Me love me some Escalante!!

Nick

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Just when you guys thought I'd given up on posting trip reports, here I am with my fourth in just over a week! That's what December is for after the year I've had, and I like it. This was my first backpacking trip of the year in early April. I'm going to be deliberately vague on exact locations. This isn't some crazy unknown place, and it shouldn't be too hard to figure out from the photos and other pieces of information. I just don't want to unnecessarily broadcast the exact canyons. If you know where it is, great! Just keep it to yourself in this thread. :)

Our original plan for this weekend was to do a loop in Grand Gulch. But reports of dried out springs made that a little less appealing and this route has been at the top of my Escalante to-do list for years so it was an easy decision to make. Plus we got to bring Sage! After dropping off my truck at our exit point, we all hopped into Art's truck and made our way to the start of our hike. Group portrait below of @Jen, @Artemus, @neiloro, me, and of course Sage.
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Our route begin with a walk down a dry wash bed, eventually giving way to cottonwoods with fresh leaves.
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Like many Escalante canyons, water started to flow, and then it would stop and start again.
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I was with a bunch of posers on this trip, so there's lots of people photos. Like this one of @Artemus.
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Soon the walls narrowed.
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The Alamo.
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We stopped to look at some cowboy glyphs and a stupid yellow plaque explaining why they are there.
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We settled on a sandy bench near the river for the night and took in the view of the sunlit cliffs above us.

Photo by Jen.


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The next day started with a short walk to the mighty Escalante River. We would follow it for most of the day.
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Like I said, posers.
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Art was happy to be walking here. We all were. Thanks for the inspiration for the name of this report, Art.

At one point we dropped our packs and explored a side canyon.
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Eventually our progress was halted by a dryfall.
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Back to the river. We stopped and took a bath in the pool ahead.
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It was a mild winter. It looked like the cottonwood leaves had hardly been bothered since falling months ago.
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Soon we reached our exit canyon and continued up it a mile or so to our next sandy campsite.
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The next morning I went on a walk to do some business and stumbled upon some interesting things. I returned and brought the group up to see.
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Art approves.
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Further up the canyon, we found more things.
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And some more modern things. Nice work, but I had to make it natural again.
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We found this in an alcove. Not sure how old it is but it is solid. There would be no returning this to it's natural state.
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Further up the canyon we dropped our packs and explored another side canyon. This one was lush with cottonwoods and vegetation, including a healthy amount of poison ivy.
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Our progress stopped at a dryfall. For those on a different kind of adventure, this would be the final rappel.
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Poison ivy.
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Back to the main canyon we kept going up. Things started to get a little skinnier. Art kept posing for me.
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Boo!
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Art showing off his custom embroidered ULA pack.
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Sage was getting tired.
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Soon things started to open up a bit, but not too much.
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We found a camp near another side canyon and dropped our packs to explore this 'poison ivy fork'. The vegetation was thick and signs of previous travel were few. I'd like to come see more of it another time.
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Back at camp, Art picked up my camera and snapped a shot of the evening ritual.
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The view from the tarp on night 3.
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The next day we got up and started the walk out. The cottonwoods and flowing water would not last long as we entered more arid terrain.
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But a little moisture still popped up here and there.
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Sage was still tired.
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The chinle takes over as we head further up.
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And Sage is still tired. All in, we put in about 35 miles over the 4 days. It felt good. My recent weight loss and general health improvements made it feel 100 times better. I can't wait to go back.
escalante-april-2018-2400-59.jpg
 

Udink

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I'm loving your trip reports, @Nick!

The next morning I went on a walk to do some business and stumbled upon some interesting things. I returned and brought the group up to see.
View attachment 72621

This is my favorite photo of the lot. Pretty much sums up the last ten years of my life--staring at walls (and not in a bad way).
 

Titans

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Awesome photos and TR! You all put 35 miles in, but I bet Sage did much more. How much does he run back and forth?
 

Artemus

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A privilege to be invited, thanks Nick. And a downright joy to walk. Thanks, Mr. Escalante.
 

slc_dan

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One of the best walks I've been on. Thanks for posting it up Nick!
 

Jackson

I like to go outside.
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I haven't gotten out since October, so I am really loving all these trip reports. Looks like a great time with great people!
 

Perry

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Great trip and great report! Yeah, what's with that stupid yellow sign? :(
 

LarryBoy

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Very nice! Glad I'm not the only one confused by that driftwood contraption.
 

Nick

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Awesome photos and TR! You all put 35 miles in, but I bet Sage did much more. How much does he run back and forth?

Not very much, actually. She stays mostly by my side. I'm sure she still puts down quite a bit more mileage than we do though.

Very nice! Glad I'm not the only one confused by that driftwood contraption.

Do you have any idea how old it is? It seems pretty new but the wire holding it together and stability of the construction is a bit odd. I'd love to go back and tear it down if I could.

Great trip and great report! Yeah, what's with that stupid yellow sign? :(

"My granpappy slept here once and therefore there should be a sign!!"

A privilege to be invited, thanks Nick. And a downright joy to walk. Thanks, Mr. Escalante.

Thanks for coming, Art. It was a highlight of the year to walk with you. We should do it again soon.
 

LarryBoy

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Do you have any idea how old it is? It seems pretty new but the wire holding it together and stability of the construction is a bit odd. I'd love to go back and tear it down if I could.
Unfortunately I don't. I was only there for the first time a couple months ago. @Jammer might know!
 

Jammer

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The driftwood contraption has been erected in the last 10 years as it wasn't there on my first hike through the area, but was there in 2016. I forget where I read it, but I saw a post stating that it's a drying rack for canyoneers after dropping out of South Fork Choprock and was made with permission of the BLM. In theory.
 

Nick

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The driftwood contraption has been erected in the last 10 years as it wasn't there on my first hike through the area, but was there in 2016. I forget where I read it, but I saw a post stating that it's a drying rack for canyoneers after dropping out of South Fork Choprock and was made with permission of the BLM. In theory.

Thanks for the intel, Jamal. That is ridiculous, in my opinion. Dry your stuff on a rock or a tree! It's wilderness, not an amusement park.
 

Nick

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I've been doing some investigating. I'm not certain yet, but I'm pretty sure the BLM did not approve that structure. Might have to go back and do something about it next spring...
 

Jammer

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I've been doing some investigating. I'm not certain yet, but I'm pretty sure the BLM did not approve that structure. Might have to go back and do something about it next spring...

Yeah... that's why I added the "In Theory" bit as I was kinda skeptical myself. I wish I could remember where I read about it -- maybe on Tom Jones' site? Actually... that's NPS land I just realized.
 
Last edited:

Nick

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I talked to Tom Jones about it this afternoon. He doesn't believe the BLM gave the thumbs up. I also sent an email to a contact in BLM law enforcement in the area. Waiting for a response.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Thanks Nick! Absolutely Loved It! Great Photos! it brought back so many good memories.
 

LarryBoy

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That was my thought as well... smells like some BS, given that it's in the NRA
 
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