Egypt TH south to 25 Mile?

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
Jan 4, 2014
I am wondering if anyone has input on the doablitity of heading south from the Egypt TH to 25 Mile Wash. I got the idea of doing a backpacking loop of a couple days from Egypt TH --> 25 Mile--> The Escalante--> Fence Canyon and back to Egypt. Michael Kelsey's book says there are southerly trails but first person insight is nice to have.

Thank you for your input!
Yep. Totally doable. We found a way down Egypt 6 into 25 Mile. There was one moderate downclimb but the worst part was the bushwhacking. There was another route into 25 Mile just south of the E6 confluence along with a couple more further down the canyon. I am positive you could fine other routes further west if you wanted, but I wouldn't bother. The best of 25 Mile is lower in the canyon. It was just after a massive flood came through when we went so travel was exceptionally difficult. Nothing but nasty silty water, quickmud and major bushwhacking.

The Escalante wasn't much better but by that point, we were happy to steripen that silty water since our pumps were toast. Moving up the Escalante was difficult up until around Ringtail Canyon. Steep river walls and lots of willow whacking. Scary quicksand on the bends. I'd be wading along in like knee-thigh deep water and then hit soft spots that would almost swallow me whole. Had to have people tear my pack off, etc. to get out. Not easy travel, but fun in a painful kind of way.

Once past Ringtail there are actually social trails here and there. We went up and camped in Neon and did the sport route and then exited the sand dune across the canyon to return to the trailhead.

Trip reports:


View larger map.
Neon Video:
Pretty sure one of the main routes in/out of 25 Mile is on this bench: 37.5549092,-111.1949344. I followed it part way up and it was very well worn, unlike anything else in 25 Mile.

I wondered if that was an in/out spot when I looked at Google Earth. Thanks for the info Nick
And sweet video of Neon! When I can get the proper team together it is very high on my hit list.
Thanks. If you hit it when it's full, it's really easy. I wouldn't dream of doing it in low water but right after a flood like we had it was cake, I'd even feel good leading it like that! Fun canyon!
I've also exited a little farther upstream at this spot. From here you can head north crossing that one drainage and then up along the western edge of that main drainage.

Above this exit spot 25-Mile Cyn is pretty brushy and you might have to get around a few beaver dams. It's doable though, so if you wanted to connect via Egypt 3 it should work.

The spot Nick mentioned definitely goes up as well as two more routes father down the canyon. Kelsey documents these in his Non-Tech Colorado Plateau book. There are evidently petroglyphs near one of the exit routes, but I didn't see them.

- Jamal
Nice. Did you hike the rest of 25 Mile, Jamal? (down to the Escalante?) If so, was it as brutal for you as it was for me, or did I just get really unlucky hitting it 2 days after an epic flood?
Yeah -- I did the whole length of 20-Mile/25-Mile Wash back on my first long UT hike. I thought the worst of it was really up canyon from Egypt 6 -- but I guess that could change with the conditions.

I do remember getting surprised by a patch of quicksand below that point though. Not dangerous really --- just a spot that looked 100% solid and then the next thing I knew I was down to my knees in the muck and thought I might loose a shoe. BUT, otherwise I enjoyed the lower part of the canyon.

One other memory -- while at Neon I met a few locals from Boulder. I told them about route down 25M and they kinda scoffed at me. "Wasn't it really brushy?" asked one and then other offered "That's not the way one should get in here." So... not their favorite route I guess!

- JG
Interesting. It was one of the most difficult Escalante canyon hikes I've ever done, but I think it was 90% due to the flood hitting right before we went. There were dozens and dozens of knee deep quickmud holes and incredible carnage making travel rough. I've thought I'd like to go back someday and give it another chance, but then I think about the canyons I've yet to do down there. I'll have to go back and scout out that section in your video. Do you know roughly where it is (timewise and which video)?
Do you know roughly where it is (timewise and which video)?

That's the only "big hike" video of mine that I don't have online. :(

I should go back and spruce it up and post it, but I'm kinda embarrassed as I look like such a noob. It was my first hike longer than 5 days and my first real experience with Utah backcountry. Though it was only 8 years ago, I've changed my approach so much since that trip. Back then I was carrying a 2-person tent, hiked in jeans on some days, had a clean shirt for every day and had way too much non-optimal food! Craziness.

I'll see if I can find some pics for reference though that could add to this thread.
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