Escalante Trip Planning

Boerboel

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Joined
Nov 7, 2012
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3
Hey Guys!

I'll be spending nov 16th thru 21st in escalante. I have been trip planning for....a while. Its been quite the undertaking. I still don't have anything solid beyond get in Jeep, pick friends up from airport and drive from phoenix to escalante.

We are looking to predominantly car camp, probably off hole in the rock. We do a lot of backpacking, however, and if you know of an overnighter that you feel is mandatory in the area I'd love to hear about it!

Looking for recs of places to see/visit from folks that really know the area and it looks like I've found those folks! Would like a spot with good privacy to set up a basecamp and dayhike out of. Like I said, would love to hear your suggestions on your favorite hikes as well.

Thanks so much!
 

Nick

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Aug 9, 2007
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Welcome to backcountrypost, Boerboel!

There is so much to do on Hole-in-the-Rock although the plan of day hiking out of your base camp generally doesn't work down there with how spread out everything is. Here is my list of recommendations on places to hike:

Fortymile + Willow Gulch Loop
About 10-12 miles depending on how you connect the loop. One of the best hikes down there, IMO, but could be a bit cold through the narrows of Fortymile this time of year. There is one chest deep pool and a fair amount of knee deep stuff. You could always play it safe and just go down Willow Gulch and explore up Fortymile as far as you feel like. Broken Bow Arch and the great alcove across from it are very cool to see.
http://backcountrypost.com/forum/index.php?threads/fortymile-willow-gulch-loop.133/

Hole in the Rock
If you have the 4WD, it's fun to drive it all the way to the end and climb down the crack where they took all the wagons back in the day.

Coyote Gulch
One of the best around and for good reason. You might still have some leaves hanging on the trees if your lucky. You can day hike in from the top or bottom or you can make a loop going in at the Water Tank TH either via Hurricane or Hamblin and then out at Crack in the Wall. The days are a bit short to pull off the loop as a day hike but it could easily be done as an overnighter if you keep moving.
http://backcountrypost.com/forum/index.php?threads/coyote-gulch-loop.65/

Egypt Bench
There are a bunch of technical slots on the Egypt Bench if you're into that, or you can day hike from the Egypt TH down to Golden Cathedral in Neon Canyon. If you take the B-Line, it's about 5 miles each way and it's a beautiful hike. If you go through Fence Canyon it's probably a mile longer. There are some fun little slots to play in and around if you take the Fence Canyon route. You could always make it a loop and go in one way and out the other. Let me know if you need specifics on the B-Line route.
http://backcountrypost.com/forum/index.php?threads/into-the-escalante.1482/

Bighorn Canyon
An incredibly beautiful non-techincal, dry canyon that connects Harris Wash to the Old Scheffield Road (aka Spencer Flats Road). When I did it we approached from the bottom and day hiked up a few miles but there is a better route if you start from the top, get into Harris Wash and then walk back over the bench. You can even add Zebra/Tunnel onto it if you hike fast, although the short days might make that tough.
http://backcountrypost.com/forum/in...in-the-rock-and-bighorn-canyon-escalante.454/

Harris Wash
Meh. http://backcountrypost.com/blog/escalante-area/harris-wash-may-2008/

Red Breaks
I haven't been to Red Breaks but the slot looks like a lot of fun. Do a search for it here on BCP, there have been a couple of good threads and trip reports on it lately. The big dome above it is cool too, it goes by many names like Cosmic Ashtray, Escalvolcano or my favorite, Islomania Dome.

Batty Pass Caves
Haven't been there but they look cool. They're down on the lower half of the road on a side road up towards Fifty Mile Mountain. Someone on here like Seldom Seen Anderson could probably give you coords.

Spooky, Peekaboo and Brimstone
Great slots in Dry Fork Coyote Gulch. I haven't done them but they're very popular. Caveats: one of them (I think Spooky) is too skinny for those with larger frames and dogs are not allowed.

As far as car camping, there are not a lot of great spots along HITR. I can give you some specific recommendations based on where you think you might end up.
 

Boerboel

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Nov 7, 2012
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Sorry for the delay in getting back to you guys. Work has predictably gone insane just before I try to get out of town. Here's what I'm thinking.

Nov 16
Arrive in Escalante UT about 2 PM. Head down Hole in the Rock. Explore Devils Garden. Find campsite.

