Looking for Escalante Area Short Backpacking Suggestions Early Spring

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Nick

Spiral out.
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Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,669
The gauge in Escalante can be misleading as most of the water comes in downstream. If it's higher, you can assume the others are higher too, but it's not perfect.
 

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Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
323
Now as for the water levels in the Escalante, it varies from one year to the other. For myself, am always checking the snowpack up on the Aquarius Plateau. Now Nick is correct that the gauge near the Town of Escalante can be sooo misleading to what the water levels is actually is further down in the canyon.

In my hiking how many many times have I camped up in Choprock then dayhiked all around. Yes it varies from year to year. But in most years, one can find an easy place to cross the Escalante when and if one is coming in from Fence Canyon. There can be also some deep holes in the Escalante, so one needs to know how to read the water. There is a certain crossing place I have which has never given myself a problem. In my experience, I never had a problem in the Choprock to Fence Canyon area and from Fence Canyon to the Neon Canyon area. But I did sometimes at high runoff times have problems between Choprock Canyon with going upstream towards Harris / Silver Falls Canyon. One time I started hiking downstream from the road. It was great at first, but by the time I arrived to the Gulch area in the Escalante, the water was way too much and had to abandon the hike. It so varies from year to year and places in the canyon from year to year it seems.

Also in some years a good pool develops up the left fork of Choprock in some narrows here. One can take the left fork of Choprock up and out at the end. Most years this pool will be traversible with some deep wading across. Besides this pool area, the left fork is usually pretty good in going up and enjoying Choprock. The right fork of Choprock is spectacular with a huge pouroff and pool about a half mile up. Some spring have spent weeks and weeks in here camping with oneday hiking this way, then the next day dayhiking the other way, Neon Canyon is close by, the sandstone benches above, and more. Some years the Escalante River would be full of water the color of Chocolate Milk. Other years hardly no water flowing and one could almost walk up and down the Escalante River with hardly a problem. One in doing this learns how to read the water.

Also in camping in Choprock Canyon, there is a nice alcove a short ways upstream around a bend in the canyon. There is a good spring in Choprock right at the very first bend. Have drank from the water here many a time without even purifying the water right here. Also some old Indian Rock Art on the north wall right nearby. Also a good camping spot on the bench right closeby. One used to very easily go up to the benches here on an old cattle trail but which was washed out at the bottom here in very lower Choprock. I haven't been here now for a few years so things could have changed abit. In a normal spring, every year there are people hiking the Choprock - Silver Falls Canyon Loop it seems.

Wishing Everyone the Best!
 
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