Honeymoon Backpacking - An Intro to Canyon Country

BJett

Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
515
Quarantine makes people do strange things they might not have done otherwise, like an impromptu house purchase and getting married. These things weren't even in discussion pre-Covid. We had a small backyard ceremony in late August, and a week later we packed up and headed west towards southern Utah. My last trip was 2016. The best part about this one was getting to share my favorite places with my new wife, and guide her during her first backpacking trip ever. Her excitement fueled my anticipation.
Neither smoke from the fires nor the epic cold snap bringing snow to the high country...and on our drive over Hells Backbone Road...would slow us down.

We got situated in Escalante for 4 days exploring and resting before we waiting for some warmer weather to creep back in. Originally we were going to do my old standby intro to desert hiking, Death Hollow from Boulder to the Hwy 12 bridge. Instead we hired a shuttle and spent 3 days on the Boulder Mail Trail, 2 nights camping at Mamie Creek for the night skies, the silence, and solitude. No regrets. Veronica crushed it, even with a bit of adversity with our water supply. The huge waterpockets and pools along Mamie were dry except for one, and it was small, dark and sketchy. Clogged both my gravity filters but we got enough drip to avoid boiling. A pump would have been great. Hindsight. Worked out fine in the end and the water tasted good. Turned out there was plenty of water the closer you got to Escalante on the BMT.

We spent our first night back in Boulder at the Boulder Mountain Lodge, and dinner at my old employer the Hells Backbone Grill. Other than Covid protocols nothing had changed, the food and vibe is still amazing. We had planned on a high country Colorado backpack or Great Sand Dunes trip, but Veronica loved the Grand Staircase terrain so much she wanted to stay longer and do another 3 day trip before heading back to Kentucky. Music to my ears! I have met my match :).
We backpacked from the Hwy 12 bridge and base camped in Death Hollow for 2 nights. It was cool seeing this stretch from a different perspective, I have been down DH 7 times and always go top to bottom. We explored up canyon to the magical pools, taking our time and seeing the best parts of Death Hollow. The last 5 miles are such a gem. We hiked out walking in the Escalante River all the way back to the car other than a mile or 2 of sand slogging, taking our sweet time.
Wrapped up our trip in Escalante and then headed back east, followed by smoke but much better views heading back than we had driving in from Grand Junction.

PHOTO BOMB....

Intro hike to Upper Calf Creek Falls, getting Veronica's feet used to this strange moonscape.
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Taking a break in Death Hollow before slogging it out to Mamie Creek
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Mamie Camp
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Leave 'em where you found 'em!
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In the spring this waterpocket is usually full. Oops.
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Mamie Creek Natural Bridge
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Rookie
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The view to rival all views
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Pondo magic
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Mamie camp. Perfection.
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Our water for 2 nights. Further down canyon there were deep pockets of water but you'd have to rope someone in just to get it.
2A4A0634.JPG


Success!
IMG_7980.JPEG


Low ABV? Worked for me at this point.
IMG_7986.JPEG



TRIP 2 - ESCALANTE RIVER TO DEATH HOLLOW

Escalante Arch
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Confluence
IMG_8012.JPEG


Typically tough to get, we had the alcove for 2 nights of awesomeness. The contrast of Mamie Creek silence to the frogs in DH is stark.
IMG_8019.JPEG


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Primrose
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Woodyaster
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Sacred Datura
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Canyon trifecta...ruins, rock art and an arch
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We are already planning our 2021 spring trip. Hole in the Rock Road canyon adventures and some Bears Ears NM fun.
 

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Perry

Formerly Cuberant
.
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
1,983
Oh my gosh! What an exciting time for you two... on so many fronts. Congratulations! Beautiful pictures, too!
 

Janice

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
273
Quarantine makes people do strange things they might not have done otherwise, like an impromptu house purchase and getting married. These things weren't even in discussion pre-Covid. We had a small backyard ceremony in late August, and a week later we packed up and headed west towards southern Utah. My last trip was 2016. The best part about this one was getting to share my favorite places with my new wife, and guide her during her first backpacking trip ever. Her excitement fueled my anticipation.
Neither smoke from the fires nor the epic cold snap bringing snow to the high country...and on our drive over Hells Backbone Road...would slow us down.

