Apologize, but asking for more Death Hollow tips....

John Kerby

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I will be leaving Wichita ks July 9th at 11pm, driving all night and day to get there by dinner July 10th. Think we will be at the trail head by 6pm at the Boulder Airport. Will end up at the Highway 12 bridge at my truck.

1. Do you more experienced hikers think we could set out as late as 6pm to get a little ways into the hike? Think we could make a water source before sundown and camp for the night? I remember from my 09 trip (didn't finish hike, went maybe 8 miles in) that the early hike away from the airport is basically solid rock.....Probably not comfortable to throw a tent and sleep on....

2. The Boulder Airport to Death Holow, to the Highway 12 bridge will take us down Death Hollow to the confluence of the Escalante and DH right?

3. Am I correct in that this hike is a 16-17 mile?

In 2009 I hiked it with 3 guy friends, went to the start of Death Hollow, down into the canyon, explored around, and hiked out. Did some rock climbing and exploring on the trail into that point. So I did not experience the best part of it. On this trip, I am the leader as I am the only one who has been there.....Just want to have as much info as possible. Have a 13 (almost 14) year old girl coming with us. All of us are pumped and excited.....

Thanks guys.
 

John Kerby

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Oh, and on the heat. My 09 trip we went over memorial weekend. Remember is was downcast, cloudy, and rained every night. Don't remember it being that hot though. DRY, but not too hot. July is that worse? I live in Kansas, where its already 100+ with high humidity. VERY sticky and hot....
 

Nick

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1. Do you more experienced hikers think we could set out as late as 6pm to get a little ways into the hike? Think we could make a water source before sundown and camp for the night? I remember from my 09 trip (didn't finish hike, went maybe 8 miles in) that the early hike away from the airport is basically solid rock.....Probably not comfortable to throw a tent and sleep on....

You could camp at Sand Creek the first night. Probably 3 miles in. Get an early start the next day. The hike over the Slickrock Saddle in the July heat could be incredibly uncomfortable.

2. The Boulder Airport to Death Holow, to the Highway 12 bridge will take us down Death Hollow to the confluence of the Escalante and DH right?

That's a great route. There are variations you could take, but yes, that's what you want to do.

3. Am I correct in that this hike is a 16-17 mile?

Incorrect. It's around 22 miles without any side trips. Roughly 7 form airstrip to DH, 7 down DH and 7 down Escalante to bridge.
 

John Kerby

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Trying to remember sand creek.....In 09 we camped on a small plateu above a small creek about 3-5 feet wide that ran clear. This could not have been that far in......I assume thats sand creek? The first creek you run into on the hike to Death Hollow?

I also would imagine the first 7 in from the airstrip would be the worst, as there aren't many sources of water.

Let nme post a few pics and see if you guys recognize where we were in 09....
 

John Kerby

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In the first pic, is the entrance to Death Hollow the 'slickrock saddle'?

The second pic is of our campsite in 09. This was again, on a small almost ledge you had to climb up. There was a small creek running down below it, and we followed that stream for quite a ways until we took the right to Death Hollow.

Oh, third pic is the entrance to Death Hollow....Again, is that the slickrock saddle? Trying to figure out if it is something I saw last time.....I remember it was a little hot and uncomfortable going over it and down into the canyon....
 

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John Kerby

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On, and in the campsite pic, the trail is almost in the center of the pic. Just to the left of the tent the trail continued along the stream, above it.
 

Nick

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Yes, Sand Creek is that first small creek you cross. The drainage you drop into right away is Sand Creek, then you cross the stream and climb out the other side and cross the ridge into Death Hollow.

The first 7 will be the worst for heat but not necessarily the most difficult hiking. The watercourse of DH can be challenging with the boulders, beaver dams, and bushwhacking at times. Then the last 7 on the Escalante can be a bit of a chore following the sandy trails from bend to bend. None of it's bad, I just wouldn't say any part is much more difficult than the other.
 

