Southern UT: week after next

Elf Owl

Mar 3, 2015
This is partly to get suggestions, and partly to commit to doing a trip report for it.

One of my best friends is coming to visit, arriving Wednesday or Thursday of this coming week. We're hanging out locally for the weekend, and then hitting the road! I'm even taking a week off work! Rough plan is as follows:

Head two hours-ish south and spend a day or two car camping and day hiking Cedar Mesa. I'd like to check out Moon House and the Citadel, and I have a few other ideas of ruins to see, but am open to other suggestions. I'm trying not to overly plan things so my friend has some buy-in as well.

Then, head over through Capitol Reef and Escalante. Not sure of the order yet, but we want to do a 2-3 day backpacking trip in Escalante and then day-hike Upper Muley Twist in Capitol Reef. If there's time, I'd be interested in day-hiking some of the Escalante slots like Peek-a-boo and Spooky or Zebra, assuming we don't hit it on a weekend. Potentially also Upper Calf Creek Falls. I've done some research on Escalante, and like the idea of the Boulder Mail Trail, but I'm wondering if there are trips that aren't out-and-backs or shuttles/hitchikes? I haven't found many good options yet. Regardless, very excited about Upper Muley Twist! (I did suggest backpacking Lower Muley, but friend wanted Escalante).

Then head back up past Goblin Valley, if time visit Little Wild Horse (did Ding and Dang today!) and turn on 70 to go home.

How does this sound? Anyone have suggestions on hikes/cool things to see/driving routes/etc? For reference, we will either have my CR-V or his XTerra so can go a fair number of places but not on super rough jeep roads. We both are experienced hikers and backpackers, and can cover ground fairly quickly. I have canyoneering experience; he is decently athletic but no real experience or gear so I'd like to stay non-technical.

Thanks in advance! I'm so excited...
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