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Southern Utah/Arizona Strip Advice?
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John Brown
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Southern Utah/Arizona Strip Advice? on 09/20/2008 11:08:22 MDT Print View

Hi, I'm heading out to Utah for a week w/ my Dad next Friday. Struggling to narrow the many choices of where to go in Abbey Country. Spent a week in the Escalante area a couple years ago that was fabulous. And another great week in the BLM wilderness east of Zion.

We're not huge mileage guys, 10 miles a day or so, usually take at least a day to not move camp, wander around etc.

Priorities are wilderness quality, scenery, solitude is appreciated. Some off trail is great, although I'm more tentative in canyon country than mountains. Terrain and routes that allow for improvisation and exploration are great. Not real technical for canyoneering or climbing beyond a good scramble.

We usually head for NF or BLM wilderness to avoid the crowds, hassle and quotas of the National Parks, but I'm wondering if at this point in the season that's less of an issue. We don't do real well with pre-assigned campsites...

So, any advice on how to narrow the search?

Edited by johnbrown2005 on 09/20/2008 11:30:12 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
good time of year on 09/24/2008 07:15:22 MDT Print View

A couple ideas:

Doing some hiking off the North Rim of the Grand Canyon might be nice. It is tough hiking, and it can be hard to put together a loop that isn't technical or at least bust-ass hard.

If you've never been in the Robber's Roost (eastern drainages of the Dirty Devil river) I'd strongly consider that. It's lovely in early fall, untracked for the most part, and while similar to all the CO Plateau canyons has it's own unique vibe. The upper fingers of Robber's Roost canyon itself are both profligate the gorgeous.

The Below the Rim trail in Bryce Canyon NP would also be nice this time of year. I can't speak to crowds, having only hiked it in the winter, but I've never seen many folks off the tourist paths in Bryce.

Enjoy, and report back!

Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: Southern Utah on 09/24/2008 11:07:23 MDT Print View

Hi John,

Have to second Dave's Dirty Devil idea. I've never seen anyone on my trips here, only on the way in. Seems we were in the Beaver? Creek side drainage last time out.

Another spot, although it's the other side of the state, is Dark Canyon. Huge drainage, I've done about ten trips there and every time was incredible! Very solitary and remote, route-finding skills are key here. Have you been in Upper Escalante, ie Upper Death Hollow, Pine Creek, etc?Or how about the Cedar Mesa area: Grand Gulch, Road Canyon, Bullet Canyon, Fish & Owl, etc? All kinds of trips possible in this area.

Here is a great resource: http://www.toddshikingguide.com/Hikes/Hikes.htm

Also, Will Reitveld lives in this area and I'm sure could really turn you on to some cool spots! Have a great trip!

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
s. utazona on 09/24/2008 11:39:42 MDT Print View

todds guide is good, or you could try the best hiking site on the web... hikearizona.com

im still trying to (remember) that I want to see Buckskin Gulch, Paria Canyon @ Vermillion Cliffs, and then fish Lee's Ferry for some trophy browns. Paria could be a 3-5 day trip, depending on your speed. My $0.02

John Brown
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Escalante on 10/03/2008 17:14:52 MDT Print View

Hey folks,
Thanks for the great tips. Gotta get back there for a couple months! Spent the week in Escalante area, full report after I get photos downloaded...
hw