GSENM Camping Question

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Thread starter #21
Bighorn is nice and you'll likely have it to yourselves. It's easy to spend a whole day exploring various forks, walking cross-country a bit, etc.
Thanks for the info. I think we will just spend the day approaching Bighorn from HITRR. I was thinking of either parking near where Harris Wash crossed HITRR road or closer to Halfway Hollow so we can check out zebra and tunnel and then go up Harris to Bighorn. There is so much to see and do down there that it is very easy to try to pack to much into a very short trip.
 

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regehr

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#22
You know what, the area above and behind Zebra (towards the Sheffield road) is pretty wonderful. An excellent loop could be made by heading down Halfway Hollow, play in Zebra, head up above, then drop into mid/upper Bighorn and back around. You'd want to take a realistic look at mileage, your likely speed, and available daylight, but this should be workable.
 
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Thread starter #23
You know what, the area above and behind Zebra (towards the Sheffield road) is pretty wonderful. An excellent loop could be made by heading down Halfway Hollow, play in Zebra, head up above, then drop into mid/upper Bighorn and back around. You'd want to take a realistic look at mileage, your likely speed, and available daylight, but this should be workable.
This is exactly what I have been looking into. My main concern is available daylight and not being sure of what our travel speed would be through the various canyons. We will play it safe and make sure we head back with plenty of daylight and have headlamps just in case.
 

regehr

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#24
Nice. Realistically, walking out Halfway Hollow in the dark would be just fine, and then you're only a few miles down the HIRR.
 
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#25
You know what, the area above and behind Zebra (towards the Sheffield road) is pretty wonderful. An excellent loop could be made by heading down Halfway Hollow, play in Zebra, head up above, then drop into mid/upper Bighorn and back around. You'd want to take a realistic look at mileage, your likely speed, and available daylight, but this should be workable.
Yep, the area above Zebra is very scenic. Cant go wrong with it. If I remember correctly, the parking for the normal trailhead off HITRR is about 2 miles to Zebra.
 
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Thread starter #26
Yep, the area above Zebra is very scenic. Cant go wrong with it. If I remember correctly, the parking for the normal trailhead off HITRR is about 2 miles to Zebra.
Thanks for the input. I keep watching all these storms roll in and just hope that the weather isn't too bad in a couple of weeks.
 

Nick

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#28
Thanks for the input. I keep watching all these storms roll in and just hope that the weather isn't too bad in a couple of weeks.
Be sure to check road conditions with the visitor center. With the huge amount of snow they got over the past two days, it could still be in rough shape. Even if it's dry and sunny until then.
 
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Thread starter #29
I called the visitor center today and they told me with the rain and snow melt that HITRR is in pretty rough condition. They said I should not plan on making it anywhere near spooky and peak-a-boo. They thought that I should be able to make it the few miles down HITRR to where the cross country trailhead for Bighorn starts, and they said it might be possible I could get down to where Halfway Hollow crosses but that could change by Wednesday.

So will all of this new info they pointed me in the direction of the Burr trail. I have been researching HITRR area so if anyone has any suggestions for the Burr Trail area that they could pass along I would appreciate it. I will swing by the visitor center when we get into town on Wednesday and I'm hoping that we can at least spend some time exploring Bighorn Canyon. I also have to start searching the satellite images for new camp sites since most that I chose were farther down HITRR.
 
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#30
It is so wet in most of Utah right now with more rain and snow in the forecast.......Whatever you do stay away from any backroad that changes into the "Mud from Hell" or you will be stuck or worse. This late Winter cold and wetness has made so many places impassable.
 

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#31
Just looked and rain and snow is in the forecast for many days this week around Escalante :( Great for the much needed water but not so great for human travelers.
 
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Thread starter #32
Just looked and rain and snow is in the forecast for many days this week around Escalante :( Great for the much needed water but not so great for human travelers.
I know, I wish we could postpone the trip a bit but with my wife's work and school schedules this is the only shot we have for quite a while. I will check in with the visitor center when we get down there and see what they suggest. They did tell me if it ends up raining a lot that the hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls is pretty impressive during rain because of the possibility of secondary falls. I guess the worst case scenario may be visiting a couple of the state parks in the area.
 

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#33
I called the visitor center today and they told me with the rain and snow melt that HITRR is in pretty rough condition. They said I should not plan on making it anywhere near spooky and peak-a-boo. They thought that I should be able to make it the few miles down HITRR to where the cross country trailhead for Bighorn starts, and they said it might be possible I could get down to where Halfway Hollow crosses but that could change by Wednesday.

