Escalante area 4-5 night backpack trip suggestions in late September. Loop if possible. Limit technical sections if any. Thanks!


New Member
Mar 8, 2024
Hey there. Looking for a 4-5 night (we like to usually do at least one layover night) in the Escalante area in late September. Around 6 ladies are planning to go. We did Paria canyon a few years ago and it was one of the more amazing and memorable trips we did. But we would all like to explore the Escalante area too. Prefer a loop but not a deal breaker. We don’t really want anything technical. No ropes required is preferred. But we are a pretty adventurous bunch. I keep hearing coyote gulch but that it’s also very popular. Not sure in September it will? Also heard things about chop rock and neon?
Any suggestions for this time of year would be appreciated! Thank!
We've done two wonderful Escalante trips that you might want to consider, although we were there in the spring and I don't know what conditions are like in September:

1) Boulder Mail Trail to Escalante River - Many people go from the BMT down Death Hollow to the Escalante, and you might be able to turn that into a 4-night trip, especially if you camp an extra night where Death Hollow meets the Escalante and do an out-and-back to the west to explore along the river. (There's a wonderful huge alcove that we really loved about 4 miles west of the confluence.) We did a different route, though; instead, we went on the BMT all the way to its southwestern end, picked up the river there, and hiked east along the river to the Hwy 12 bridge. We loved our route and found the mix of scenery along the BMT and river to be excellent. You would need a shuttle to the trailhead (Boulder airstrip) or be willing to hitch a ride; we used a shuttle. We finished at the Hwy 12 bridge, but if you want to extend the trip I'm pretty sure you could continue along the river east of Hwy 12 and explore Phipps Arch as an out-and-back. If you consider doing this the way we did, I don't know what water availability on the western half of BMT would be like in September. There's definitely water in Death Hollow but maybe not in Mamie Creek, so that could be an issue. If there is water at Mamie, you could camp nearby and enjoy the out-and-back to beautiful Mamie Natural Bridge.

2) Little Death Hollow & Wolverine with a couple of nights base camping near the Escalante River - We loved this trip, too! LDH and Wolverine are really fun and interesting, plus we spent two wonderful days in the middle exploring the fascinating scenery on the south/west side of the river. There are a couple of specific spots where you can exit the river to get to the wonders on the other side. As an adventurous bunch, you'd probably do fine with this. No ropes are needed but there are some spicy moments and great places to check out. If you're interested, let me know and I'll be happy to provide more info.
Have you seen this recent trip report?

It is pretty easy and interesting to extend Lil DH/Wolverine loop by way of The V plateau, the Gulch, or even the slickrock wonderland between Boulder Cr and the Gulch.
Here's a way we did just that.
Gulch exit crack (Class 4, photographed) can be avoided by staying in the Escalante River. Easy ways up onto the V are the sandslides if the ladders exit is hard to locate.

To avoid the river wade walk, extending the Silver Falls/Choprock Loop by way of a sandslide exit onto mid-bench Egypt Bench to Fence Canyon descent back down to the Escalante. Great views. I'm partial to getting out of the canyon bottoms from time to time. Easier than Canyoneering 3 "Overland Route". Photos:
I could quickly make a jpeg map of the River->sandslide->Egypt Bench->Fence->river

