Kaiparowits Plateau

regehr

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Mar 28, 2012
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Assuming the weather this week cooperates, I plan to poke around on the Kaiparowits Plateau roads with one of my kids next weekend. Previously I've only managed to get a few miles up Alvey Wash (seeing some of the nice rock art sites) before getting stopped by mud and snow. I'd like to visit the Collet Top arch and granary and perhaps drive down Left Hand Collet canyon if that road is in decent shape.

Other than these few things I don't have much beta for areas up there that would be worth poking around and would appreciate any suggestions.
 
I heard Left Hand Collet has become indefinitely impassable. I drove it once many years ago and it was pretty wild then. You can go see the coal fires if you go toward the south end and the road down the Kelly Grade to Big Water is incredible. After you get down the big hill, you've got Alstrom Point and Wiregrass Canyon to check out. Camping at Alstrom is incredible. We looped back up Cottonwood Road when we did it.
 
I heard Left Hand Collet has become indefinitely impassable. I drove it once many years ago and it was pretty wild then. You can go see the coal fires if you go toward the south end and the road down the Kelly Grade to Big Water is incredible. After you get down the big hill, you've got Alstrom Point and Wiregrass Canyon to check out. Camping at Alstrom is incredible. We looped back up Cottonwood Road when we did it.

The (I think) latest GSENM road report, which isn't that recent, has Left Hand Collet passable as 4wd:
https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/2017-03-08_GSENM-Road-Condition-Report.pdf
But yeah, I've seen some pretty wild pictures from that road.

Unfortunately I have some constraints this weekend that will probably keep us on the north part of the plateau but I really really want to see the S part!
 
Had a great time up on Fiftymile mountain today. I wasn't expecting it to take 2 hours to drive from Escalante to the nearest road point to Collet Top granary/arch but that's what it took (including one stop + a bit of waiting for cows). We then did a longish loop hike on bench lands and through some tributaries of Rogers Canyon. It's an incredible area, doesn't give up its secrets easily. But disappointingly cowed up, with large areas of the flats having been chained.
 
BTW there was just nobody up there today, on a perfect Saturday in spring, even with motels in Escalante filled up. We saw nobody past a few folks camped in lower Alvey Wash, except one couple on one of those super-sized ATVs.

I'm envisioning a bikepacking trip on Croton Road, has anyone done this?
 
My husband and I are planning a trip to the Kaiparowits Plateau and came across your posting. May I ask for directions to the pictographs (and granaries, if you saw them) in Alvey Wash? We'll be traveling, I think, south to north on Smoky Mountain Road. I see on my Trails Illustrated map that Alvey Wash starts down by Death Ridge Road and follows Smoky Mountain Toad north to the south end of the town of Escalante and then turns southeast and eventually crosses under Hole In the Rock Road. And if you have any other tips on what to see and do while up on the Plateau we'd appreciate your input.

Many thanks!

Stephanie
 
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