Water availability next week in Cedar Mesa & Escalante areas

tomg

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Messages
5
HI all
I have been heading down to southern Utah from Idaho pretty much every spring break since my kids were little. Last one this year since my oldest is heading off to college...bittersweet.

Anyhow, I have heard that there has been drought down there and that water is very difficult. Was thinking about doing something a little out of the way in the Grand Gulch area, such as Pine, Step, Dripping canyons or Slickhorn Canyon . (We did Polly's canyon a few years ago and loved it). Also considering Arch Canyon. Another one, we have never done is Harris Wash over in Escalante. I'd really appreciate any recent info that anyone can provide with respect to water especially

Any other ideas welcome. 3 nighter, non-tecnical.

Thanks

Tom
 

Jackson

I like to go outside.
.
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
2,546
I'd imagine the water sources across the area will be adequate. I just got back from Cedar Mesa yesterday, and there was a good amount of water in Sheiks Canyon and Bullet Canyon. They got a pretty good snow storm Sunday. The other canyons' water sources are probably similar right now.
 
Last edited:

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,368
While I didn't visit the Grand Gulch area, I was in the greater Cedar Mesa area and Needles area over the past few weekends and found plenty of water in all the canyons I was in.

Have you spoken to anyone at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station about conditions?
 

BryanG

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2016
Messages
67
Before we headed down there I contacted the local BLM office and got this response (although its probably out of date now)


"Hello Mr. Gordon,

There was some snow on Sunday, 3/4, but that has likely mostly dissipated below 7,000 feet elevation as the week has progressed.

Most of our roads in Cedar Mesa are two-wheel drive accessible with moderate vehicle clearance under dry conditions. But they are clay-based so if it gets saturated, even high clearance four-wheel drive may not be enough when it gets sticky, so best to avoid those roads if you encounter those conditions.

Laura Lantz, one of our Kane Gulch rangers, said that Todie Canyon was impassable as of Sunday 3/4 due to icy conditions. The Kane Gulch Ranger Station is currently open 8 am to noon each day, and it would be a good idea to check in with them before embarking on any day hike, and it is required to check in with them for any overnight camping trips in the canyons.

Comb Wash Road and Butler Wash Road are currently described as being sandy, I do not have any other road reports.

There have been reports of water being available now in Shieks Canyon, Owl Canyon, and Fish Canyon, and the area of South Mule.

Here is the only detailed water report I have gotten (Feb 9 - 11) from within Grand Gulch. But the situation could change significantly in the coming weeks and months. I would definitely check in with the Kane Gulch rangers when you arrive to get the latest reports.

Josh,
We backpacked the Kane>Grand Gulch>Bullet route on Thursday-Saturday. Here's what we found waterwise. Numbers pertain to Nat Geo Grand Gulch/Cedar Mesa Map.
Kane: There were a few small pools in the vegetation channel in the upper 1/3 of the canyon. No flow velocity, just stagnant small pools. Then dry all the way to the confluence with Grand Gulch. Did not see any water or seeps at the Junction spring (#2) at the Kane/GG confluence.
Grand Gulch: Spring at confluence with Todie Canyon..(# 7) Did not find any water there-dry. Pour-Off Pool (#8): Wet sand but no pooled water below pour off. Lion Tracks Spring (# 9): Dry, no seeps or pools. About 1.5 mi above confluence with Sheiks Canyon there were a couple of small pools in the bedrock channel. The pools were about 2-3 ft in diameter and about 6 inches deep. We filtered about 1/2 gallon from the pool.
Sheiks Canyon: We did not go up Sheiks to check the spring but there was no flow or even wet sand at the confluence with Grand Gulch.
No more pools between Sheiks and Bullet/Grand Gulch confluence.
Bullet Canyon: According to the map the Junction Spring (#16) is at the Bullet/GG confluence. I looked around the confluence and did not see any seeps or green vegetation. Maybe the spring is below the confluence? Going up Bullet there was stagnant water at Jailhouse spring (#17). Only about 20-30 feet along channel and there was no flow velocity and the water surface had an oily sheen, not inviting as a water source. There were some muddy/snow patches along the trail but nothing filterable. About 1-2 mile above the Perfect Kiva there were some small pools in the bedrock channel were you might be able to filter some water. Then dry all the way to the Bullet trailhead."


