Southern Utah Quickie

andyjaggy

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Dec 2, 2013
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A buddy and me are wanting to run down to southern Utah for a quick Saturday to Sunday night backpacking trip. We aren't sure where to go so I though I would ask on here for any suggestions. We had a route planned in Escalante but we don't think 2 days is enough time to really do what we wanted. We both thought it might be cool to check out Bears Ears but know next to nothing about the area.
 

Parma

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I'll be watching this thread curious to what people suggest...inquiring minds want to know!
 

Perry

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I have only been to Capitol Reef NP but I would definitely recommend it. Several overnight opportunities there. Pretty close, too.


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Jackson

I like to go outside.
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For me, I'd say the Cedar Mesa/Bears Ears area may be a bit of a long drive if you're only going for one night. Likewise, the seasonal reservation requirement began March 1, so you may not get your first pick on what trailhead you start from. That being said, you may not mind the extra 1-2 hours of driving there. You can't go wrong with any of the trails down there

Capitol Reef or somewhere in the San Rafael Swell are shorter drives, depending on where you go, and could get you a few extra hours on the trail.
 

regehr

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I second Capitol Reef or the Swell. The Swell isn't necessarily a premier backpacking place but there are plenty of great routes. The new Allen book on the Northern Swell is particularly good for getting ideas (when are they going to do the Southern Swell book???).
 

regehr

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One random idea would be to park at the end of the Mexican Mountain road and explore Spring and Nates. Cottonwood Wash would also work. There are several options along the San Rafael River. I don't know as much about backpacking in the southern swell but Chimney Canyon is nice, though you'll miss a lot of it if you only spend one night out.
 

WasatchWill

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I'd echo Spring Canyon too, specifically upper Spring via Chimney Rock, but Sunday forecast isn't looking so great for Torrey/CRNP.

In fact, Blanding (Bears Ears/Cedar Mesa), Kanab (Southern GSENM), and Castle Dale (upper SR Swell) also have a 50ish precent chance or greater of rain/snow showers for Sunday by midday. Moab appears to be the most favorable at the moment with only 10% chance for that area. Of course, this could all change for better or worse in the next day or two.

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LarryBoy

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If you're comfortable using your thumb, you could go in Chimney and out the lower end.
 

andyjaggy

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Thanks for all of the suggestions. We ended up doing the Boulder Mail trail. It was okay. Some nice views and good stuff around Death Hollow and Mamies Creek, but lots of pretty uninspiring miles at the end and beginning of the hike.
 

slc_dan

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Thanks for all of the suggestions. We ended up doing the Boulder Mail trail. It was okay. Some nice views and good stuff around Death Hollow and Mamies Creek, but lots of pretty uninspiring miles at the end and beginning of the hike.

That's kind of insane to me. I think that entire hike is one of the most beautiful things I've done anywhere. I actually prefer the miles after Death Hollow much more than Death Hollow itself. To each their own I suppose. When I did it, I just wished I had more time to explore more.

Anyway, You are wrong. ;)

For real though, Where's the pics!!! If you aren't going to give us a TR, at least give us a couple photos!
 
Last edited:

andyjaggy

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Ha! I knew people would probably disagree with me. A few things I think led me to that conclusion.

First, I am out of shape from the winter which made the hike less enjoyable for me.

Second, I haven't hiked seriously in a few months so I ended up having feet problems and knee problems which made the hike out to Escalante a bit painful.

Third, I am more of a mountain guy than a desert rat. I enjoy the desert, but it's really just a stop gap measure to get me some outdoor time until the mountains open up. Given the choice I will choose the mountains 9 times out of 10. That said I will choose the desert over sitting at work 10 times out of 10.
 

andyjaggy

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Oh dear it appears I have made a reputation for myself.... I guess I will have to fix that. I really didn't take any photos on this trip though, just a couple of snapshots with the phone, I took my big camera but it never came out of my bag as it was overcast and gray the whole time and I just wasn't feeling it for photos.
 

slc_dan

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Third, I am more of a mountain guy than a desert rat. I enjoy the desert, but it's really just a stop gap measure to get me some outdoor time until the mountains open up. Given the choice I will choose the mountains 9 times out of 10. That said I will choose the desert over sitting at work 10 times out of 10.

I almost typed this, but didn't want to assume something for you. I'm completely the opposite. I'll go to the desert 9.9 times out of 10 over the mountains. I've done quite a bit of walking in the Uinta's, and given the choice, I'd rather do the BMT than anything in that range. I only escape to the mountains because it gets too hot in the desert.

I understand what you are talking about a bit about the end of the hike, seeing the town gives you false hope that it's almost over. Given perspective though, it can still be enjoyable. I had my daughter and backpacking gear on my back, heaviest trip I've ever done.
 

andyjaggy

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I wish I enjoyed the desert a little bit more as it would help me stay a bit more active through the rest of the year, but I just can't seem to get really excited about it.

Yes it was the last 4 more miles of so that really killed me. I saw the town and thought we were almost done, and then it was that brutal rocky downhill section that just killed me knees. By the time I got to the bottom I was done, and didn't realize there were still 2 more miles to go.
 
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