Zion to Capitol Reef

Jammer

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Feb 23, 2012
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I'm gearing up for my next big hike. Later this month I'm going to head out for about 20 days to hike from Zion to Capitol Reef. The route is somewhat inspired by my first long hike across southern Utah. I just posted the video from that hike to my site at:

Grand Staircase/Escalante Hike 2006

I'd never posted this video before for a few reasons. First, I had some tech issues which made it difficult to re-edit the footage. Thus the video is still too long and includes some low quality footage that was retrieved via DVD. The second reason... I look/act like a doofus in a lot of the video! As this was my first real cross-country outing I was really ill-prepared in many ways. My pack weighed over 50 pounds, I didn't take proper care of my feet and I often expressed how difficult the landscape was to navigate even though in reality I was only in moderate terrain. I was fortunate it was a fairly wet season that year or I might have found myself in a bad situation!

So... I'm eager to get back out there and see how different everything goes this time around. I'm actually going to change up the route quite a bit to hit a few areas I've wanted to explore. Highlights of the new trip as planned are:

The Barracks
Upper Paria
Wahweep Canyon
Kaiparowits Plateau
50-Mile Mountain
Sooner Gulch/40-Mile Gulch
Coyote Gulch
Stevens Canyon
Halls Creek Narrows
Lower Muley Twist

I don' t have the official dates locked down yet, but it should be approximately late April to mid-May. If anybody plans to be out and about in that area around that time let me know -- maybe we will cross paths!

- Jamal
 

Joey

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Apr 1, 2014
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Awesome! Have a good trip.

I'll be going up Stevens and over to Halls Creek first/2nd week of May, so maybe I'll see you out there.
 

Vegan.Hiker

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Jul 5, 2014
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That sounds pretty epic @Jammer. I look forward to watching your 2006 video and then hearing from you how it went this time around. Have a good trip!
 

Mike K

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Jul 6, 2012
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Looks like a fun trip. I skimmed through the vid and liked what I saw. I liked the make-shift raft. Haha...and the "damn you Escalante River". I just kept thinking...perfect for a packraft.
 

Laura

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Awesome, have a great trip and can't wait for the TR! Who doesn't look/act like a doofus every now and then? :D
 

Jammer

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I'll be going up Stevens and over to Halls Creek first/2nd week of May, so maybe I'll see you out there.

Wow -- sounds like we will definitely be there around the same time. Since we are going the same direction I guess we aren't as likely to see each other... but we will see!
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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Super cool, Jamal. I've been watching your video on and off through the day (I'm to the part in Bryce). Awesome to see you so green! Haha! If you need any assistance with cache drops or anything else, I along with I imagine plenty of other folks are here to help!
 

Jammer

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Besides packing JEANS which I make fun of in the video intro, I also had convertible pants, two sweatshirts, two types of raingear and a clean shirt for every day on the trail. I packed nearly 15 pounds of electronics that year (3 cameras) and had room to organize everything as I was in a 2-man tent. :facepalm:

My original plan back then was to go over the Henrys to Hwy 95. I'm probably lucky I stopped short as there's no way I would have made it up Tarantula Mesa and over Mount Ellen with my limited experience and crude maps that I had at the time. Not to mention that I seem to be cursed with crazy bad weather every time I get into the Henrys!

Anyway... I hope I'm better prepared this time out. I guess I'd better be... I plan to go farther in 5 less days!
 
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slc_dan

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Have a really great walk. I'm glad you're getting out for a long one this year.

Awesome! Have a good trip.

I'll be going up Stevens and over to Halls Creek first/2nd week of May, so maybe I'll see you out there.

2 of the best walks I've done. I'm hoping to hike Steven's to the Moody canyons, or vice-versa in early June.
 

Wild Divine

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Apr 21, 2015
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Outstanding! Sounds pretty epic. I'm off on a car-camping, day-hiking loop around Canyonlands in May, starting at Kodachrome state park and ending up going down Government Trail into Polly's canyon at Grand Gulch.
 