Nick

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That first pic is down in Death Hollow. The 'slickrock saddle' is the BIG ridge between Sand Creek and DH that you had just hiked over.

Second pic - not sure where that is but remember no fires allowed in any Escalante Canyons.

Third - Looks like descending into DH from the rim.
 

John Kerby

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No fires allowed? I want to say that in 09, we asked about that and were basically told if needed we could light a fire. Maybe its changed? Or do they prefer you not light fires? Or, to be clear, its just not allowed? Remember, I have not been there for 4 years.

I know that I can get us into Death Hollow now. I remember the slickrock saddle kinda sucking, as it was hot. But once in the canyon it was awesome.....
 

John Kerby

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Oh, and if all goes according to plan, I intend to set off that first night and camp hopefully in the same spot. Would be beautiful to see the sunset out there......
 

Nick

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Definitely no fires allowed. Strictly against the rules below the rim of any Escalante canyon and has been for many years. Up on the rims it's okay if there aren't any seasonal restrictions. I believe that area is under fire restrictions right now though so no fires at all, even on the rims.
 

John Kerby

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Where we camped I do not believe we were in a canyon, as we had not entered death hollow yet.
 

Nick

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If there was a small creek right below it, you were most likely in a canyon as far as the fire rules are concerned.

Kind of a good rule of thumb is that if you aren't car camping and bringing in your own wood, probably shouldn't be having a fire out there. I think they technically require the use of a fire pan too. The Escalante Interagency Office should be able to give you the specifics if you're curious.
 

John Kerby

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I'm packing in a few tiki torches (not the sticks, just the canisters), so we will likely use those for light. Dig a small hole, put a couple in it upright, and light them. They put off a lot of light....
 

Jammer

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Heya John --

Have you thought about doing the trip in reverse? That way you get the best of it in with the opportunity to just turn around if you are way behind. Actually... I would even plan it as a out and back from Hwy 12 so that you could leave your camp gear in place and not mess with it through the narrows where it will slow you down and likely to get wet. The is a loop route available as a day-hike up Death Hollow and back over the slickrock to the Escalante if interested. You also wouldn't have the hassle of a car shuttle this way. I'm just a little concerned you are trying to do too much (especially with a 13-year-old and driving 16+ hrs through the night to start!)

Yeah... no fires. Pretty sure no tiki torches either. Sorry. Those have been the rules since at least early 2000s... and for fairly good reason.

Thanks,
- Jamal
 

slc_dan

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Not to pile on, but NO fires.

Guys like us get quite peeved when people go ahead and have fires down there anyway. When there are little fires in a desert Oasis like this, it can all spark up real quick. Please respect the rules, they are there for a reason. The BLM Management may not have the resources to reinforce this, but it doesn't mean that the repercussions aren't happening.
 

John Kerby

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I think the 13 year old will be fine, honestly. Her dad is packing a light bag for her, and one for himself. Worst case scenario, we can split up and let him hiker her back out and me and her uncle can finish the trip to the truck. But this kid is HARDY, and in WAY better shape than me. Her father is 36, a marine corp vet, and in great shape. Her uncle is a marine corp vet, in AWESOME shape, and has done a fair amount of hiking. Guy has just driven off on his own, and taken two week hikes without telling anyone. NOT smart, I know, but he has experience. I am more concerned that it will bore him....

Really, being honest, I am in the worst shape of any of us, but no worse than I was in 09. My only real concern is getting us lost. But, we are going to have a gps, and each of us will have a 3 day supply of foodand snacks, so we should be good. Two water filters, iodine treatments.

I would add that I am like a mule.....In 09, my 3 friends all worked out, prepared for it, got into shape, and I didn't. I was THE ONLY ONE who was never sore, or lagging behind. Through most of the trip I led the group. LOVED IT.
 

John Kerby

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Oh, forcast shows it in the upper 80's and low 90's, with lows in the 50's during the night. That sounds like paradise to me.
 
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