Escalante River Town to Hwy 12 Bridge

Eugene

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
139
Three of us from Houston did a short 3 day backpack from the Escalante town Trailhead to the highway 12 bridge following the Escalante river the 2nd week in October. The weather was perfect and the season great with the cottonwoods in full color. We had arranged a shuttle (cost $60) to shuttle us from the Hwy 12 bridge trailhead to start the hike at the Escalante town TH. Caltopo shows the hike as about 24 miles including the side trips. The quoted distance without the side trips is 15 miles but my suspicion is not all the trail jogs were taken into account with the 15 mile distance.

Positives:
Mid October was a great time to do the hike with the cottonwoods in full color. The day time temps were in the low 70s and night time lows in the 40s (a bit above average).
Challenges:
The water crossing in the upper part of the hike were numerous but doable in normal hiking boots. However, once we reached Death Hollow the water was too deep and we resorted to water shoes and stream walking for long portions of the hike. For water walking the water was cold (about 50 degrees) and with cool morning temps was at least at first a bit uncomfortable. Of course the canyon was very sandy and lots of sandy walking was required.

Map of trip: (note that the elev plot is off in a few places because of the inaccuracies and narrow nature of the canyon - the trail was slightly down canyon the whole distance)

Click here to view on CalTopo
Day 1:
Starting at the town trailhead we proceeded down canyon with the plan to camp at the confluence with Death Hollow.
Here are some pictures along the way:

Start of hike:
Trail_head_1.jpg

Trail_head_2.jpg


Eugene Aufdembrink & Pastor Miller at start of hike

A colorful cottonwood

day_1.jpg


A few of petroglyphs on the canyon wall - for the last one the dark is graffiti by some uncaring vistior


day_1_2.jpg



day_1_4.jpg


One of my hiking buddies (Denis Rutherford) on the trail
day_1_5.jpg


Brightly colored tree at camp area
day_1_6.jpg


Night 1 camp at Death Hollow - nice campsite:
day_1_7_death_hollow.jpg


day_1_8_camp.jpg


Day 2: Hiked up Death Hollow a mile or so and then down to Sand Creek. Nearly all of this walking was in the stream bed. The water up Death Hollow was COLD.
day_2_1_death_hollow.jpg


My buddies getting there feet wet and cold

day_2_2_death_hollow.jpg

A large alcove with a very small waterfall in Death Hollow
day_2_3_death_hollow.jpg


Denis Rutherford
day_2_4_death_hollow.jpg


Pastor Chad Miller
day_2_5_death_hollow.jpg


And the old man Eugene Aufdembrink
day_2_6_death_hollow.jpg


Then on down to Sand Creek:

day_2_7.jpg

The rangers have been doing a lot of clearing of invasive trees. Seems like they were chopping rings around the trees. Seems like a lot of HARD work.
day_2_8.jpg


Sand Creek campsite for Night 2:

day_2_9.jpg


Day 3 - A short hike up Sand Creek before the hike out:
day_3_1.jpg


The first arch
day_3_3.jpg


Cliff dwelling under the arch - on NORTH facing wall - odd normally are on south facing walls
day_3_5.jpg


Another view of the dwelling
day_3_6_petro.jpg


Some Petroglyphs
day_3_7.jpg

day_3_8.jpg


Escalante Natural Bridge - a bit hard to spot with the rock wall behind it
day_3_9.jpg


View from under the bridge
day_3_9a.jpg


And we completed the hike
day_3_end.jpg
 

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Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,625
Always a nice trip trough there..... thanks
 

Jon Carbaugh

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Jul 8, 2015
Messages
172
Great report, thanks. This hike is on my list so it's good information to have for planning. Thanks again Eugene.

Cheers!
 

Vegan.Hiker

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Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
2,090
Looks like a little bit of everything on this trip. Fall colors, arches, petroglyphs, and ruins and nice weather. Can't beat that.
 

Nick

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Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,918
A few of petroglyphs on the canyon wall - for the last one the dark is graffiti by some uncaring vistior


A great report of one of my favorites. Thank you for posting.

The vandalism of this panel is really heartbreaking to see. For those that haven't seen this panel, all of that black was not there before. :(

I have to disagree on your mileage estimate. I write up trail guides for a good part of my living and I'm used to mileage being way off (usually low), but between my own GPS tracks of this hike and comparisons with other tools like Google Earth, 15 miles point-to-point seems pretty legit without any side trips. The GPS signal gets tossed around a lot in those walls, and the side trips really add up.
 

Eugene

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
139
A great report of one of my favorites. Thank you for posting.

The vandalism of this panel is really heartbreaking to see. For those that haven't seen this panel, all of that black was not there before. :(

I have to disagree on your mileage estimate. I write up trail guides for a good part of my living and I'm used to mileage being way off (usually low), but between my own GPS tracks of this hike and comparisons with other tools like Google Earth, 15 miles point-to-point seems pretty legit without any side trips. The GPS signal gets tossed around a lot in those walls, and the side trips really add up.

We did go up Death Hollow a ways but not 4 miles. Things could have got a bit messed up around a few of the overhangs...
 

Nick

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.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,918
We did go up Death Hollow a ways but not 4 miles. Things could have got a bit messed up around a few of the overhangs...

And in camp when you forget to turn off the GPS like this spot in your tracks. I do that all the time. All those back and forth lines can really add up.

upload_2016-10-25_17-53-17.png
 
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