Boulder Mail Trail - Logistical Qs


Mar 28, 2013

I'm planning on opening up my 2018 season with an overnighter on the BMT. First, thanks to everyone in this forum for all the info that you've already shared about this trail. All your pics and trip reports are really helpful and are what have made me want to do this trail so badly. In getting prepped, I do have a couple specific questions that I'm hoping you might be able to give me some advice on:

1) Water sources. What's reliable? Where are they? Do I need to plan on schlepping all my water just in case?

2) As an overnighter, where's the best place to camp? I'd prefer something near the halfway mark, and, if possible, close-ish to a water source for rehydrating meals.

3) I'm planning on going mid-April. Anything specific to keep in mind for that time of year?

Thanks in advance! Can't wait to take a zillion pictures and post a trip report!
Mamie Creek has reliable water. That is where I decided to camp for the night. As an overnight, I think that's the best spot to stop. There are some great spots near the Pinyon Pines in that canyon. Spectacular hike.

Near the end of the hike you see the town of Escalante. You still have 3-4 miles to go, remember to curb your expectations on that part, and you'll enjoy it more I think.
We just day hiked the BMT a few days ago on our annual Spring Break trip.

There was water in Sand Creek, Death Hollow and Mamie Creek. There are a few good camp sites where the BMT enters Death Hollow but agree with Dan that Mamie Creek is the best area to camp (more private than the Death Hollow options). Since we were day hiking, we did not detour to the natural bridge in Mamie Creek but I would definitely check that out if backpacking (approx. 1 hr round trip).

The route down into Death Hollow is pretty easy (despite reading a few accounts to the contrary) and the overall route throughout the BMT is very well cairned. There was not any poison ivy that I could see in Death Hollow yet but maybe I just missed it....might be different in a few weeks. No itching no so far.

Dan really hit the nail on the head about the last 4 miles. You see the town and think you are almost there but it is a ways away. Maybe I was just tired but I found the last several miles to be the toughest.

It’s a really great hike over a rolling sea of slick rock. Have fun!!
Thanks for the info, @MN dad It's great to get that kind of info!

Just thought of a followup question: Is there enough stream-walking/-crossing that I should just plan on wearing my Chacos? Or can I wear my hiking shoes without them getting soaked?
Based on this past week, you can keep your hiking shoes reasonably dry everywhere except for the approx 1/2 mile of Death Hollow which gets pretty clogged with vegetation. We found it easier and far more enjoyable to just walk in the water in DH. If the poison ivy starts to come out by the time of your hike, then you will definitely be mostly in water to avoid the infestation. Plan for wet feet in DH. Water was just under knee deep at the deepest if memory serves.

You do have to cross the upper Escalante at the end of the hike but it was really shallow. Hopping Sand and Mamie was not a problem at all. Of course, this can all change with weather.

I can’t imagine
backpacking the BMT in Chacos with my 54 year-old knees/ankles but people are different. I personally just don’t find sandals secure enough for this type of hike. Maybe people with younger and more nimble suspensions could chime in?
I’m in the ‘just wear running shoes for everything and don’t worry about getting wet’ camp. They dry fast, comfy, and you don’t have the hassle of carrying/changing into something else.

I agree that chacos aren’t a great choice for swiftish water like parts of DH. Toe injury just waiting to happen.
Headed out to do the BMT/Death Hollow in a couple weeks. A friend told me wag bags are now required, but I can't find anything on the official websites stating this. Can anyone confirm?
The Escalante Interagency Visitors Center (435-826-5499) can confirm WAG bag requirements.

You need them in Coyote Gulch but I had not heard about BMT/DH.
Headed out to do the BMT/Death Hollow in a couple weeks. A friend told me wag bags are now required, but I can't find anything on the official websites stating this. Can anyone confirm?

Just returned from a fabulous BMT trip (east to west on BMT and then connect to Escalante River and go west to east until the Hwy 12 bridge) and you do NOT need wag bags. It was spectacular! But FYI we did think it was scary and challenging descending into Death Hollow. My husband's stomach was in knots and my legs were like rubber. We're in our 50s, though, so maybe that's why?
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