So will all of this new info they pointed me in the direction of the Burr trail. I have been researching HITRR area so if anyone has any suggestions for the Burr Trail area that they could pass along I would appreciate it. I will swing by the visitor center when we get into town on Wednesday and I'm hoping that we can at least spend some time exploring Bighorn Canyon. I also have to start searching the satellite images for new camp sites since most that I chose were farther down HITRR.
Bummer.... Have you considered going to Capitol Reef NP in stead? There would be easier accessible hikes, for instance @IntrepidXJ just posted a winter report from CRNP : http://adventr.co/2019/02/another-birthday-in-capitol-reef/

Burr trail rd: Paved from Boulder to CRNP boundary, then it's a dirt/gravel road (current condition?) to the switchbacks.
(We loved the Upper Muley Twist hike and we also liked the Lower Muley twist. But if HITRR is in bad shape, then I doubt you can drive 3 miles even in 4WD/HC to the Upper Muley Twist TH from the dirt road section of Burr trail rd. You might be able to get Lower Muley twist TH, which is just before the switchbacks- you would need to call the CRNP visitor center. )

Lower calf creek fall: when you get to the falls the cool mist makes it feel much cooler- we had to put on all extra layers, especially if you like to hang around and take photos for a while.
 
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Thread starter #34
Bummer.... Have you considered going to Capitol Reef NP in stead? There would be easier accessible hikes, for instance @IntrepidXJ just posted a winter report from CRNP : http://adventr.co/2019/02/another-birthday-in-capitol-reef/

Burr trail rd: Paved from Boulder to CRNP boundary, then it's a dirt/gravel road (current condition?) to the switchbacks.
(We loved the Upper Muley Twist hike and we also liked the Lower Muley twist. But if HITRR is in bad shape, then I doubt you can drive 3 miles even in 4WD/HC to the Upper Muley Twist TH from the dirt road section of Burr trail rd. You might be able to get Lower Muley twist TH, which is just before the switchbacks- you would need to call the CRNP visitor center. )

Lower calf creek fall: when you get to the falls the cool mist makes it feel much cooler- we had to put on all extra layers, especially if you like to hang around and take photos for a while.
I may have to divert to Capitol Reef, but I think if I can get access to Bighorn Canyon I would still like to spend some time exploring that one. Thanks for the tip on the layers at Lower Calf Creek. We will be sure to pack some extra layers in the packs if we do that hike.

I will be sure to post what we ended up doing and how it went when we get back.
 
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#35
You will want to call Cap Reef as well about road conditions......I did the other day and they said most unpaved roads are a horrible mess....You are a long way from help on many of those backroads.....Our annual spring Utah trip has now been diverted to Mojave Preserve and Death Valley. Just way too much moisture and cold air in Cap Reef and Escalante. Even Zion and Red Rocks in Vegas have been hammered with multiple rain/snow storms. I have done BigHorn Canyon and it is great the crux is getting to it with all the muddy roads. Hiking in that mud is no fun either.
 
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Thread starter #37
Here is a great road update.....Be careful out there....more moisture on the way

https://www.nps.gov/glca/learn/news/road-conditions.htm
Very useful, thanks for that. I will double check with the visitor center when we get there. If it stays the same for HITRR parts of my plan may still work. We could spend Wednesday afternoon visiting one of the state parks in the area, camp at that large campsite at the beginning of HITRR. Early Thursday morning drive into halfway hollow or hopefully at least where Harris Wash crosses the road. Spend all day Thursday exploring around Bighorn Canyon and camp near where we park. Then early Friday morning drive back out to Highway 12 and head to Lower Calf Creek.

So that is the plan so far, but depending on what they tell me at the visitor center it may change again. This will be our first trip to the area so I will really be relying on the rangers at the visitor center for their knowledge of the roads.
 
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Thread starter #38
Very useful, thanks for that. I will double check with the visitor center when we get there. If it stays the same for HITRR parts of my plan may still work. We could spend Wednesday afternoon visiting one of the state parks in the area, camp at that large campsite at the beginning of HITRR. Early Thursday morning drive into halfway hollow or hopefully at least where Harris Wash crosses the road. Spend all day Thursday exploring around Bighorn Canyon and camp near where we park. Then early Friday morning drive back out to Highway 12 and head to Lower Calf Creek.

So that is the plan so far, but depending on what they tell me at the visitor center it may change again. This will be our first trip to the area so I will really be relying on the rangers at the visitor center for their knowledge of the roads.
We made it down to GSENM and were able to do some of the stuff I had planned and then had to fall back to some of the alternatives. I will write up a more detailed trip report later.
 

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