Little Book Cliffs Wilderness Study Area

hamtron5000

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
13
It's been unutterably gorgeous around here lately, and I've been slowly amassing gear and hiking time; this weekend, I decided, it was finally time for me to try my first "real" backpacking trip. I'm still pretty new to this activity and haven't been the most active person in the past, so in preparation for a longer trip that's forthcoming I've been trying to hit the trail every weekend and had, I felt, built up enough stamina to try an overnight carrying everything that I needed on my back.

So, I took a long weekend and packed up on Friday, convinced my friend Charlie to meet up with me at the campsite, and about 2:00 headed out to the Little Book Cliffs Wilderness Study Area. I found out the hard way that the new battery charger I'd ordered for my camera was for the wrong type of battery (d'oh!) when I went to take the first picture, so once again these are cell phone pictures and I apologize in advance.

It was a splendid day. Temperatures were in the mid 60s and there was a bit of a breeze. I got to the trail head and strapped on my pack as a group of ladies who had been riding their horses in the area were packing up. One of them jokingly offered to rent me a horse for the trip! Apparently I looked like I was carrying quite a load. Oh well; I told them I was training, and set off. I followed an old fire road up to the crest of the first hill, and was greeted with a great first sight, a mountain that probably has a real name but that I call "Pyramid Mountain".



My friend Trevor and I got lost in the maze of horse trails here one time, so I've cemented where on this particular feature I need to aim when headed for the parking lot. In this photo you can see a bit of the maze the horses have created with their trails.

2015-04-10 15.31.08 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

The fire road descends into Main Canyon itself and then proceeds to cross the seasonal stream named Jerry Creek numerous times. I counted 11 crossings on my way back to the trailhead the next day, and there are more as you continue up canyon. Jerry Creek was less than a half inch deep in most places, and I was glad I'd brought enough water to not have to worry about filtering more.

2015-04-10 19.18.44 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

I stopped twice to rest, once at this cool rock that almost looked like it had been eaten by termites.

2015-04-10 19.41.37 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

After an hour and a half or so, I found a site that had a pre-made fire ring and so stopped to set up camp. This is looking back the way I'd come, towards the Grand Mesa in the distance.

2015-04-10 19.29.38 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

These little orange flowers were blooming all over the place and made a nice contrast to the regular high desert palette.

2015-04-10 19.12.02 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

It was moderately gusty, so I fully staked down my tent, which I don't usually do. I kind of thought it looked a bit like a starfighter of some kind.

2015-04-10 18.42.23 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

Here's the obligatory loaded pack, at rest, photo.

2015-04-10 16.38.01 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

As the last bit of sun hit the canyon walls, my friend Charlie showed up. We hike at very different paces (she's a lot faster than I am!), so she'd gotten a later start and met me at camp. Here's the canyon at twilight:

2015-04-10 19.19.01 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

and Charlie with a reasonable pack. She didn't even bring a tent, just slept in a mummy bag. She said it was great for about five hours and then she got cold, and it did get chilly that evening.

2015-04-11 09.42.59 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

Before dinner, we explored a bit further up canyon.

2015-04-10 19.19.20 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

Then we made dinner, hung out around the camp fire for a bit, and retired.

Next morning we made coffee and sat around for a while waiting for the sun to get to us. When it did, it was gorgeous.

2015-04-11 10.10.57 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

2015-04-11 10.19.49 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

Then I packed up and we headed out, back the way we'd come.

2015-04-11 09.43.23 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

Apparently several hikers have gotten lost in this area, so the BLM has been trying to keep things clear. Their signage is definitely more visible now.

2015-04-11 10.09.59 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

2015-04-11 11.14.28 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

The trail is a broad, sandy two-track for most of the way.

2015-04-11 10.11.07 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

The hiking is pretty flat until you get to the trail head, then there's a brief section of steep upclimbing before the final, glorious descent. Here are some of the horses I saw (probably saw 15-20 all told), while I'm paused to breathe on the way up.

2015-04-11 11.35.56 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

I'd left a bag of Doritos and a liter of water in the truck as motivation, so when I finally saw the parking area I hoofed it a bit faster.

2015-04-10 15.25.35 by andyhamilton519, on Flickr

Once I got to the truck, I'd finally made it! My first backpacking overnight was successful! I didn't get eaten by bears or cougars or die of exposure, hypothermia, or dehydration. Things are looking good. I'd definitely come out this way again.

Thanks for bearing with me!
 

