Current Escalante and Cap Reef Road conditons

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Thread starter #1
Here is a great update on the current situation.....

https://www.nps.gov/glca/learn/news/road-conditions.htm

We have altered our annual Spring trip....Now heading to Death Valley and Mojave Preserve. Just way too much mud and snow in Escalante/Cap Reef and it is only going to get worse with more precip on the way. We have made a trip down to that area for the past 6 years and this is the first time it has been (and is) that wet and cold for such a prolonged stretch of time this late in the Winter.

Have had a few near death experiences on scary muddy Utah backroads to ever chance fate again.

Be safe.
 

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Jackson

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#2
Very interesting. My spring break is next week, and I was hoping to go backpack somewhere down there for a few nights toward the end of the week. Wondering about how much of a wet mess it will be now...
 

Jackson

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#4
Sadly, things do not look like they are getting any drier or warmer anytime soon.....

Escalante Weather
Fingers crossed that the CO Plateau weather looks up for us the following weekend. I'm prepared the pull the plug on our plans if not though. I won't be disappointed with precipitation down there as long as they remain in a drought.
 

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#6
my Spring Break is next week and with all the mud, snow and rain it is the first time ever I have no idea where to go as all my plans do not work anymore.
I probably call it a day and just do a few local day hikes without worrying about getting stuck somewhere. Pretty tough to figure out something this year
 
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Head to Majove Nat Preserve and Death Valley.....We have changed our plans to those locales.
 

Yvonne

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#8
Head to Majove Nat Preserve and Death Valley.....We have changed our plans to those locales.
Death Valley is not an option at the moment because they have so many road closures as well. Not much open that I could visit on a personal geology field trip.
I guess I rather wait until summer when my semester is over and visit all the places then. I'm pretty flexible ad rather camp in 100+F than snow, rain and mud, lol
And more rain is on the way everywhere
 
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Just saw that there was flash flooding at Badwater today..as well as Red Rocks flooding today again....What a crazy wet few months. Seems only Mojave Preserve is th eonly place not flooding at the moment.
 

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Been skiing all Winter :)

Our annual Spring trip is to get away from the snow and enjoy canyons and sun but there are always options.....It is one of those 1st world problems.
 
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#12
Head over the pond. Their dry! But don't book the river cruises unless you want to help carry the boat :oops:
 
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#13
I am heading to Halls Creek Narrows this Sunday March 10th from Western Colorado. My original plan was to head south on Highway 24, grab a permit in Bullfrog and head to the Halls Creek Overlook trailhead. Upon learning that the Bullfrog Visitors Center would be closed, Ill have to re-route west from Hanksville to the Capital Reef Visitor Center to get our permit and the head south on the Burr Trail road.

After listening to the pre-recorded message recorded on Tuesday March 5th stating that the Burr Trail Road was currently un-passable, I called the Visitors Center and spoke with a helpful ranger. He told me the Burr Trail road south to Halls Creek Overlook would be my best bet and should be accessible by then.

My main question is that it shows the Burr Trail Road taking 3 Hours from the Visitors Center to the Halls Creek Overlook over 56 Miles. Is google maps accurate in this 3 hour time table? Any input on that drive, vs from the south near Bullfrog, or any other helpful details.

Any input would be appreciated.
 

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#14
I am heading to Halls Creek Narrows this Sunday March 10th from Western Colorado. My original plan was to head south on Highway 24, grab a permit in Bullfrog and head to the Halls Creek Overlook trailhead. Upon learning that the Bullfrog Visitors Center would be closed, Ill have to re-route west from Hanksville to the Capital Reef Visitor Center to get our permit and the head south on the Burr Trail road.

After listening to the pre-recorded message recorded on Tuesday March 5th stating that the Burr Trail Road was currently un-passable, I called the Visitors Center and spoke with a helpful ranger. He told me the Burr Trail road south to Halls Creek Overlook would be my best bet and should be accessible by then.

My main question is that it shows the Burr Trail Road taking 3 Hours from the Visitors Center to the Halls Creek Overlook over 56 Miles. Is google maps accurate in this 3 hour time table? Any input on that drive, vs from the south near Bullfrog, or any other helpful details.

Any input would be appreciated.

