Short Video: Backpacking/Packrafting Dark Canyon Wilderness, Utah. April 2019


Apr 22, 2018

This is the short video of an 8 Day/7 Night Backpacking/Packrafting trip in April 2019 in the Dark Canyon Wilderness.

This was a Huge trip, being the longest backpacking trip of my life. We had huge canyons, flowing water nearly everyday, waterfalls, fresh springs, bighorn sheep, lizards, birds, frogs, intense spiders, quicksand, snow, HUGE exposure, ledge walks, pack rafting, constant route-finding, mental and physical engagement 8+ hours a day, great company, and amazing views.

Day 1 we started at the Sundance Trailhead East of Hite, Lake Powell in Southern Utah. We dropped down 1400 feet in .8 of a mile into Dark Canyon where we hiked a couple miles up the canyon and camped for the first night.

Day 2 we hiked Dark Canyon to the mouth of Young's canyon which we would be ascending the next day. This day really showcased the beauty and layers of Dark Canyon. Flowing water and multiple colored layers of rock.

Day 3 we hiked up Young's Canyon, up on top of the Plateau, over and down into Fable Valley for the 3rd night. Fable Valley is very secluded, with multiple ancient ruins and pictographs. This was a huge day with no water up top and full sun exposure.

Day 4 we woke up to 4 inches of snow in Fable Valley. We took our time getting ready and started on the trail later than usual. It continued to stay cloudy with spotty rain/snow throughout the day as we headed north through Fable Valley to our destination in Gypsum Canyon. The descent into Gypsum Canyon had no trail/cairns/or even footprints, where it started to dump rain on us.

Day 5 we started down Gypsum Canyon towards our ultimate goal of reaching the Colorado River. This day was a huge day, and probably my favorite day of hiking that I have ever experienced. There was no trail, 100+ foot waterfall drop-offs. Constant route finding on ledges with hundreds of feet of exposure. The main goal was to reach the bottom of the canyon and towards the river. Truly an amazing experience. We found a beautiful camp spot a mile or so from the Colorado River.

Day 6 we hiked down Gypsum Canyon to the Colorado River. We inflated our pack rafts and headed down the 5 mile stretch to Bodie Canyon. Floating the Colorado River with backpacks in the warm sun was an absolute highlight of this trip. We floated and got out at Bodie Canyon where our plan was to head up the canyon a few miles and find camp. Route finding proved more difficult than expected and time constraints made is reconsider the route and deciding to float the river again the next day to where Dark Canyon meets the Colorado River.

Day 7 we floated 8 more miles of the Colorado River to Dark Canyon where we hiked up nearly back to where we hiked in the first day. We found a great camp spot for our last night, with open views of the canyon next to the creek.

Day 8, we hiked out and back to the cars. This was in absolute stunner of a trip and the most wild experience of my life. This place is very very remote, and more diverse than one could ever imagine in Southern Utah