(a number of these images will be similar to my other post from Coyote Gulch)
I drove down to the area in and around Glen Canyon National Recreation Area a couple of weeks ago with 4 other people for a backpacking trip. We drive to the blip of a town known as Escalante via pavement, then head about 39 miles due south on a dirt road. About 10 miles of this road is pretty nice, which meant I could blast away at about 65. Then it gets worse, from stream damage to deep sand. Somewhere during the 39 miles my rear shock came loose and made this horrible metal on metal clanking sound, although I had no idea what it was at the time. Stopped at 2 popular little hikes not too far from our main trailhead. These 2 places are called Spooky Gulch & Peek-a-Boo Gulch. These are slot canyons that require a bit of climbing/scrambling:
Hiking back to the car that evening. The clouds were pretty cool looking, so I had to underexpose the hills in order to get more of a dramatic sky:
The parking area for the trailhead:
The trail starts out dry for the first 4 miles or so, but then gets our feet wet for the next 2.5 days.
This was interesting, to say the least. In the past, there were 2 pit toilets along this hike. By pit toilet, I mean an actual toilet affixed to a small concrete slab up on a hillside (out of the flood zone). Nothing exciting, but sure better than digging your own hole and doing the squat routine. Anyway, the first night I wandered off from camp downstream knowing that there was a pit toilet. Low and behold, the BLM/NPS had installed a real toilet-2 stalls, 2 doors. I was sure stoked. It's probably the equivalent of finding a 7-Eleven smack dab in the middle of BFE, many miles from any road. They must have flown it in, which must have been a fairly amusing sight seeing a large crapper dangling from a helicopter.
Everything looks slanted, probably because of the trees in the background, but I was pretty level when I shot this:
Found a spring raining down clean water, so it was time for an impromptu shower. Notice the stream-completely full of silt/sediment. I toasted one of my water filters trying to pump water out of it, even with a bunch of coffee filters wrapped over the inlet filter.
Rather than camp down by the stream our last night, we opted to save some time the following day by climbing all the way out. The exit consists of a steep hike up to the base of a short cliff, but the entire way is deep sand. Takes 4x the effort, and our 40-50lb packs didn't help much either. Last time I made this trek a couple of years ago, I was hiking with a soccer injury to my foot, so it was a painful experience. This time, injury-free, it was like walking around the block.
Our way up:
The last bit involves the "crack in the wall," which is a very narrow crack you have to slither through and then climb the rock to the top. Packs won't fit through here, so we have to pull them up with ropes.
Sunrise the next morning up on top:
Breaking up the remainder of camp. Just in time, since the rain was heading our way.
I'm heading to Arches for the Halloween weekend, so more to come in a few weeks.