Buckskin Gulch current conditions?

Chris C

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2012
Messages
4
I'm hiking from Wire Pass to Lee's Ferry starting on Oct 21. I'm looking for any reports on current conditions in the canyons, and any advice for the trip.

Thanks,
chris
 

lostlandscapes

rope mule
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
328
Hi Chris,

I can't help you with current conditions, but I do have a little bit of advice. I'm assuming you haven't been through Buckskin before? I'm sure you've read/heard about the rockfall obstacle that you'll encounter a mile or so from the confluence with the Paria. You'll probably find some Moki steps and some ugly tattered rope dangling in front of a 12 foot vertical rock slab that you'll consider using--don't. There's a perfect little rabbit hole that you and everyone in your group will be able to squeeze through--right smack dab in the middle of the rubble. It seems rather obvious, but is easy to miss due to its requirement of a slight downclimb to access. You'll need to take your packs off to fit through--but it's a much easier and safer avenue than the sketchy Moki step option (I really regret not removing the deteriorating rope that was left there--it's gonna fail somebody at some point). Of course, canyons change, and there's a chance that that spot may have been again altered by a flood in the past 5 months, so be certain to bring 25 feet of webbing just in case the hole is filled in and you need to improvise.

My other word of advice is to shoot for the confluence for your first night--it's 13 miles or so from Wire Pass but a perennial fresh water spring awaits you about .5 miles from the Paria. You'll know you're close when a slight trickle of fresh water appears along the narrow, sandy floor beneath you. It doesn't look like much, but it's gonna be your water for the first night/second morning. There are intermittent pools that you'll be able to pump from, probably won't be much more than 6 inches deep. There's good camping just a bit further ahead (wait for the canyon to open a bit--once the vegetation appears, shoot for the high, sandy bank on your left for the primo campsite in Buckskin), but not too close--so your group should consider one of these. Great to have for desert backpacking, IMO, when you're not camped all that close to your water source. Weighs almost nothing, and came in super handy on my two trips through Buckskin.

All in all, you're gonna have an awesome time. Buckskin is a classic.

Tim
 

Aldaron

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Jun 16, 2012
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1,485
And protect your gear against mice if camping at the confluence!
 

Chris C

New Member
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Oct 7, 2012
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4
Keith, Tim - thanks much for the tips. I can't wait to hit the trail.

- chris
 

Michael

Alien from over the pond...
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Sep 5, 2012
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926
Hi Chris,
We did this hike in May of this year. The Gulch was bone-dry and looks out like a well broomed floor. Very nice conditions.
Both, the rabbit hole and the Moqui steps aren't a really problem - depends of the actual conditions. In 2009 the hole was flooded and covered by debris - this year a nice place to gambling around.

rope-mania @ obstacle.jpg

The campsite near the confluence to the Paria isn't a really nice one. Somtimes to much of human waste (poop) there. A half mile below the confluence are two nice campsites - on the right and left site above the river.
Tim's advice (bucket) is great - for me too, thanks. If you have bad conditions to find water for the first day, take it out from the river. Use the bucket and let the water settle down. Don't forget purifying. I've pumped my water several times directly out from the river.
For the results of your own business - restop II can be helpful.

Bring a plenty of time!
If you interested in american heritage, don't pass the four petroglyph panels at Middle Route Exit, and many others in down canyon.
Enjoy your trip!
It's one of the best I've (we) ever done.

Cheers!
Michael
 

lostlandscapes

rope mule
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
328
The campsite near the confluence to the Paria isn't a really nice one. Sometimes to much of human waste (poop) there.

Gross. We didn't have any of that to deal with in early April. I can see how that could ruin the site.

And Chris, this brings up another good point. Sorry if I'm repeating what you already know, but you actually are required to pack your poo out...
 

Chris C

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2012
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4
I've read that. I believe you can get bags for it at the Paria ranger station, no?
 

lostlandscapes

rope mule
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
328
I've read that. I believe you can get bags for it at the Paria ranger station, no?

I think so. I'd be weary of the bag route though. The first time I went through two years ago, one of the members in our party had their bag leak...lets just say it was a fairly brutal experience.

This last time I went through I used an old Nalgene bottle (bagged first). Anything with a hard surface and a screw lid will suffice. Next time however I think I may just make a "poop tube" out of PVC. The bags are just too fragile and prone to disaster, IMO.
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,887
I think so. I'd be weary of the bag route though. The first time I went through two years ago, one of the members in our party had their bag leak...lets just say it was a fairly brutal experience.

This last time I went through I used an old Nalgene bottle. Anything with a hard surface and a screw lid will suffice. Next time however I think I may just make a "poop tube" out of PVC. The bags are just too fragile and prone to disaster, IMO.

:eek: Dude! That sounds ummm... bad. And the nalgene bottle!? :roflmao:

I've used those bags in The Zion Narrows. I think the trick would be to not compress it whatsoever. Have a mesh pocket or dangle outside the pack. Smokey and I shared a bag when we did it and he was nice enough to carry it. I gotta say though, hiking right behind him the second day was not the most pleasant... notice the yellow bag:


You can buy them online too: Reststop 2
 

Michael

Alien from over the pond...
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Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
926
The Paria Ranger station has been closed for over a year now...you'll need to check in Kanab or Big Water.

Are you sure, Randy?
My last info is:
From April thru October, Wednesday till Sunday from 9am to 3pm.
Monday and Tuesday closed.
Permit lottery is only in Kanab.
 

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
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Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,296
Maybe my timing has been when it was closed, but in the last year I have been by 6 times and it's always been closed?
 

Michael

Alien from over the pond...
.
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
926
Maybe my timing has been when it was closed, but in the last year I have been by 6 times and it's always been closed?

...or they have had personnel problems .
...have checked my mails.
The data above should be ok. I've received them on 8/16/12 from an Recreation Technican of Vermilion Cliffs NM.
 

Laura

freespirittraveler
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
957
When I was in Kanab last February my friend who's a guide there told me the Paria Ranger station was closing. Packing out poo? Yuck, I think I'd prefer to just not go until the end of the trip :eek: . At REI you can get wag bags that have a deodorizing powder and ziploc top. I use them to pack out toilet paper with pleasant results; they'd probably work for poo as well.
 

jdgibney

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
246
The Paria contact station was open yesterday 9a-3p when I stopped in to get advice (and a few poo bags) for this weekend..of course mother nature had other plans
 

jdgibney

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
246
The Paria contact station was open yesterday 9a-3p when I stopped in to get advice (and a few poo bags) for this weekend
 
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