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Canyons of the Escalante River Trip Reports

Across the King Bench: Horse Canyon to The Gulch

Canyons of the Escalante | Friday – Saturday, February 26-27, 2021

This weekend I met up with my friends Dennis and Chris inside of the Circle Cliffs west of the Waterpocket Fold so we could explore a few more Canyons of the Escalante. Over the winter Dennis and I had spoken about getting together for a hike sometime this spring since it had been a while, and he told me about his plans to hike over into The Gulch from Horse Canyon using an old stock trail to get up onto the King Bench. This sounded like a great idea ...
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Canyons of the Escalante: Silver Falls Creek

Following Another Segment of the Historic Halls Road
Friday – Sunday, May 8-10, 2020

This weekend Diane and I headed into the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area so that we could continue my Canyons of the Escalante series by hiking down Silver Falls Creek to the Escalante River and back. With warmer temperatures in the desert lately, I was looking for an easy overnight backpacking trip where we could camp near water to cool off during the heat of the day. Plus, with seemingly more people out on our public lands right now, I was also looking for a more ...
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Little Death Hollow & Wolverine Canyon

Canyons of the Escalante | Southern Utah Wanderings in a Sandstone Wilderness
Thursday & Friday, October 3-4, 2019

After an easier day exploring the colorful sandstone around Big Horn Canyon on Wednesday, it was time for our next overnight backpacking loop hike and this was one that I was pretty excited for since I’ve wanted to hike through Little Death Hollow for a long time! I slept in until just after sunrise on Thursday morning but I heard Jared get up before sunrise to wander around camp for a few photos. Once the sun was up we took our time ...
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Canyons of the Escalante: Big Horn Canyon

Southern Utah Wanderings in a Sandstone Wilderness
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

After our long day hike on the Boulder Mail Trail on Tuesday, we decided to try to take things a little easier today. Kind of like a rest day. Of course, as we have found out over the years, Jared and I are not very good at taking rest days. We tell ourselves that we are only going to hike a couple of miles, but then we end up hiking over ten! We slept in a little later this morning and planned to head into Escalante for a hearty ...
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The Boulder Mail Trail

Canyons of the Escalante | Southern Utah Wanderings in a Sandstone Wilderness
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Old Boulder Mail Trail is a 15 mile trail that was originally established in 1902 as a mail route that linked the isolated towns of Escalante and Boulder Town and was traversed by pack mules twice-weekly to carry mail, medicine and occasional travelers. In 1911 a telephone line was strung between trees, rocks and poles along the route by the Forest Service to connect the ranger stations in both towns. The ranger in Boulder even let the townspeople tie in with their own ...
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The Upper Escalante River & Lower Death Hollow

Canyons of the Escalante | Southern Utah Wanderings in a Sandstone Wilderness
Sunday & Monday, September 29-30, 2019

After spending Saturday hiking through Phipps Wash and Deer Canyon, we were ready to begin our overnight backpacking trip through the Escalante River Gorge on Sunday morning. The previous night we had found a campsite on Big Spencer Flats and had done our best to prepare for the high winds and storms that were forecasted overnight. It did stay pretty windy out for much of the night and there was a little on and off rain, but not enough that anything was ...
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Canyons of the Escalante: Phipps Wash & Deer Canyon

Southern Utah Wanderings in a Sandstone Wilderness
Friday & Saturday, September 27-28, 2019

Back in early October of 2010, Jared and I started our annual tradition of going on a week-long trip to different parts of the Colorado Plateau together. That first trip started out along the Hole-In-The-Rock Road in the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument, so we decided to return to where it all began this year and planned to spend an entire week hiking around the Canyons of the Escalante. I was really looking forward to our trip this year since it seems like I’ve been neglecting ...
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Coyote Gulch Repeat

Friday & Saturday, October 7-8, 2016

Earlier this year Diane asked me about wanting to go on a backpacking trip into Coyote Gulch after she saw some photos of the area, so we planned to do a repeat of a trip that I did with Jared a few years ago, except we would go for two nights instead of just one. We left home very early on Friday morning and drove straight to the trailhead only stopping to fill up my gas tank in Torrey. Since we left in the morning instead of the previous night like we had originally ...
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Escalante Volcano

Southern Utah Wanderings
Saturday, October 11, 2014

On Saturday morning we woke up before the sun came up and were able to watch the sunrise as we drove down the Old Sheffield Road to it’s end near the Red Breaks. Today we would be hiking to the unusual sandstone formation known as the Escalante Volcano. This interesting landform is known by many names including the Red Breaks Crater, Cosmic Ashtray, Cosmic Navel and Islomania Dome, but I’m just going to stick to simply calling it the Volcano.

