Chesler Park loop, float across river to The Maze

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Oct 8, 2013
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Flying in to Durango 5/07/14 to hike the Canyonlands. I have looked high and low for a good 8-day loop trip using one vehicle, all across SE Utah. Seems like most everything is a hike in and back out, shuttle or 2-3 day loop. I have an idea to hike from Squaw Flat over to The Maze. I plan on looping around Cheslar Park then heading down the Lower Red Lake Canyon Trail to float across to Spanish Bottom (using a cheap inflatable boat just big enough to keep me dry). From here there seems to be plenty of options from Doll House Camp and Chimney Rock area. I'll be hiking with another friend, who I haven't convinced that this could be an incredibly awesome, but difficult trip.
We should arrive at Squaw Flat/ Elephant Trailhead by 5-6 pm. and hope to get down trail to EC-1 or thereabouts. Lots of decisions....
Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas.
 

Dave

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You don't see longer trips because of the uncertainty of water.

The date you listed is in the past. Can you clarify?
 

Jammer

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Depending on your goals/priorities, I could help come up with some good 8-day loops w/o crossing the river on your own. That said -- getting across the river would be exciting -- just not this time of year. If you are talking next May, you could easily hook up with someone with a boat at Spanish Bottom.

>We should arrive at Squaw Flat/ Elephant Trailhead by 5-6 pm. and hope to get down trail to EC-1 or thereabouts.

Make sure you can pick up your permit beforehand. Canyonlands can be pretty strict about this and usually will require you get it in person if leaving a car at a TH. Best to be in the visitor center by 4pm.

- Jamal
 
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Hey guys, thanks for your interest. The date is actually 2014. There will one maybe two other guys with me. I think we arrive in Durango at 1, so should be plenty of time to check in. One member is set on Chesler.
I'm fascinated with the remoteness of The Maze, floating across just adds a little excitement to the trip.
 

Nick

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Man, that's a pretty huge, fast-flowing river to get across on a little raft without a paddle. Save some pack weight and maybe your life and give Tex's Riverways a buzz. They'll probably be down there picking up canoes and could give you a lift over and probably bring you vital supplies (beer) too. Just my .02.
 
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Depending on your goals/priorities, I could help come up with some good 8-day loops w/o crossing the river on your own.

Well, it seems that after reading about The Maze they've been scared away. So, what do you have in mind? I more interested in solitude, ruins and challenge the other party just wants good pictures. Flying in and out of Durango...7+ days for hiking. Open for suggestions for a loop or minimal backtracking. Thanks, Jammer
 

renshiwo

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Mar 20, 2013
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There is a good chance you would hit high water in May, and I think that is just too risky to try to cross the river in anything flimsy at that point. The jet boat operators out of Moab (Tex's and Tag-a-long) pickup flatwater boaters at Spanish Bottom, and you could probably arrange a shuttle across. It depends on whether there is a good spot to land the boat, though.

Don't be scared of the Maze. It's awesome. I could kill 7 days in Salt Creek and Five Fingers, but I don't think that would be for everyone. More of the base camp with exploring option, and only to be attempted if you are serious about good desert hiking practices (staying on slickrock and in washes).
 

Jammer

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What scared them away about the Maze? The crossing, the solitude, the slickrock in/out or something else? Curious as it would influence suggestions.

- Jamal
 
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Threads indicating hikes are only for serious well-versed outdoor enthusiasts... Mostly, scared of getting lost due to difficulty of staying on routes.
 
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This could be my 8 day trip, backtracking up Salt Creek. Everyone says there is plenty to see and do throughout SC.
 
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