As of last week when we were there we found good water in Lower Sheiks canyon, water in upper Polly's Canyon, 2 potholes at GG/Polly confluence, no water in GG between Deer and Cow Tank Springs Canyons (besides to 2 potholes at Polly's Island). Since then they have gotten some precipitation so conditions are probably better now. With that being said we were able to do a 3 day trip into GG and just brought lots of water bottles to fill up when we came across water. You should be fine.
 

tomg

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Messages
5
I appreciate the info. The ranger station does not take phone calls. I talked to the Monticello BLM office. Very friendly but no real recent info from them.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Christo Water availability:Thorofare Yellowstone Trip Planning 4
J Grand Gulch (Kane to Bullet) Water Availability Trip Planning 3
F Stevens Canyon/southern escalate water availability. Trip Planning 16
B In Government Trail and out Water Canyon Trip Planning 2
RyanP road from Hite to Water Hole Flat Trip Planning 3
JBG Water on the Highline Trail - 2021 Trip Planning 2
garyhost Cedar Mesa Utah Trip. Conditions? Water? Trip Planning 8
RyanP Conditions (water/bugs) for Escalante/Death Hollow Trip Planning 27
E Water in the Needles early-May 2021 Trip Planning 3
S Packrafting Escalante - FiftyMile Creek and low water level Lake Powell Trip Planning 8
gnwatts Grand Gulch water Trip Planning 6
wildwesthikes 9 Days Solo Escalante Loop in October (water advice) - Stevens Canyon, Baker Route over Waterpocket fold, Halls Narrows to Moody Canyons Trip Planning 11
M Dark Canyon Complex Water Data Trip Planning 4
P Salt Creek water Backpacking 2
P Pitchstone Plateau water Backpacking 7
C Paria Canyon water source - August 2020 Trip Planning 2
OldBill Water treatment tablets and Cryptosporidium Gear 15
I Water in Frisky Creek south of Highway 12 in the Grand Staircase? Trip Planning 0
DrNed Water Sources McKee Draw to Leidy Peak Trip Planning 12
M Water containers Gear 27
fossana UT 2020 water outlook General Discussion 2
Rockskipper Maybe it was the BBQ sauce (guy survives 3 weeks w/ no food or water after getting lost) General Discussion 0
regehr Water higher up in Virgin Springs Canyon? Trip Planning 17
RyanP Water in Needles District in early April this year? Trip Planning 9
RyanP 3-day trip ideas (15-20 miles or so) for late May/early June with good water Trip Planning 9
M Water in Canyonlands Salt Creek early April? Trip Planning 11
Mikjik86 Desert Canyon/Water Shoes? Gear 9
Artemus 2018/2019 Snowpack and Water Year General Discussion 85
gnwatts Water Canyon on Cedar Mesa Backpacking 11
LarryBoy Water source information - Escalante/CRNP area Trip Planning 14
gnwatts Water Canyon (Cedar Mesa) top down General Discussion 8
O Green River/Stillwater Canyon question regarding water Trip Planning 3
blueeyes Black Canyon Water Trail On The Water 16
AKay09 5 day hike with lots of water and fishing? Trip Planning 13
KevinBoyer New Water Filter Needed...Suggestions?? Gear 45
Miya Water Resistant Down Sleeping Bags? Gear 36
D Water near EC3 Trip Planning 1
SKLund Water in Cedar Mesa in October Trip Planning 0
P Grand Gulch Water/Alternative Trip Trip Planning 3
RyanP Little Wild Horse tips for this weekend? Deep cold water in canyon? Trip Planning 5
Ravialdo Lower Muley Twist water situation? Trip Planning 13
Perry Wind/Water Turbine Charger Gear 0
WasatchWill Back to Diamond Fork & Fifth Water Hot Springs Backpacking 8
Jackson Slickhorn Canyon Access and Water Trip Planning 8
D Current Water-Rainbow Bridge North Trail Trip Planning 0
M First Time Flat Water - Stillwater Canyon On The Water 4
mattvogt7 High Water Bruneau On The Water 8
SKLund Silty water filtration Gear 10
ram Water Canyon 12-25-16 Canyoneering 13
P Getting water in Yellowstone thermal areas General Discussion 4

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top