Conditions (water/bugs) for Escalante/Death Hollow

Ugly

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Apr 20, 2013
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One more question: I'm thinking we may make camp one night near the confluence of Death Hollow and the Escalante and day hike (without the heavy packs) part way up the river towards the town of Escalante and back to our base camp. How nice is that stretch of trail/river? Is there mostly consistent water along that stretch? We will either do this as a side day hike (on Day 3), or alternatively go up the W. side of the Boulder Mail Trail (on Day 2) to the Mamie Natural Bridge and thereabouts. Is one of these day-hikes much better than the other?

Also, my impression is that there should be clear water and at least okay camping in the Sand Creek area just a couple of miles from the trailhead. Is that correct? We'll plan on making it all the way to Death Hollow on Day 1, but if we're delayed, it will be nice to have Sand Creek as a backup plan. It will also be nice to top off on water there.

Thanks again everyone for all the input!

Sand Creek water, normally yes. Also true for camping, although not really in Sand Creek itself, just thereabouts there are various slickrock options- ie do not expect a cottonwood shaded oasis or an alcove. There are also options after you climb out of Sand Creek on your way to Death Hollow, again on slickrock mostly to stay off the crypto.
For side trips, the continuation of the BMT to Mamie has some great scenic sections, But it's a climb out the other side and full on sunny, so all depends on the heat and if you want to be out in the sun. You can camp down in DH just after the split with the BMT and could climb up early in the morning before sunrise and get a better sunrise and views than down in the canyon. That's just my opinion though.
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
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Mar 1, 2015
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Sand Creek water, normally yes. Also true for camping, although not really in Sand Creek itself, just thereabouts there are various slickrock options- ie do not expect a cottonwood shaded oasis or an alcove. There are also options after you climb out of Sand Creek on your way to Death Hollow, again on slickrock mostly to stay off the crypto.
For side trips, the continuation of the BMT to Mamie has some great scenic sections, But it's a climb out the other side and full on sunny, so all depends on the heat and if you want to be out in the sun. You can camp down in DH just after the split with the BMT and could climb up early in the morning before sunrise and get a better sunrise and views than down in the canyon. That's just my opinion though.
Awesome, thanks!
 

Janice

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Dec 5, 2017
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We very much enjoyed the Escalante west of Death Hollow. There is an enormous, awe-inspiring alcove on the north side of the river that has Fremont rock art; unfortunately, there has been damage (graffiti) to the rock art so that was quite disappointing, but for me it was magical to be in that alcove and imagine the people who spent time there so many years earlier. I don't remember the mileage but can look it up if you're interested. There are other lovely spots along that part of the river. These photos were taken in early spring (2018) before most vegetation had leafed out, so it will look greener at this time of year.

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Janice

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Dec 5, 2017
Messages
389
@RyanP I just read your description more thoroughly and can also highly recommend the BMT toward Mamie Creek if it's not too hot (as @Ugly describes). We loved that scenery! (We hiked the whole BMT east to west and then hiked back along the Escalante west to east to Hwy. 12 and did not go down Death Hollow other than the part along the BMT.) This is pretty different from walking along the Escalante and is a harder hike. So I think it would depend on the weather, your energy level, and what kind of scenery you're in the mood for.

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Early morning on the BMT awhile after you've climbed out of Death Hollow.

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Heading down toward Mamie Creek

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Walking toward the Natural Bridge

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Natural Bridge

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Natural Bridge from the other side
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
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Mar 1, 2015
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270
Thanks @Janice! We'll just decide at the last minute which side trip to do; from your photos, it looks like either would be awesome!
 

Arizona Jones

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Aug 1, 2020
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My wife and a friend of hers also have plans to head down this way this next week and I just told her about this and now she's a little nervous (she's 5'2"). Just how deep was this newfound beaver pool? Would it be no more than a chest high wade? Also wondering what the competition will be like for campsites around the junction over the weekend. One would think that with all the heat, more folks will be heading up into the hills this time of year now that they're all melting out fast, but then again...this area is a nice oasis in the desert so I imagine the Escalante is still quite a popular backpacking destination, even in summer months. I did Death Hollow and Escalante at the tail end of August last summer and remember it not being too bad, but still lots more people than I had anticipated for that time of year.
We saw a guy and his wife with full packs get through. She told me she threatened him with divorce when he made her take the sneaker trail out of the canyon with a full pack the last time. He told me there was an easier sneak route downstream just past a slot canyon that takes you up to the same place my sneak route does. I laughed and said it all has to climb the same 700 feet and it is all going to be pretty steep. As far as people, I think the warm months have more traffic because you are in the water a lot. And in cool weather you don't want to be getting wet.
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
270
Thanks again everyone. Our trip was great. Plenty of good water in all three canyons (Sand Creek, Death Hollow, and the Escalante). Bugs were kind of annoying by the river but not bad if camping higher away from the river. It was very slow going (but also fun and spectacular) hiking in the river in Death Hollow itself. We were there Wed-Sat, and it wasn't crowded per se but it wasn't total solitude/isolation either (we saw large groups of people every day). I don't know where that beaver pool was; maybe I avoided it by taking a side trail at that point. I definitely never hiked in water deeper than my waist in the Escalante.
 
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