Extend Silver Falls Choprock via Harris Wash (can loop that with the south or north rims (The V) of the canyon via sandslides is an option too to extend it.
I could quickly make a jpeg map of the River->sandslide->Egypt Bench->Fence->river
I would love to see that, @John Morrow. Silver Falls/Choprock is on our list for the future, and your info for extending LDH/Wolverine was really helpful to us two years ago. :)
There are lots of opportunities to explore in the Escalante area. Several of the above suggestions would lead to worthwhile trips. I would encourage you to avoid Coyote Gulch; due to rampant social media, it is by far the most popular place to go and in season is reported to be quite crowded. It is a nice place, but it is certainly not better than many other locations on the Escalante and its many side canyons. In my opinion, having explored essentially the entire Escalante Basin, Coyote is over-rated and is popular because it has a large natural bridge and very easy access.
September before people return to school can be crowded. It is a shoulder season and the later in the month you can go is generally the better as it will likely be cooler. Water availability is unpredictable at this point and will mostly depend on summer rains, if there are any.
Get a copy of Steve Allen's Canyoneering 3: Loops Hike in Utah's Escalante for a number of good trip ideas and much useful information about backpacking in the region.
Have a fabulous trip.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
M Non-technical 1-2 night backpacking w dogs and kids - Escalante-ish area in April? Trip Planning 14
canadug Escalante area exploring Trip Planning 0
Janice Water questions - Escalante area Trip Planning 38
Stephanie B Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument - Kanab Area Hiking & Camping 2
swmalone Rain, Mud, and Wind....First Trip to Escalante Area Hiking & Camping 16
Jazzy Joe Looking for Escalante Area Short Backpacking Suggestions Early Spring Trip Planning 21
LarryBoy Water source information - Escalante/CRNP area Trip Planning 14
Kyle P Escalante Area Gear Stores General Discussion 14
Strawsome What is your favorite hike in the Escalante/Hole in the rock road area? General Discussion 6
swmalone Looking for Assistance to Introduction to Escalante Area Trip Planning 4
Nanda Escalante Area - Memorial Day weekend Hiking & Camping 5
Writhdar Escalante area - location? General Discussion 6
Writhdar Red Breaks Northeast & East Forks Loop? (Escalante area) General Discussion 3
Bob Escalante Area Backpacking 11
N Trip Recommendations- Grand Staircase Escalante Area 7 days Trip Planning 11
piper01 Escalante Area Wanderings: Phipps Arch Hiking & Camping 2
piper01 Escalante Area Wanderings: Cosmic Navel Hiking & Camping 4
piper01 Escalante Area Wanderings: Brimstone and Spooky Hiking & Camping 2
piper01 Escalante Area Wanderings: Golden Cathedral Hiking & Camping 3
piper01 Escalante Area Wanderings: Bighorn Canyon Hiking & Camping 6
piper01 Escalante Area Wandering: Red Breaks Hiking & Camping 0
piper01 Escalante Area Wanderings: Zebra and Tunnel Hiking & Camping 3
S Escalante Area Trip Report Hiking & Camping 0
Waynee-ack Backpacking destination needed in Escalante area. Trip Planning 11
Nick Short backpacking trips in the Escalante/Boulder area Trip Planning 20
gloo Death Hollow Escalante Area Trip Planning 13
B Is there water at Colt Mesa tank - Escalante Trip Planning 7
desertvic The Grand Staircase Escalante NM needs you! Meet Up (Members Only) 6
TrailScot Hole-in-the-Rock Road - Escalante General Discussion 11
TrailScot Escalante Loop via Dry Hollow and Boulder Mail Trail - September 2023 Backpacking 8
Kullaberg63 Suggestions for Escalante east of river, south of Choprock Trip Planning 4
fossana A challenging week on the Escalante Overland Route Backpacking 21
fossana Public comment for revised Grand Staircase Escalante NM management plan (comments open 11 Aug - 9 Nov) General Discussion 11
BJett Part 3 - Tour de Canyon Country. Lower Escalante Loop Hiking & Camping 0
radioradio Sad Cowboy Traverse - A Week in Escalante Backpacking 12
F Upper Escalante River Backpack conditions Trip Planning 6
radioradio Anxious About Escalante Trip Planning 64
regehr Escalante dumpsters Trip Planning 9
regehr potable water in Escalante town? Trip Planning 6
D Fox Canyon Escalante? General Discussion 7
Duketogo13 BMT- Death Hollow-Escalante Triangle loop Trip Planning 20
Janice Cosmic Ashtray via Wolverine/Little Death Hollow & Escalante River? Trip Planning 16
Duketogo13 Questions about packrafting the Escalante/Lake Powell in September. Need help! Trip Planning 5
priz1234 The Gulch Escalante 4/17-4/18 Backpacking 2
RyanP Conditions (water/bugs) for Escalante/Death Hollow Trip Planning 27
J Escalante Natl. Mon. to Bryce N.P. the (unknown) Final Dayhikes April 15-16, 2021 Hiking & Camping 9
Bob Lost in the Escalante .......... Blast from the Past Backpacking 6
Bob A short Escalante trip end of April Backpacking 5
swmalone Restaurant Suggestions for Escalante or Boulder General Discussion 11
S Packrafting Escalante - FiftyMile Creek and low water level Lake Powell Trip Planning 8

Similar threads