Vegan.Hiker

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
2,094
Looks like a great first trip. Don't worry about the overly large pack size, that's to be expected in the beginning. You'll refine what to bring and what to leave home as you go on more trips. You'll also enter the never-ending process of replacing pieces of gear with lighter/smaller stuff as you go along. The important thing is you got out there and had fun.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Janice Cosmic Ashtray via Wolverine/Little Death Hollow & Escalante River? Trip Planning 16
Rockskipper Sayonara, Quiet Little Green River General Discussion 8
C Little Hiking, Little Rockhounding Everything Else 0
regehr Little Wild Horse fatalaties Monday General Discussion 12
W Little Colorado shuttle / transport Trip Planning 7
Dan_85 New dams proposed for Little Colorado River/Grand Canyon General Discussion 2
kwc A little more Adirondack wandering ... Hiking & Camping 1
SteveR Still Winter- Little Crowfoot Peak Winter Sports 4
piper01 Little Death Hollow, GSENM Hiking & Camping 3
NorthwestWanderer Washington - 4x4 to Bear Lake & Little Deer Pass Off Road 0
o2bav8 A little bit of everything & don't drive on blue clay when wet Hiking & Camping 18
scatman Little Cataloochee Trail, Great Smokey Mountains National Park - June 3, 2018 Hiking & Camping 13
J Escalante Natl Mon. Wolverine and Little Death Hollow and overland routes April 22-25, 2018 Backpacking 0
M Escalante- Little Death Hollow Loop conditions? Trip Planning 14
RyanP Little Wild Horse tips for this weekend? Deep cold water in canyon? Trip Planning 5
swmalone Willow Creek to Little Cottonwood Creek Loop Trail Hiking & Camping 0
tomcat32 Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness: Little Rainbow Mountain Hiking & Camping 3
B Utah Backpacking with Little Kids? Trip Planning 3
K TR: 4/14 - 4/16 Nice Little Valley south of Mammoth Lakes,CA Backpacking 2
SteveR Little Crowfoot Peak, Alberta Winter Sports 6
F Little bit of a combo General Discussion 1
kimbur96 2 nights in Little Brooklyn Hut, Snowy Mountain Range, Wyoming Winter Sports 4
George_Washington_Hayduke Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument: Little Death Hollow/Horse/Wolverine Loop Backpacking 0
ashleyoutside Slot Canyon Hiking – Little Wild Horse Canyon Hiking & Camping 4
Jon Carbaugh Little Wild Horse/Bell Canyon Loop Hiking & Camping 7
regehr hiker injured and rescued in Little Cottonwood General Discussion 3
Noun Sequitur A Little Bit of Bisti Everything Else 25
rich67 A Little Drive Up Schnebly Hill (Sedona) Off Road 2
Sandro Invite Grand Canyon, Utah Flats & Little Colorado, October Meet Up (Members Only) 7
Nate Levine Advice on hiking the Little Colorado River in July Trip Planning 7
DiscGo Confessions of Stupidity: Little Death Hollow Hiking & Camping 6
Dave Fees coming for Big, Little Cottonwood Canyons General Discussion 0
DrNed Biking The Little Wild Horse Road Everything Else 1
Ross Canaan Mountain & Little Colorado rim exploration Backpacking 16
IntrepidXJ Little Wild Horse Canyon & Bell Canyon Hiking & Camping 2
andyjaggy Little Sahara Hiking & Camping 2
DrNed Little Wild Horse Road Trip Planning 13
Scott Chandler A Return to Desert: Little Wild Horse Hiking & Camping 7
WasatchWill Seeking a little help for Fall Break with family in GSENM Trip Planning 4
Red Rock Rangers Little Jamaica On The Water 0
Blake Merrell Cuberant, Kamas & Lofty with a little Mount Marsell Backpacking 18
Ross Invite: Exploring Little Colorado's north rim + Colorado East Rim viewpts Trip Planning 3
Ross Help/Invite:Cape Solitude at rim of Colorado & Little Colorado confluence Trip Planning 0
D Blue Springs trailhead, little colorado river, via FS6140 Trip Planning 0
WasatchWill BACKPACKING: Little Rock - Rock Canyon Backpacking 7
Bob Little Colorado River Gorge - Epic Canyon Hike, some Pics Backpacking 4
IntrepidXJ Little Hole Hiking & Camping 3
CaptnKidd Black Dragon Canyon, Crack Canyon, Little Wild Horse (2011) Hiking & Camping 4
IntrepidXJ Toms Canyon to the Little Dolores Hiking & Camping 3
regehr Hiker death in White Pine, Little Cottonwood General Discussion 0

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top