GSENM: Burr Trail hikes

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piper01

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Oct 27, 2013
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I'm heading out to the GSENM again in a few weeks, but I'm having trouble deciding on hikes and need some recommendations. My problem is too many options, rather than lack of ideas- I have flags all over my copy of Canyoneering 3! I've hiked many of the well-known destinations off the Hole in the Rock Road, so I'm going to focus on the Burr Trail area this time.

I have 6 full days of hiking, all solo. I usually do day hikes, but this time I'm going to try backpacking. I'm definitely going to hike the Little Death Hollow-Wolverine Loop. What else should I see from here to add on additional days? Bonus points for being able to set up a basecamp and do dayhikes from it. I also want to spend some time up on the slickrock, not just in the canyons. One idea is to head down to the Escalante and over to the Spencer Canyon fracture network, but I could also do that as dayhike from the OSR.

Another option is to do a series of 1 night trips and/or day hikes, moving to different trailheads in between. I'm intrigued by Allen's hike #31 "Steep Creek and Hot Canyon." He claims it "leads to one of the finest and least-visited sections of Canyons in the Escalante," but getting there takes several hours of bush bashing through cowed-up areas. Has anybody done this loop and think it's worth it? I hiked Davis a few years ago and thought fighting through that heavy vegetation was miserable. How about his Egg Canyon (#34) and Deer Point (#36) hikes? Are the roads to those going to be accessible in a rental small SUV? Or are there better places to see in the area?
 

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regehr

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I"ve done Egg Canyon from Lampstand Road and there wasn't any difficult driving. This wasn't the Allen loop, but rather a quick (like a mile or less) hike over a divide to the awesome petrified forest, which is really a must-see. This is a fair bit of dirt road driving though and things could have changed. It's a really cool and not-much-used area in there N of the Burr Trail.
 

Ugly

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Upper Muley is excellent and with a permit also works as an overnight, you can wake up to sunrise over Strike Valley.
Another one that I have not done, but I have been eyeing, is down Deer Creek.
 

deelek

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Are the roads to those going to be accessible in a rental small SUV?
Where you in a small rental SUV when you did Upper Muley Twist. Would love to hike it but have been intimidated in the past. Will be in the area myself in a week or two
 

piper01

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Where you in a small rental SUV when you did Upper Muley Twist. Would love to hike it but have been intimidated in the past. Will be in the area myself in a week or two
I was driving a Toyota Rav-4 and had no problems. I needed higher clearance than a sedan has to get over a few rocks sticking up in the wash, but 4WD wasn't necessary with the "road" conditions at the time. There is a parking area not far from the main road for low clearance vehicles, but that will add several extra miles to the hike.
 

LarryBoy

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Upper Muley is excellent and with a permit also works as an overnight, you can wake up to sunrise over Strike Valley.
Another one that I have not done, but I have been eyeing, is down Deer Creek.
Best sunrise of my life. Buddy still has a print of that photo hanging on his wall.
 

Michael

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I'm heading out to the GSENM again in a few weeks, but I'm having trouble deciding on hikes and need some recommendations. My problem is too many options, rather than lack of ideas- I have flags all over my copy of Canyoneering 3! I've hiked many of the well-known destinations off the Hole in the Rock Road, so I'm going to focus on the Burr Trail area this time.

I have 6 full days of hiking, all solo. I usually do day hikes, but this time I'm going to try backpacking. I'm definitely going to hike the Little Death Hollow-Wolverine Loop. What else should I see from here to add on additional days? Bonus points for being able to set up a basecamp and do dayhikes from it. I also want to spend some time up on the slickrock, not just in the canyons. One idea is to head down to the Escalante and over to the Spencer Canyon fracture network, but I could also do that as dayhike from the OSR.

