Boulder Mail Trail - April 26-27, 2019

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Brett

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
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28
Had a great first trip of the season at the end of April. We hiked the Boulder Mail Trail over 3 days and had a blast. Hopefully this trip report has some data that might help someone trying to learn more about this trip, or just inspire somebody to do this hike. It's a great one.

Friday - 4/26

We left the Salt Lake area around 1:30 pm and drove straight to Escalante to meet up with our shuttle. We used Utah Canyon Outdoors, and they did a great job. By the time we dropped our personal vehicle at the end of the trail and drove to the trailhead, it was 7:00PM.
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We only went as far as Sand Creek, but by the time we found a place to set up our tents we were setting them up in the dark. But even just that first bit of the hike has gorgeous scenery.

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We woke up the next day to a beautiful morning. For those interested in data for planning purposes, I brought along a little thermometer that records the lowest temp, and it said it got down to 46 the first night.

That second day we continued along the trail. For the entire day we had some dramatic clouds and a little bit rain (with lightning in the distance). Right as we got to the bottom of the steep descent into Death Hollow it started raining really hard. I'm not sure how slick that rock was getting, but I was glad we weren't on the steep slopes when the rain hit. We hunkered down under a tree for about 15 minutes to eat a snack and let the rain pass. After the rain ended we made the hike through Death Hollow.

For the water crossings on this trip I was debating whether to wear my Chacos the entire time or bring a pair of water shoes. Eventually I decided I'd just walk through the water in my hiking shoes. They're lightweight trail-runners that dry quickly. But when we got to the water I just took them off and walked barefoot. I stayed barefoot the entire time in Death Hollow, up until we made the ascent out of the canyon. For people thinking of doing this trip, this worked just fine for me. We were walking on sand the entire time, and I never stepped on anything that hurt my feet, though YMMV.

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Death Hollow is really pretty. It's easy to see that there's so much more to explore in this area, and I'm sure we'll be back to check out more of beautiful area. We climbed up out of the canyon, and continued on until we got to Mamie Creek, our final camping spot. All along this trail there are plenty of Cairns, so it's pretty easy to make it along the correct route across the slick rock.

The water at Mamie Creek didn't look great. There was hardly any flow so it wasn't the most appealing backcountry water source, but it filtered just fine.

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Just as the sun was going down that night some huge winds picked up. It may have been the strongest winds I've ever camped in. My trusty little Lunar Solo held up just fine, in those winds, but we all got a nice dumping of sand in our tents. It took me a long time the next morning to shake everything off.

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The overnight low for night 2 was 42.

Our final day there were hardly any clouds. It made for a nice morning, but soon we were missing the cloud cover. It got pretty hot on our walk back to our cars. From Mamie Creek to the end of the trail there is a lot of up and down hiking. It's all across beautiful, sweeping landscapes, so you'll enjoy ever moment of it.

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When we got near the end the saw the town of Escalante below us and were a little sad the adventure was ending so soon. Lucky for us, there's still quite a bit of hiking to be done before you make it back to the car. The Escalante river was flowing really high, so we had to cross water once again. The trail isn't super clearly marked from the Escalante back to the cars. Or at least there are multiple social trails that are easy to think are the right trail. We ended up on the wrong trail (and thus ended up crossing someone's private property) but it all kind of leads to the same place eventually.

This was an awesome hike, and makes for a perfect Spring backpacking trip in Utah.
 

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Jon Carbaugh

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Jul 8, 2015
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133
Sounds like a nice trip, well done!
 

Miya

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Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
852
Nice share! I love water crossings.
The dark clouds added great drama to your photos!
 

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