We got situated in Escalante for 4 days exploring and resting before we waiting for some warmer weather to creep back in. Originally we were going to do my old standby intro to desert hiking, Death Hollow from Boulder to the Hwy 12 bridge. Instead we hired a shuttle and spent 3 days on the Boulder Mail Trail, 2 nights camping at Mamie Creek for the night skies, the silence, and solitude. No regrets. Veronica crushed it, even with a bit of adversity with our water supply. The huge waterpockets and pools along Mamie were dry except for one, and it was small, dark and sketchy. Clogged both my gravity filters but we got enough drip to avoid boiling. A pump would have been great. Hindsight. Worked out fine in the end and the water tasted good. Turned out there was plenty of water the closer you got to Escalante on the BMT.

We spent our first night back in Boulder at the Boulder Mountain Lodge, and dinner at my old employer the Hells Backbone Grill. Other than Covid protocols nothing had changed, the food and vibe is still amazing. We had planned on a high country Colorado backpack or Great Sand Dunes trip, but Veronica loved the Grand Staircase terrain so much she wanted to stay longer and do another 3 day trip before heading back to Kentucky. Music to my ears! I have met my match :).
We backpacked from the Hwy 12 bridge and base camped in Death Hollow for 2 nights. It was cool seeing this stretch from a different perspective, I have been down DH 7 times and always go top to bottom. We explored up canyon to the magical pools, taking our time and seeing the best parts of Death Hollow. The last 5 miles are such a gem. We hiked out walking in the Escalante River all the way back to the car other than a mile or 2 of sand slogging, taking our sweet time.
Wrapped up our trip in Escalante and then headed back east, followed by smoke but much better views heading back than we had driving in from Grand Junction.

PHOTO BOMB....

Intro hike to Upper Calf Creek Falls, getting Veronica's feet used to this strange moonscape.
View attachment 92367

View attachment 92374

Taking a break in Death Hollow before slogging it out to Mamie Creek
View attachment 92368

Mamie Camp
View attachment 92369

Leave 'em where you found 'em!
View attachment 92370

In the spring this waterpocket is usually full. Oops.
View attachment 92371

Mamie Creek Natural Bridge
View attachment 92372

Rookie
View attachment 92375

The view to rival all views
View attachment 92376

Pondo magic
View attachment 92377

View attachment 92378

View attachment 92379

View attachment 92380

Mamie camp. Perfection.
View attachment 92381

Our water for 2 nights. Further down canyon there were deep pockets of water but you'd have to rope someone in just to get it.
View attachment 92382

Success!
View attachment 92383

Low ABV? Worked for me at this point.
View attachment 92385


TRIP 2 - ESCALANTE RIVER TO DEATH HOLLOW

Escalante Arch
View attachment 92386

Confluence
View attachment 92387

Typically tough to get, we had the alcove for 2 nights of awesomeness. The contrast of Mamie Creek silence to the frogs in DH is stark.
View attachment 92388

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Primrose
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Woodyaster
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Sacred Datura
View attachment 92405

Canyon trifecta...ruins, rock art and an arch
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View attachment 92407


We are already planning our 2021 spring trip. Hole in the Rock Road canyon adventures and some Bears Ears NM fun.
Love your photos! They bring back such wonderful memories of our BMT & Escalante trip from April 2018. Thank you!
 

Joyce & Tom

Member
.
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
18
Congratulations! Great photos and trip report! Thanks for sharing your adventure. May you have many more.:heart_eyes:
 

Curt

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
396
Congratulations! Awesome understatement , "do strange things ... like an impromptu house purchase and getting married". Wishing you two all the best. Thanks for sharing your honeymoon photos with us. I enjoyed seeing them.
 

balzaccom

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
417
Congratulations--and thank you for the lovely escape from the on-going disaster that is 2020!
 

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Ross

Member
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
290
Congratulations to both of you. Sounds like you've got a real trooper there getting well stuck into a first backpacking trip and loving it.
Super photos too
 

WasatchWill

Ready For More
.
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
1,494
Score!!! Speaking to the awesome alcove campsite that is. :lol: But seriously, you passed under the arch at the right time of day to get those amazing starburst shots. Was just down that way myself for my first foray into DH in late August. Congrats on the new home and especially on the marriage!
 

gnwatts

Member
.
Joined
May 19, 2012
Messages
1,715
Congratulations!
Beautiful photos.
My wife and I did the same thing, we spent our honeymoon in Coyote Gulch.
 

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