Another option is to do a series of 1 night trips and/or day hikes, moving to different trailheads in between. I'm intrigued by Allen's hike #31 "Steep Creek and Hot Canyon." He claims it "leads to one of the finest and least-visited sections of Canyons in the Escalante," but getting there takes several hours of bush bashing through cowed-up areas. Has anybody done this loop and think it's worth it? I hiked Davis a few years ago and thought fighting through that heavy vegetation was miserable. How about his Egg Canyon (#34) and Deer Point (#36) hikes? Are the roads to those going to be accessible in a rental small SUV? Or are there better places to see in the area?

Steep Creek and Hot Canyon. Hiking in Steep Crk. isn't fun. Especially w/ a huge backpack. There's a lot of hard bushwhacking till the first pool. Many better options are in this area w/ one overnighter.
- Upper Gulch to Laminate Arch including Egg Canyon.
- Lower Gulch to Sleepy Hollow, setup your base camp here and explore in direction to Boulder Crk., Deer Crk. or Escalante River.

The same thing is on OSR. Many possibilities for day hikes or short overnighters.

Have a great time!
 

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piper01

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Steep Creek and Hot Canyon. Hiking in Steep Crk. isn't fun. Especially w/ a huge backpack. There's a lot of hard bushwhacking till the first pool. Many better options are in this area w/ one overnighter.
Thanks! This is exactly what I was needed to hear; I'll definitely do one of the other hikes I was looking at instead.
 

Titans

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Upper Muley is excellent and with a permit also works as an overnight, you can wake up to sunrise over Strike Valley.
Another one that I have not done, but I have been eyeing, is down Deer Creek.
@Ugly and @LarryBoy : we are driving across country end of this week and should be in Denver this week-end and in Capitol Reef end of October. Many on BCP mention "upper Muley twist" as a must do hike off Burr trail rd. Where did you camp before/after hiking that trail? Cedar Mesa CG or? I know we need a backcountry permit, but can you stay in other places than Cedar Mesa?
 

LarryBoy

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@Ugly and @LarryBoy : we are driving across country end of this week and should be in Denver this week-end and in Capitol Reef end of October. Many on BCP mention "upper Muley twist" as a must do hike off Burr trail rd. Where did you camp before/after hiking that trail? Cedar Mesa CG or? I know we need a backcountry permit, but can you stay in other places than Cedar Mesa?
I'd recommend staying outside the national park, just to make things less red tapey. Just a few miles west of upper muley, on the burr trail, you get into GSENM and can camp anywhere. You can head down Wolverine Loop rd and random camp, or theres a really cute campground right on the burr trail at deer creek. No reservation needed and it's nice and quiet.
 

Rockskipper

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There are also places just off the Notom Road after you pass through Notom. Look for a couple of two-tracks that head down to Pleasant Creek.

ETA - these are not in the park.
 

Titans

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I'd recommend staying outside the national park, just to make things less red tapey. Just a few miles west of upper muley, on the burr trail, you get into GSENM and can camp anywhere. You can head down Wolverine Loop rd and random camp, or theres a really cute campground right on the burr trail at deer creek. No reservation needed and it's nice and quiet.
Excellent! Thank you so much @LarryBoy and @Rockskipper ....
 

Ugly

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@LarryBoy and @Rockskipper are exactly right.
If you stay up high on the Burr trail, or off wolverine you can also catch the sunrise that morning from something like the exit/overlook of Long canyon.
There is rarely a bad sunrise anywhere, but the past few days were some great ones, and Friday I had kinda wished we had stayed down that way bc much of it was under low misty fog, which is a personal favorite. But where I was that morning ended up peachy.
 

LarryBoy

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Well I'll be hitching down the Burr Tr in a few days so if you see a dirty dude in an orange shirt and a boonie hat (green or gray backpack), pick me up please :)
 

Rockskipper

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I'm hoping to be out that way soon, too. If you see a white Tiger full of dogs, stop by.
 

Rockskipper

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It's pretty fierce when the engine starts knocking, but not quite that handsome or intelligent. :)
 

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