Seeking a little help for Fall Break with family in GSENM

WasatchWill

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It's fall break for my kids this week so we are planning to head down south to our routine get away in Torrey with the in-laws, but want to break away for couple days worth of exploring down around Escalante as well.

Here's the agenda for the Escalante activities...

Thursday morning
  • Upper Calf Creek Falls
Thursday afternoon
  • Devil's Garden
  • Twenty Mile Wash Dinosaur Tracks
  • Peek-a-Boo / Spooky Gulch Loop
Thursday evening
  • Batty Pass Caves
  • Camp
We're aiming to camp in the Batty Pass area if there's a good site available that's away from the high traffic area. If nothing good is left and time is on our side, we'll consider heading back up to Escalante and see if we can't find a paid site at Petrified Forest State Park because we'd like to check that place out in the morning. Otherwise, we're game for any other primitive sites along the way.

Friday morning
  • Petrified State Forest Loop (and maybe see how the fishing is at the reservoir)
Friday afternoon
  • Anasazi State Park
We've already done Lower Calf Creek Falls so we left that off the list. Thursday is forecasted to be pretty nice but storms are supposed to roll in Friday afternoon through Saturday so we hope to be on our way back to Torrey come Friday afternoon.

With all that said I have a few questions for anyone that's more intimately acquainted with the area and our destinations:

1. Can an average mini-van make it out to both Dry Fork TH and Batty Pass Caves off of HIR Road OK?

Note: I remember there being quite a few stretches of washboard texture that rattled our other car like crazy and a sandy spot or two somewhere along the way to do a trip to Coyote Gulch, but that was years ago now. We do have a higher-clearance 4WD vehicle as an option, but it's pretty squished for all the kids.

2. Are there any other good primitive campsites that would be accessible to a mini-van along HIR Road between Twenty Mile and Hurricane Wash?

3. Are any of the hikes, particularly Upper Calf Creek and Peek-a-boo, too tricky or too strenuous for a 3 year old? How bout a parent with a 5 month old in a carrier pack?

4. Is the agenda too ambitious? Any better spots and suggestions in the area that would be worth subbing in place of something else on the agenda for kid-friendly fun and exploration?
 
1. maybe someone else can help answer
2. maybe someone else can help answer
3. Lots of variables in your question, most of which depend on your kids and your comfort level.
4. It sounds like a pretty ambitious agenda. Don't be afraid to dial it back and let the kids play if that's what they want.

Oh, and post a TR when you get back.
 
1. Should be fine, I've been there in a civic a couple times. Take it slow and steady.
2. Nothing specific, but you should be able to find something.
3. Depends on your 3 year old. Upper Calf Creek is steep, but short.
4. If it feels like your family is being worked too hard, the drive down the Burr Trail, and up the Notom Road is a fantastic Alternative. 2wd friendly too.
 
Well, we got everything on the agenda done save Peekaboo & Spooky. We parked our car at the low clearance lot and started making our way up the road to the trailhead proper, but ultimately opted to turn around due to time and decided to save that hike for when we can commit most of a day to it, especially if we have kids in tow. Weather was great.

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