Silty water filtration


Aug 19, 2016
I'm going to the Escalante next month and being a water snob, I am interested in what methods folks use to filter, treat, or otherwise manage water supplies from silty sources.


Brendan S

Mar 19, 2016
Escalante area water is generally quite clear if you can stick mostly to side canyons and potholes, which is generally pretty easy. The exception is after storms. I use a steripen and never prefilter. +1 on just taking a bandana to prefilter if you're worried about it.


ephemeral excursionist
Jan 17, 2012
Alum! Just learned this technique. You can find video's on youtube. Basically a small amount of alum will coat the particles in the water causing them to flocculate and drop to the bottom. Then you skim off the top water and run through your filter.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

Wyatt Carson

Desert Vagabond
Apr 15, 2015
We have been able to find strong seeps in various places and just get our filtered water straight from them. There is such a seep a bit further downstream from Jacob Hamilin's arch of the left side as you go downstream. It is easy to reach, no climbing.

After clogging my MSR filter up on Indian Creek before filtering even one gallon, we found a side canyon and climbed a 30' scree pile and took water from a high seep there. There were some clear potholes up that canyon too. Other times when springs are dry we have done like others and tried to find the clearest potholes but the silt in that area is so fine that filters don't last long before they clog unless the water is very settled.


Mar 8, 2021
I take the Sawyer Products MINI with me when I go hunting, hiking, or camping. This filter doesn't change the taste of the water, but it seems to filter bacteria and impurities from the water.
Jan 18, 2014
So…nobody wrings out th gooey, greenish, yellowish brownish mossy lookin gooey stuff into your canteens and drink it afterwards and pick out th solids n bugs outta your teeth anymore ?


Mar 28, 2012
I have a little bottle of liquid flocculant which (along with a folding bucket) seems likely to settle the gunk out of the worst kinds of water. I've taken it on a few trips (for example floating the Dirty Devil) as a backup plan but so far have not had to use it. I got this from a rafting company and can dig up the link if needed.

Wyatt Carson

Desert Vagabond
Apr 15, 2015
Used the same source on my trip to Coyote Gulch. At camp just used river water - hiker pro with standard prefilter. No issues.

Interesting. When did you go? It’s been near 20 years that we found that seep. We didn’t filter that water as it travels through a lot of material and did come out pure and naturally filtered.


Aug 18, 2015
I think we did the same at the seep - no filtration. Escalante R water was another matter. Went 2019. One of my favorite shots from that canyon. Swear there's a face in that rock!

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