2012 at 7:56 pm #1286982
Any advice for long (loop?) trips in Southern Utah? I have five or six nights.
I'm leaning towards somewhere around Escalante. I'll be hiking from town to the highway after this longer trip, so I'd at least like to be within a five hour drive of Escalante.
Preference is for hikes with minimal climbing/exposure. I'm in a passenger car.
Thanks!Mar 12, 2012 at 4:36 am #1852360
Alex HBPL Member
@abhittLocale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Jack not sure if you saw this over on my site but it is a great loop with lots of side exploring to do.Mar 12, 2012 at 5:25 am #1852371
@sschloss1Locale: New England
You could do a section or two of the Hayduke Trail (http://hayduketrail.org/). I don't have the guidebook in front of me, but I'm sure you could find something that's 75-100 miles between major roads so you could hitch back to your car.Mar 12, 2012 at 7:09 am #1852393
Brendan SwihartBPL Member
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
For Escalante beta, pick up Steve Allen's Canyoneering 3. Unmatched resource.
The other area you could check out is Dirty Devil/Robber's Roost area. Some of the canyons can be looped (Twin Corral Box and Sams Mesa Box…headed to this area tomorrow) but some you'll have to retrace some ground. Great area though; the canyons are really different as you go south. If you can find Canyoneering 2 (also Allen), it has some longer loops in other areas of S Utah. Most of them involve a couple rappels, but they can sometimes be avoided and it has lots of great info.Mar 14, 2012 at 7:31 pm #1853962
Brendan, I'd love to hear a thumbs up or thumbs down on your latest trip. Hope it went well. I don't know much at all about Robber's Roost…
I was debating buying Canyoneering 3… still debating.
Alex, your trip looks great! I'm hoping to aim for larger deep canyons, but I've got your hike linked. I like that it's a barely traveled loop.
Scott, I think that I'd like to stay off of the Hayduke. I imagine that eventually I'll carve out time to do a thruhike of the route. I was considering walking the Burr Trail to Hole in the Rock. Not sure that I want to hitch those roads though.
I haven't driven all of the Burr Trail. Stopped before the switch backs down into the Waterpocket Fold. How is the rest of the road? Passenger car accessible and well graded normally?
I'm tempted but scared by walking the Escalante from the highway to Coyote Gulch. It sounds difficult. I'm also toying with doing Death Hollow and doing the traverse of Capitol Reef.Mar 15, 2012 at 7:02 am #1854112
I've driven a mustangette down the switchbacks to Notom-Bullfrog road and took that back up to 24, there was a load of washboard but it was completely passable. I've read you can do the whole thing in a passenger car weather permitting.Mar 15, 2012 at 10:05 am #1854206
@davecLocale: The West Slope
As Allen notes, the key to good backpacking in the Escalante is minimizing hiking along the river. Between brush bashing, wading, and quicksand its just not fun (or particularly expedient). And you miss a lot of the views.
If you don't want to drive off pavement you could do a fine loop starting and ending at the Gulch TH. Allen's Escalante North loop in Canyoneering 2 is if memory serves one of the least technical routes in the book, and would fit your time frame well.Mar 15, 2012 at 10:15 am #1854209
@davidpasseyLocale: New York City
Here's one: Death Hollow from the Boulder Mail Trailhead to the Escalanate (some VERY minor canyoneering here, but absolutely gorgeous hiking. Escalante River to Boulder Creek–there are good use trails here, and some interesting obvious sites along the way–huge red rock walls, ruins, arches, Phipps Arch. Boulder Creek is brushy and tight, but could be hiked in the water. But not early season. As a surprise, Boulder Creek is an excellent trout creek. You can position your exit from Boulder Creek so you come out on Highway 12, only a few miles from the Mail Trail trailhead and hitchhike back to the car.
Also, there's the option of going down canyon and up parallel canyon's on the dry side–horse, the Gulch, Wolvervine. A number of nice routes there.Mar 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm #1854527
Hmmm… Still stuck.
I've decided to stay away from Death Hollow as it feeds into a part of the Escalante that I've already been, and will be hiking again on a group trip the next week.
I guess I need to look at Allen's books.
I've hiked south from The Gulch TH, but not far. And frankly heading upstream seems more interesting. The end of The Gulch looks interesting, kind of a long ways to steep walls.
The main Escalante canyon still looks absolutely amazing. David Loome's trip report of it stands out.
I'd rather go more remote than Boulder Creek. It follows the highway for much of it's length.
I'll research a loop with The Gulch and Horse Canyon.
Maybe I need to look at another region.
I'm tempted by this trip: bp2.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip/1064491Mar 16, 2012 at 7:10 am #1854645
Brendan SwihartBPL Member
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
Definitely stay away from Boulder Creek (at least above the confluence with Deer Creek). We took a couple of first time backpackers down there last summer and it was a horrible bushwhack and the creek itself is difficult to walk in (living up to its name). Not much fun at all.
The main Escalante canyon is better hiking than it used to be. They've cleared out A LOT of Tamarisk and Russian Olive. This means there's big piles of dead trees everywhere (not exactly pretty), and it still doesn't match the side canyons and benches, but there's less bushwhacking in areas.
One trip that I plan on doing later this spring is doing the 25 m. wash/Escalante/Fence loop and adding the Silver Falls Canyon and Choprock loop. A little shorter than what you're looking (I think around 50 miles IIRC) for but there's lots of side canyons along the way that you could add.
I'll try to get a report up on the Dirty Devil loop I just got back from (Sam's Mesa Box and Twin Corral Box Canyons) later today.
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