Memorial Day Weekend 2020

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IntrepidXJ

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Well, one of the big camping weekends of the year is almost here and with many people not getting out for a while, I have a feeling it's going to be a crazy one! I honestly cannot remember the last time I stayed home over the Memorial Day weekend, but I think I'm going to sit this one out and stay home. It has really disheartened me seeing our public lands getting trashed over the past couple months, and I need a break from that.

So are you going to brave the traffic and crowds to get out this weekend?
 

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Jackson

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I am, but only because I had to postpone my plans that were set for last weekend. Friday night car camping, Saturday night backpacking. I'm a little worried about getting the car camping spot I want off of Boulder Mountain (trying to get there midday tomorrow). Not worried about the backpacking area being busy at all.

KSL was reporting that Memorial Day level crowds had already been hitting popular spots the last few weeks, so I'd bet this weekend is going to be absolutely insane anywhere remotely popular. I can't imagine how busy the Escalante, Moab, Zion, and Goblin Valley areas are going to be.
 

wsp_scott

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I just got back from 5 nights in the Smokies after the park had just opened the backcountry. There were lots of people on the trails. I can't imagine what a popular park will look like for a holiday weekend.

I'm staying home :)
 

Udink

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Wait--you guys see other people while you're out hiking? :roflmao:

Seriously though, I'm staying home this weekend not because of crowds, but 'cause I've got a bunch of stuff to take care of (yard work, home maintenance, and stuff like that). I hauled my camp trailer into the middle of the San Rafael Swell last weekend for three days/nights and, although there were a lot of people on/near the main roads, I found a secluded camp spot and it was easy to get away from everyone with very little effort.
 

OldBill

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It's going to be ridiculous here in the lower NE area as they are lifting restrictions ever so slowly and such a dense population. With great weather I expect the AT and most places near a view are packed. Others have serious blackfly issues!

Last year we took it easy Memorial Day, having just returned from 2 weeks exploring Bryce, Zion and the Grand Staircase. Even winning a trip to The Wave. This year, I'm still sidelined - month 3 with stubborn plantar fasciitis. :eek: Counting the days to 5 weeks in the Winds and Absarokas. :D
 

JulieKT

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It's crowded in Torrey. People are camped alllll over the place, especially since the main CapReef campground is still closed. And someone killed a marmot in the park yesterday when driving down the road. :( Anyway, the amount of people is typical for this holiday weekend, but it just feels like more than usual since we'd been so quiet for months now. Ah well. Tis what it is.
 

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Jackson

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It's crowded in Torrey. People are camped alllll over the place, especially since the main CapReef campground is still closed. And someone killed a marmot in the park yesterday when driving down the road. :( Anyway, the amount of people is typical for this holiday weekend, but it just feels like more than usual since we'd been so quiet for months now. Ah well. Tis what it is.
I'm almost to Torrey right now and it sure feels busy. Never been here around Memorial Day, though. I'm just passing through, fortunately, but staying somewhere not terribly far away. Hopefully we can find a spot to set up...
 

regehr

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I plan to be down in the Sheep Cave / Archtower canyons part of the Swell, hoping that area isn't getting very many people. Say hi if you're there too!
 

JulieKT

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I'm almost to Torrey right now and it sure feels busy. Never been here around Memorial Day, though. I'm just passing through, fortunately, but staying somewhere not terribly far away. Hopefully we can find a spot to set up...
There are still plenty of places to camp around the general area where others will not be. The majority of the cars, RVs, campers, and tents are quite visible from the highway. Just gotta scoot a ways down some of the roads where people don't usually go, and there are plenty of empty spots to set up. Memorial Day weekend is always totally nuts here, but most people don't head too far off the highway.

Hope you have a good time adventuring or whatever you'll be doing!
 

WasatchWill

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It's crowded in Torrey. People are camped alllll over the place, especially since the main CapReef campground is still closed. And someone killed a marmot in the park yesterday when driving down the road. :( Anyway, the amount of people is typical for this holiday weekend, but it just feels like more than usual since we'd been so quiet for months now. Ah well. Tis what it is.
I'm almost to Torrey right now and it sure feels busy. Never been here around Memorial Day, though. I'm just passing through, fortunately, but staying somewhere not terribly far away. Hopefully we can find a spot to set up...
As. @JulieKT can attest to, Memorial Day down there is tends to be the busiest weekend of the year down there, and every year seems to get busier and busier, so I'm sure it's turning into quite a zoo down there.

I would have been just as content to stay home and keep working on a new backyard playhouse construction project I've taken on for my kids, along with some more touch up work in our yard and garden to be done. However, In-laws invited us down to Torrey for the weekend after all and my wife and kids are desperate to get away from our house for some vacation time. Fortunately, they've got an unfinished home they've been working on that we'll be able to "camp" in, so no worries about finding a camp spot for us. For Sunday-Monday, I'm aiming to take my wife and two older girls out on a short little backpacking trip up to some less popular meadows up on Boulder Mountain where I expect very few if any others will be.

Had my girls not been so interested in coming, Jess and I may have attempted a full loop (same one I did last year with a couple friends) and camp out on the Boulder Top rim somewhere, but there's probably some sections of that trail that are real good and muddy or snowed in still. And at that elevation, it'll be reaching down below freezing temps by the looks of things, so I expect that'll keep some crowds down too, as far as the backcountry backpacking destinations go. It's awesome that my girls want to come along though, so we'll take it easy for them, then do some short hikes out from our basecamp, up the creek to check out some springs and waterfalls if we can, and for sure, up to a viewpoint on the top of the rim. With the year almost half over, this'll be my first hike, first bag night, etc and I'm excited to get out and break in a new pack, new tent, new sleeping pad and so on.
 

fossana

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Jan 11, 2018
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no camping trip for me, just long day hikes in Zion backcountry.
I don't think I'll see a lot of people at all. All the hikes I did in the Zion backcountry I was pretty much alone which was great.
Isn't the Zion backcountry closed? From the NPS 22 May announcement (pdf):

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 7.30.55 PM.png


I define the Zion backcountry as off-trail, but maybe you didn't mean that.
 
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Bob

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I never go anywhere on ANY holiday.... So many other days to go with less crazy a** people out ........
 

Yvonne

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Isn't the Zion backcountry closed? From the NPS 22 May announcement (pdf):

View attachment 88904

I define the Zion backcountry as off-trail, but maybe you didn't mean that.
all wilderness trails are day hikes only, no venturing off -trail.
I just did Cabe Mountain and Deertrap Mountain today from East Entrance trailhead. It was busier than normal but still okay.
Too bad I couldn't add Observation Point as well because you can only hike during daylight hours. This would have been a long hike to come back after dark

I can't wait to do more of the real backcountry off-trail hikes soon again
 

Miya

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Heading out in 4 hours after my nap. The area I am going still has closed campgrounds, but backpacking is allowed, so hoping it won't be too busy. I will let you guys know if it was an absolute nightmare. :eek:
 

Jackson

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There are still plenty of places to camp around the general area where others will not be. The majority of the cars, RVs, campers, and tents are quite visible from the highway. Just gotta scoot a ways down some of the roads where people don't usually go, and there are plenty of empty spots to set up. Memorial Day weekend is always totally nuts here, but most people don't head too far off the highway.

Hope you have a good time adventuring or whatever you'll be doing!
Yeah, we were headed to Boulder Mountain, and it all worked out. Still fairly busy up there, but not too bad.
 

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