Maze questions---Sweet Alice Canyon, etc

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
203
Hello all, I have a couple of questions for the Maze experts out there:
  1. Has anyone done the route from Sweet Alice Canyon up to the Land of Standing Rocks? If so, how hard is the scrambling on that exit? I’ve seen people refer to this route and I have come across maps/gps coords for the route, but have never actually read a report of someone doing it, so I don’t have a feel for how sketchy it is in terms of exposure, route finding, scrambling difficulty, etc. Does anyone know how tricky this is compared to the other exits in the area? (I’ve done several of the other ascents and descents in the Maze, and have read about most of the others enough that I can better gauge their difficulty).
  2. I am hoping to drive from the Hans Flat ranger station up to the top of the Flint Trail Switchbacks, or at least as far up the road as I can, in my Subaru Outback. I’m not planning on taking my vehicle down the switchbacks. Does that sound reasonable, or am I crazy for thinking of heading up that road in a non-HC/4WD vehicle? I will not attempt the road if there has been recent rain/mud, or if there is rain in the forecast for the end of the trip.
  3. How reliable and clean is Clell’s Spring compared to Lou’s? If I do this trip, it will probably be in April (or possibly late March), so hopefully in a normal year I can count on good water at Clell’s at that time of year?
Thanks in advance for any feedback!
 

regehr

Member
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Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,270
the last time I was down there (not real recently) there were just a few rough spots between Hans Flat and the top of the Flint Trail switchbacks and you'd have almost certainly been able to get a Subie through there
 

Bob

Trailmaster
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Mar 3, 2013
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2,456
Been from sweet alice down thru fable valley and gyosum
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
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Mar 1, 2015
Messages
203
the last time I was down there (not real recently) there were just a few rough spots between Hans Flat and the top of the Flint Trail switchbacks and you'd have almost certainly been able to get a Subie through there
Thanks regehr! That confirms my impression from what I've read. Do you remember if there was a place to pull over and park before heading down the switchbacks? Or if there were places to park along the road earlier than that in the event that I want to stop early? (I am hoping to park my car at some point---hopefully right before the switchbacks---and then ride my old mountain bike the rest of the way)
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
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Mar 1, 2015
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203
There's a couple parking areas on top just before the descent starts.
Thanks Randy!

If anyone can speak to questions #1 and #3, please chime in (or send me a PM if you don't want the info to be puclic)! Surely someone on this forum has done that route!
 

regehr

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Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,270
If anyone can speak to questions #1 and #3, please chime in (or send me a PM if you don't want the info to be puclic)! Surely someone on this forum has done that route!

re. #3 I've only been in there once and both springs had some flow, but not a ton. water quality was great. this was in march.
 

Stephanie B

Steph and Blake
.
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
242
Check out this article from Backpacker magazine. Might be helpful as to how to exit and possible water sources. You might also call the Hans Flat Ranger station for road conditions and water sources and perhaps insight regarding exiting Sweet Alice.

Backpacker
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
203
Check out this article from Backpacker magazine. Might be helpful as to how to exit and possible water sources. You might also call the Hans Flat Ranger station for road conditions and water sources and perhaps insight regarding exiting Sweet Alice.

Backpacker
Thanks Stephanie!
 

TrailScot

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Joined
Dec 2, 2019
Messages
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Hi RyanP ... on my trips to The Maze in April 2018 and April 2019, there was a very good flow of clean water at both Lou's and Clell's Springs. There was quite a lot of vegetation in the troughs at Clell's, so it didn't appear quite as appetizing, but I'm sure it was fine.

I didn't take the exit route via Sweet Alice Canyon, but the Backpacker Magazine article that Stephanie suggested is the best description I have found for this. Kelsey also mentions it, I believe.

If you don't want to drive into the area, I highly recommend the jet-boat option from Moab to Spanish Bottom, operated by Tex's Riverways.
 
Last edited:

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
203
Hi RyanP ... on my trips to The Maze in April 2018 and April 2019, there was a very good flow of clean water at both Lou's and Clell's Springs. There was quite a lot of vegetation in the troughs at Clell's, so it didn't appear quite as appetizing, but I'm sure it was fine.

I didn't take the exit route via Sweet Alice Canyon, but the Backpacker Magazine article that Stephanie suggested is the best description I have found for this. Kelsey also mentions it, I believe.

If you don't want to drive into the area, I highly recommend the jet-boat option from Moab to Spanish Bottom, operated by Tex's Riverways.
Thanks @TrailScot! Yeah, that backpacker article is definitely the most solid resource I've found on that exit. Also, I agree about the jet boat---In fact, I'm pretty sure I met you on your 2018 trip there ( I recently commented on your trip report about that). For this particular trip, however, I'm planning on driving in because I would like to combine a short backpacking trip in the Ernie's country area with several day hikes in the Roost.
 
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