West fork of Salt Creek?

Pika

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
10
I am hoping to score permits for Salt Creek this year. I was wondering if it worth staying an extra day and explore the West Fork of Salt Creek? I did some hasty research and pretty much did not find anything. Anyone explored that part? Is my little passenger car would be able to make it down that road in dry conditions? I was informed that the creek crossing was pretty sketch even with a Subi. Is the creek crossing the only sketchy part? How bad is that crossing? Thank you so much for your info!
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
215
I am hoping to score permits for Salt Creek this year. I was wondering if it worth staying an extra day and explore the West Fork of Salt Creek? I did some hasty research and pretty much did not find anything. Anyone explored that part? Is my little passenger car would be able to make it down that road in dry conditions? I was informed that the creek crossing was pretty sketch even with a Subi. Is the creek crossing the only sketchy part? How bad is that crossing? Thank you so much for your info!
I haven't explored the West Fork, but if you do, you'll have to let me know how it goes! I briefly tried to look into it after my Salt Creek trip, with the hopes of returning some day to make a loop out of it, but I didn't find much. I was hoping to find info on 3 things: water, ruins, and ruggedness (how hard is it to get to/from the West Fork from the main fork to complete the loop) , but I think I didn't find any solid info on any of the three. Maybe the Kelsey Canyonlands book will have info about it? (I don't have that book, but that might be your best bet).
 

UtahBrian

God bless America. Let's save some of it.
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
32
I am hoping to score permits for Salt Creek this year. I was wondering if it worth staying an extra day and explore the West Fork of Salt Creek? I did some hasty research and pretty much did not find anything. Anyone explored that part? Is my little passenger car would be able to make it down that road in dry conditions? I was informed that the creek crossing was pretty sketch even with a Subi. Is the creek crossing the only sketchy part? How bad is that crossing? Thank you so much for your info!

I hiked a little more than a mile up from the mouth once looking for anything but didn't find any water or archaeology. It was just sandy rocky dry wash, which is disappointing if you know what the main fork is like in the area. I'd have gone farther, but it was alternating snow and hail and my partner wasn't into it. Infrared satellite photos indicate some small stretches of dense wet growth in the middle of the canyon, but I've never seen them.

I asked a backcountry ranger I ran into about the West Fork and she said that there was water in some places.

I haven't been back yet, though, to check it out. Instead of hiking down from the top, I think it would be best to set up camp at Kirk's Cabin and day hike over the top of the divide into the middle sections where the infrared images point. That's the best way to run into middens and petroglyphs in the area, too, because it forces you into the likely Moqui trail routes. And you don't have to worry about driving past Cathedral Butte on the 4WD HC 'road.'

I'd be happy to make a trip back there with people interested in the West Fork.
 

Pika

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
10
I hiked a little more than a mile up from the mouth once looking for anything but didn't find any water or archaeology. It was just sandy rocky dry wash, which is disappointing if you know what the main fork is like in the area. I'd have gone farther, but it was alternating snow and hail and my partner wasn't into it. Infrared satellite photos indicate some small stretches of dense wet growth in the middle of the canyon, but I've never seen them.

I asked a backcountry ranger I ran into about the West Fork and she said that there was water in some places.

I haven't been back yet, though, to check it out. Instead of hiking down from the top, I think it would be best to set up camp at Kirk's Cabin and day hike over the top of the divide into the middle sections where the infrared images point. That's the best way to run into middens and petroglyphs in the area, too, because it forces you into the likely Moqui trail routes. And you don't have to worry about driving past Cathedral Butte on the 4WD HC 'road.'

I'd be happy to make a trip back there with people interested in the West Fork.
Whoa! Great idea! Thank you! I will keep you in mind in case my group will have an opening. Ya never know...ya know.
 

UtahBrian

God bless America. Let's save some of it.
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
32
Creek this year. I was wondering if it worth staying an extra day and explore the West Fork of Salt Creek? I did some hasty research and pretty much did not find anything. Anyone explored that part? Is my little passenger car would be able to make it down that road in dry conditions? I was informed that the creek crossing was pre
Whoa! Great idea! Thank you! I will keep you in mind in case my group will have an opening. Ya never know...ya know.

The russet-tinted areas here are infrared satellite data usually reporting wet sections or heavy vegetation. Looks like six or so candidate springs. (Cite to Caltopo)

Main stem Salt is on the right with Kirk's cabin on the bottom right and SC3 on the top right. To get into the two branches of the West Fork from above requires lots of 4WD and about five miles hiking and to get in from the bottom is at least 12 miles. Looks like there must be ways across the ridge in the middle, though.
85660
 
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