Nov 17
Egypt Bench Fence canyon to Golden Cathedral. Haven't heard of B line, would very much be interested in making a loop out of the two.

Nov 18
Peek-a-boo/spooky Loop? How could I also hit some of Brimstone.

Nov 19
Willow to broken bow. May try and loop back through 40 mile but it looks like its going to be balls cold. May just head out and back.

Nov 20
Not sure. Probably a half day of playing around then drive back. Originally planned to make this a full day and head back the next,but it looks like the 20th is going to have to be our day of departure with the 21st a flex day for traveling before my companions fly back that evening.

I've tried to set things up so that we work our way down hole in the rock as the trip goes. Not exactly sure how long it takes to get down the road. If you guys think we have time I would be happy to reverse the order and drive down the road on the first day and work our way back up.

Would love to hear spots you guys recommend we set up camp along the way or if there is one spot that might be central enough to everything.

Other things I considered but am not sure how/where they might fit in the itenerary...
Zebra Canyon and Tunnel Slot
Drive to the end of hole in the rock and hike down to the lake
Coyote Gulch (sounds like this takes a solid two days and requires a night of primitive camping which I don't think we're going to be able to swing given weather)

The big problem, it seems, is there is so much to do. May have to just plan a return trip at some point, but hope this trip will give me a nice taste of the area.

Thanks so much for the time and info guys.
 

Michael

Alien from over the pond...
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
985
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you guys. Work has predictably gone insane just before I try to get out of town. Here's what I'm thinking.

Nov 16
Arrive in Escalante UT about 2 PM. Head down Hole in the Rock. Explore Devils Garden. Find campsite.

Nov 17
Egypt Bench Fence canyon to Golden Cathedral. Haven't heard of B line, would very much be interested in making a loop out of the two.

Nov 18
Peek-a-boo/spooky Loop? How could I also hit some of Brimstone.

B-line is straight cross country from TH to Choprock to the mouth of Neon.
Way back via Fence is a nice one. Some PET, river crossings and a 'green canyon' awaits you.

Peek-A-Boo and Spooky are a lot of fun.

Sorry about my mother's tongue and have a lot of fun.

Gesendet von meinem ViperXed HOX |2.7.1| mit Tapatalk 2
 
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I think that sounds like a solid plan!
1. If possible hike Spooky and Peekaboo midweek! Place can get crazy on weekends but is well worth it (spooky get T.I.G.H.T. so if you are a bigger guy....
2. I would probably leave Zebra and Tunnel for another trip. Lots of work for those two for small slots (tunnel is like 50 feet tops) so unless you are a professional photographer I wouldnt go there until you have seen some more of the bang for your buck stuff! (MY OPINION)
3. I have talked to people who day hiked into Coyote it is intense and doesnt leave much time for enjoyment but possible. With the short winter days you would be leaving in the dark probably. I much prefer a leisurely couple day backpack trip into Coyote.
4. HAVE A PLAN B IF THE ROAD IS IMPASSIBLE! There are lots of other things in the area!
5. On your last day stop by Calf Creek Falls
after Calf Creek drive highway 12 between boulder and escalante...pull out at the pullouts and look down into the canyon country!
 

Nick

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Egypt Bench Fence canyon to Golden Cathedral. Haven't heard of B line, would very much be interested in making a loop out of the two.

When you come down off of the Egypt Bench, just head straight towards Neon Dome. You'll start seeing a path and maybe some cairns heading out towards it. It drops down to the canyon on some sand slopes and puts you right at the mouth of the canyon. If you decide to take the b-line back instead, you can just cross the river at the mouth of the Escalante and head straight towards the trailhead. The path up is easy to find. We didn't know where it was and picked it up right away. It starts here:


View Larger Map
You can also check out Tom's beta on Neon which describes the b-line:

http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/images/stories/PDFs/Escalante/HoleInRock/Neon.pdf

Drive to the end of hole in the rock and hike down to the lake

With it being later in the year, I would recommend doing this. There is a swweeeeeetttt camp site down there that is on the map of sites I PM'd you.
 

Boerboel

New Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
3
Hey guys, made it back. Thanks for the info, had a GREAT trip. Will be posting pics soon. Have about 350 to sort through! We eneded up doing 2 nights in escalante and 2 Zion. Was an amazing time.
 
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