Jammer

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@Nick, @slc_dan or anyone else who has done Willow/40-Mile Loop...

... am I crazy to try and do it solo with a big pack? Doubt I could stem those narrows with the pack, so I plan to float it -- but will I be able to exit the pools and get up chockstones on my own?

and...

what do you think my prospects are to escape 40-Mile to the north in the vicinity of Sooner Wash? I see several potential routes, but it's always hard to tell via Google Earth/Topo. Nick -- do you have a high-rez shot looking down the canyon from where you guys scrambled in on the south side?
 

Nick

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You'll be fine doing it solo. Unless things have changed, it's just the one big pool that will require shuttling your pack over your head (no floating necessary). Are you going up Fortymile then? If so you should be fine to just walk it over and sit it up on that chokestone. Climbing out of it is not a problem. The first time I did it, it was around chest deep. Second time was shallower.

I've always come in from Sooner Wash. The 'standard route' could be sort of difficult. I can give you coords and photos to where we accidentally dropped in the first time, if you'd like. I'd rather go up that solo than up Sooner and up the ramp we used the second time. It was just upstream from the Sooner/Fortymile confluence.
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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Here we go...

This is the only spot you'll need to take off your pack, unless things have changed. The chokestone is big enough to toss your pack up and keep it dry if you're careful. Then climb on up.





Oh, forgot about the Willow Gulch part. That has been waist to chest deep (for the shorter folks).

Coming down Willow, you'll want to remove pack here:


It's a little deep right at that drop, then quite deep around the corner but just a very short stretch.


Re: getting out of Fortymile to Sooner Wash/Rocks. The first time we misunderstood Kelsey's excellent instructions and ended up walking across a bench and dropping in right here: 37.341357, -111.045301.

That's not the exact spot, but it's right around there. You can see there are easy ways up. You just have to figure out a way through maybe one or two little slabs, but it was a piece of cake. If I were solo with a big pack, I'd rather do that than try to head up Sooner and up the slab that we used the second time around. That was super steep. I believe that slab is right here: 37.337576, -111.046782. There were also small obstacles in lower Sooner that would be annoying to go up solo with a pack.

There might be better ways to get out before reaching Sooner, but I didn't scout them out.
 

slc_dan

Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
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Nick covered it better than I could, but I did the loop solo, and had no problems. I actually remember looking up the north side of 40 mile before meets with Sooner, and thinking there are a lot of easy ways to get out.

The cairned spot into 40 mile was easy to find and follow for me both times I did it. I don't know why Nick always misses it :)
 

Jammer

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Cool. Good to hear I should be OK with lifting the pack up. Thx for added photos.

Yeah -- before Sooner there appears to be game trails up a dune in a side canyon which exit. Then also a few routes past Sooner before Carcass look doable. If not... just some extra miles out and around I guess.

And yes -- plan is to go down Willow and then Up 40-Mile. Then I hope to exit to the north toward Sunset Arch before dropping back into Hurricane and down Coyote.
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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Just curious, why not sneak out of Fortymile on the north side and head straight for lower Hurricane before it meets Coyote? Or is that what you mean with what you said above about heading toward Sunset? Then why worry about getting out the other side toward Sooner?
 

Artemus

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Jun 25, 2012
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Hey, hike ON Jammer! How many miles, you figure? You going to be leaving a cookie crumb trail online we can follow vicariously in real-time? You will be there while I do the full Death Hollow descent. Leave your inner tube on the pack and join us :) You are right there. Well sort-of.
 

Artemus

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Jun 25, 2012
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Besides packing JEANS which I make fun of in the video intro, I also had convertible pants, two sweatshirts, two types of raingear and a clean shirt for every day on the trail. I packed nearly 15 pounds of electronics that year (3 cameras) and had room to organize everything as I was in a 2-man tent. :facepalm:

My original plan back then was to go over the Henrys to Hwy 95. I'm probably lucky I stopped short as there's no way I would have made it up Tarantula Mesa and over Mount Ellen with my limited experience and crude maps that I had at the time.

You mean Not to mention all this unnecessary objects :help:
 
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