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Upper Calf Creek Falls

Southern Utah Wanderings | Canyons of the Escalante
Friday, October 10, 2014

After visiting a few short slot canyons in the morning we still had plenty of time to find something else to do for the rest of the day. First we stopped in Escalante for a bite to eat and then found a campsite along the Old Sheffield Road so we could get camp setup early and not have to worry about it later. We decided to spend the late afternoon hiking to Upper Calf Creek Falls since we had visited the lower falls earlier in the week. The ...
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Zebra & Tunnel Slots

Southern Utah Wanderings | Canyons of the Escalante
Friday, October 10, 2014

After another good night of sleep under the stars we awoke to clear skies with the morning sunlight striking the Straight Cliffs in the distance. Today we planned to hike to a couple of popular and short slot canyons known as Zebra and Tunnel. Jared and I had actually planned on hiking to these two slot canyons back in 2010 when we were in the area for our first October trip to southern Utah together, however we were chased away by heavy rain and flash flooding that week, ...
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Coyote Gulch

Southern Utah Wanderings | Canyons of the Escalante
Wednesday & Thursday, October 8-9, 2014

Wednesday morning arrived with another beautiful sunrise from our campsite on Fortymile Ridge. Today we would be starting an overnight backpacking trip into Coyote Gulch. This is a popular backpacking destination in the area, and for good reason since it’s a beautiful hike. I had planned to do this hike in the middle of the week so it hopefully wouldn’t be as crowded as a weekend, and I think it ended up working well for us.

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Lower Calf Creek Falls

Southern Utah Wanderings | Canyons of the Escalante
Tuesday, October 7, 2014

After our long hot hike back from the Golden Cathedral on Monday, we decided to make today an easy day and drove back out to the highway so we could hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls. This hike has been on my list for many years, yet I always passed it up for other opportunities because of how crowded this popular trails seems to be. I was determined to finally make it to this classic southern Utah location this week.

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Golden Cathedral

Southern Utah Wanderings | Canyons of the Escalante
Monday, October 6, 2014

After spending the weekend in The Gulch and then spending Sunday night camped up on the Egypt Bench, we got started hiking in the faint dawn light before sunrise Monday morning from the Egypt trailhead on our way down to Neon Canyon on the other side of the Escalante River. Our main destination for today would be the impressive alcove known as the Golden Cathedral and a few nearby petroglyph panels. From the trailhead we descended the steep sandstone ramp and then hiked cross-country while watching the sun ...
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The Gulch

Southern Utah Wanderings | Canyons of the Escalante
Saturday & Sunday, October 4-5, 2014

On Saturday morning I left for my annual week-long trip into southern Utah. This year I planned to spend the whole week along the canyons of the Escalante River in the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. I met Jared, who would be joining me for the entire trip, in Boulder and we took off down the Burr Trail to the trailhead for The Gulch. Our plan was to start out with an overnight backpack trip into The Gulch so I could visit a few rock ...
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Grand Staircase – Escalante Ruins & Rock Art

Saturday & Sunday, July 16-17, 2011

This past weekend Amanda and I headed down to the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument to visit some ruins and rock art that I have wanted to get to for a while. The weather was pretty nice all weekend, in the upper 80′s during the hottest part of the day, and there were enough clouds in the sky to block the sunlight occasionally to help keep things feeling a little cooler.

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Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch Slots

Southern Utah Wanderings 2010 | Day 2
Sunday, October 3, 2010

After getting some more sleep we still managed to get up for an early start and headed down into the Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch after some breakfast. Our destination this morning would be the Peek-A-Boo and Spooky slot canyons. There were some storm clouds north of us towards Escalante and some way at the southern end of the Straight Cliffs, but the area above this drainage was still clear. On our way down into the canyon those clouds provided us with a couple of rainbows to photograph.

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