Maze District of Canyonlands question

Ute0687

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Can anyone who has done the hike from north point trailhead just past hans flat ranger station tell me how long it took you to do the 15 mile hike to the maze overlook? I'm going to do a week in the maze and I dont have 4wd so I'll have to hike in. A book I read suggested to split that into 2 days but I've backpacked 15 miles in a day before so I didnt know if there was something particularly challenging on this route or if the book was encouraging a take it easy approach.

Thanks
 

Nick

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You could always take a jet boat down the river and get dropped off/picked up at Spanish Bottom. Skip right to the goods. I've hiked to the Maze Overlook from there and it was delightful.
 

scoags

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doable in one day. really not too bad. check out this post by @ramblinman. we did this hike last spring

https://backcountrypost.com/threads/the-maze-in-march.7567/

we actually made it below the overlook down by south fork horse junction pictograph fork.
after you come out of the canyon from north point you are all exposed on the flat. no shade, no water. the hike itself (after the canyon) is otherwise very flat.
 

Ute0687

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You could always take a jet boat down the river and get dropped off/picked up at Spanish Bottom. Skip right to the goods. I've hiked to the Maze Overlook from there and it was delightful.
My friend from back east has never been to Utah and is getting deployed overseas in late march so unfortunately we have no choice but to go the week before they dust off their boats. Otherwise that would absolutely be the route I took so thanks for the comment because for my first 2 years I had no idea that was an option.
 

Nick

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Got it. Well I don't know about the hike from there but here's another option. Walk the 9 or so easy road miles from Teapot Camp to South Fork Horse Canyon and drop into the Maze canyons there. Make a loop including a stop at the Maze Overlook and the Harvest Scene and come out at The Plug or at Chimney Rock and connect back to your car. You don't need HC 4WD to get to that if you come in from Hite.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/38....-110.0961279,26658m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e2
 

Nick

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Another fun way would be to walk the ridge to the Chocolate Drops and drop into the canyon via the 'climber's route'. It'd be way easier to go down it than up, if you're okay with that kind of thing and have a hand line. Then go back out South Fork Horse or one of the others.
 

ramblinman

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easily doable in a day, provided you get a decent start.

apart from dropping below the orange cliffs and into the maze it's mostly flat road walking, like @scoags said
 

Ute0687

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Got it. Well I don't know about the hike from there but here's another option. Walk the 9 or so easy road miles from Teapot Camp to South Fork Horse Canyon and drop into the Maze canyons there. Make a loop including a stop at the Maze Overlook and the Harvest Scene and come out at The Plug or at Chimney Rock and connect back to your car. You don't need HC 4WD to get to that if you come in from Hite.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/38....-110.0961279,26658m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e2
I had been trying to research that route actually so I’m glad you mentioned that.. Can you go all the way to teapot or do you have to park at waterhole flat?
 

Ute0687

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Got it. Well I don't know about the hike from there but here's another option. Walk the 9 or so easy road miles from Teapot Camp to South Fork Horse Canyon and drop into the Maze canyons there. Make a loop including a stop at the Maze Overlook and the Harvest Scene and come out at The Plug or at Chimney Rock and connect back to your car. You don't need HC 4WD to get to that if you come in from Hite.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/38....-110.0961279,26658m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e2
The more I look at that route I’m thinking that is a great option. I really appreciate the help. Any downside doing that route as opposed to the other?
 

regehr

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Another option (which does require HC/4WD, but easy stuff and nothing like Teapot Canyon) is to park at the Golden Stairs Campground and walk down from there. It's a neat trail too.
 

Nick

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I had been trying to research that route actually so I’m glad you mentioned that.. Can you go all the way to teapot or do you have to park at waterhole flat?

There's a rough section right before you get to Teapot. I've seen people parked in between there and the junction at Waterhole. I was never looking for a spot so I didn't think much about it. What are you planning to drive out there?
 

Ute0687

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There's a rough section right before you get to Teapot. I've seen people parked in between there and the junction at Waterhole. I was never looking for a spot so I didn't think much about it. What are you planning to drive out there?
Awd sedan. Not HC at all. My plan after having talked to the ranger was just to park at Hans flat or see if I could get slightly closer to north point trailhead. It looks like even parking at waterhole would shave a few miles off though. What is the road condition generally like from hite to waterhole? I’m not afraid of a long walk in. I generally wake up by 4am and use an led light to start hikes early anyway.
 

regehr

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Awd sedan. Not HC at all. My plan after having talked to the ranger was just to park at Hans flat or see if I could get slightly closer to north point trailhead. It looks like even parking at waterhole would shave a few miles off though. What is the road condition generally like from hite to waterhole? I’m not afraid of a long walk in. I generally wake up by 4am and use an led light to start hikes early anyway.
sounds like a mountain bike would be awesome here
 

Jammer

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North Trail Canyon to down in The Maze is definitely doable in a day (even if starting at Hans Flat). As mentioned by others the middle section is really barren/exposed and likely to be pretty warm at times. Also, the road between Hans Flat and North Trail Canyon TH is pretty good -- just one semi-bad outcrop of rocks if I remember correctly.

BTW -- I did a write-up on this segment as part of a alternate for Hayduke Hikers if you want to check it out here:
http://www.AcrossUtah.com/wordpress/hayduke-happy-maze-alternate/

If you do go this way you should be able to find some water along way (depending on the season). Good thing is you could check on the way in and know how much you'd have to carry out on the return trip. Also, as you approach the Maze, I recommend leaving the road and taking a route over the bench for some killer views. You can see some of these points on interest on my Hayduke Reference Map (turn on details for "Happy Maze" Alternate.)
http://www.AcrossUtah.com/HaydukeMap/
 

John Morrow

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Doable in a day. Firm good tread o trail and road. Not much sand at all. Doesn't feel like a big vert loss on the joints with the descent split into two. You'll see where we found water on the plateau on the first and last days.

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8023831
http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8023845

I'd have liked a basecamp day to explore Shot/Water and a basecamp day to explore the Fins. We had an extra day of food for exploring but Ernies Country seemed hot and we lost interest on this particular trip. We had seen much to that point.

Main Horse Canyon and its forks looked wilder than anything else. Recent rains would likely fill the many shallow depressions and tanks of the side canyon washes.
 
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