@Mikjik86 : We drove it end of October - this is what I recall, others can chime in or correct me...:
56 miles: a lot of it is dirt road, which is slow. Having said that, when the Notom-Bullfrog road (mostly dirt rd) and then Burr trail dirt road southbound are dry, then Google maps OVER estimates the time. I clearly remember we "gained" (as compared to the Google map estimate) about 15-20 mins in time on the Notom-Bullfrog rd (dry conditions), so that was just on the dirt road section of Notom-Bullfrog rd to the intersection of Burr trail rd. But the road was cork dry, so we made great time on the Notom Bullfrog (dirt) rd section, which is fairly straight with a few creek crossings (dry when we drove it).
Just past Headquarters canyon: the Burr trail rd goes through a very curvy section (and I believe there might be some creek / wet crossings too in that area), that will slow you down. Again- the dirt roads were cork dry when we went. The dirt road sections of Notom-Bullfrog rd and the Burr trail road would be a nightmare when wet.

I'm going on memory here...: If you go all around and come in via the south, then the roads are paved until you exit to the short dirt road to Halls Creek overlook (can others confirm too, pls?). The asphalt is a little rough between the Bullfrog creek crossing and the Halls Creek Overlook exit. There is only 1 iffy crossing over Bullfrog creek, but it was cork dry in October. The visitor center should know current condition of that particular crossing.

So- the shorter 56 miles are easy when the dirt roads are dry, but any wet conditions could mean much more than 3 hours. In addition, either route has many super scenic views, it's hard to fly by it all quickly ;). I don't know, if this helps you. Let me know if you have any questions.

@JulieKT and @WasatchWill know the area well- you can try sending them a private message too, if they don't see this message.
 
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#15
@Mikjik86 : We drove it end of October - this is what I recall, others can chime in or correct me...:
56 miles: a lot of it is dirt road, which is slow. Having said that, when the Notom-Bullfrog road (mostly dirt rd) and then Burr trail dirt road southbound are dry, then Google maps OVER estimates the time. I clearly remember we "gained" (as compared to the Google map estimate) about 15-20 mins in time on the Notom-Bullfrog rd (dry conditions), so that was just on the dirt road section of Notom-Bullfrog rd to the intersection of Burr trail rd. But the road was cork dry, so we made great time on the Notom Bullfrog (dirt) rd section, which is fairly straight with a few creek crossings (dry when we drove it).
Just past Headquarters canyon: the Burr trail rd goes through a very curvy section (and I believe there might be some creek / wet crossings too in that area), that will slow you down. Again- the dirt roads were cork dry when we went. The dirt road sections of Notom-Bullfrog rd and the Burr trail road would be a nightmare when wet.

I'm going on memory here...: If you go all around and come in via the south, then the roads are paved until you exit to the short dirt road to Halls Creek overlook (can others confirm too, pls?). The asphalt is a little rough between the Bullfrog creek crossing and the Halls Creek Overlook exit. There is only 1 iffy crossing over Bullfrog creek, but it was cork dry in October. The visitor center should know current condition of that particular crossing.

So- the shorter 56 miles are easy when the dirt roads are dry, but any wet conditions could mean much more than 3 hours. In addition, either route has many super scenic views, it's hard to fly by it all quickly ;). I don't know, if this helps you. Let me know if you have any questions.

@JulieKT and @WasatchWill know the area well- you can try sending them a private message too, if they don't see this message.
Thank you Titans. My original plan was to head from the Bullfrog area. Despite the Bullfrog visitors center being closed, it was still 24 minutes faster to head back down highway 24, rather than down notom-bullfrog/burr trail to get to Halls Creek Overlook.

I might just have to head to the Capitol Reef Visitors center then backtrack down 24. I will check conditions again tomorrow and Saturday. Thank you for your help.
 

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#16
hi guys
in the next months , maybe in July or August( i know is hot) , I would like to go to halls creek narrows and start the hike by short route - airstrip route, what are the conditions? Is mandatory a 4wd or only high clearance?
Thank you
 
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#17
Some acquaintances of mine just did a camping/dayhike trip across Mojave Nat Preserve the Mojave Road Fort Piute to Aiken and said they had a great trip. Pics look dry and sunny. Stock Jeep SUV did fine.

Been skiing all Winter :)

Our annual Spring trip is to get away from the snow and enjoy canyons and sun but there are always options.....It is one of those 1st world problems.
Lots of great options for hikes on the CO Plateau from pavement if the roads continue to be bad. Have you already completed your trip?

Has anyone returned from Cap Reef or Escalante recently? Some improvement on the road report.
 

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#18
hi guys
in the next months , maybe in July or August( i know is hot) , I would like to go to halls creek narrows and start the hike by short route - airstrip route, what are the conditions? Is mandatory a 4wd or only high clearance?
Thank you
Can't speak to the road conditions, but extreme heat isn't your only weather concern. Watch the weather because Halls Creek can flash flood, and you're getting into monsoon season during that timeframe.
 

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