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James Dubendorf
(dubendorf) - M

Locale: CO, UT, MA, ME, NH, VT
Salt Creek Trail, Canyonlands NP on 03/10/2009 15:37:10 MDT Print View

Hello,

I am planning a trip to the Needles area in Canyonlands NP in the end of March. I have a fair amount of hiking experience in this area of Utah, but would appreciate any comments or insights specific to the Salt Creek Trail. Is Salt Creek likely to be flowing at a decent rate? Is it a reliable water source for the length of the trail? Should I allow for many side trips, or will I not feel like I am missing too much if I just stick to the main trail? Any hidden gems to keep an eye out for? Is the trail itself likely to be relatively clear, or should I anticipate some bushwacking?

Pictures, anecdotes, dire warnings and bleak prophecies are welcome.

Thanks,
James

James Dubendorf
(dubendorf) - M

Locale: CO, UT, MA, ME, NH, VT
Salt Creek Trail Gravity Fluctuations on 03/12/2009 14:20:12 MDT Print View

James,

Your life is yours to do with whatever you wish. I think you're crazy to even attempt the Salt Creek Trail. You know what I'm talking about. The unpredictable and mysterious gravity fluctuations that increase the weight of your pack by a factor of 5. The rare desert pika that inhabits that area, its appetite for titanium cookware matched only by its desire for human flesh. Not to mention the souls of former hikers trapped in the canyon for all eternity who will be constantly trying to steal your UL down gear (ghosts chill easily).

My advice? Stay far away from Salt Creek and be grateful that, for the moment, the desert pika can reach you only in your nightmares. Unless, of course, others have different experiences with the Salt Creek Trail...

James

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Do it! on 03/15/2009 16:55:43 MDT Print View

I've hiked Salt out and back to Angel (?) arch as part of a longer loop many years ago. We went in late March and found good water and camping in Salt Creek. The trail crosses back and forth across the creek plenty, but I can't imagine it being too hard to follow. Expect mild and occasional bushwacking.

Explore side canyons! There is an enormous amount of cool rock art in the canyon.

James Dubendorf
(dubendorf) - M

Locale: CO, UT, MA, ME, NH, VT
Re: Do it! on 03/15/2009 17:22:23 MDT Print View

Thanks for the information, Dave. We will budget plenty of time for many side trips! This site has been helpful:

http://www.utahtrails.com/SaltCreek.html

Apparently, the canyon has been making quite a comeback in the several years since vehicles became restricted. I will post a trip report if the pika don't get me...

Edited by dubendorf on 03/15/2009 17:26:11 MDT.

les lloyd
(denaliguide) - F

Locale: new zealand & alaska
salt creek trail on 03/16/2009 02:50:27 MDT Print View

vehicles can only go to the peekaboo campsite. water can be hit or miss. plan on carrying at least a gallon would be my advice. lots of rockart right near peekaboo. besides the obvious that can be seen from the car park on the other side of the arch to the left and right are more panels. at least three panels upcanyon within a 1/4 mile. also one visible on the far side if you have good eyes. all american man is in the upper part. salt creek will have lots more to find as well. try to find 2 faces, 4 faces, picto-pecto, and bighorn. the last two are ruins. good luck. i have heard but not seen of things in the big pocket area too. side canyons will call to you to be explored. probably won't see many other people the further from peekaboo you get. alternativily you can enter from the top end (on salt creek mesa)and hike down canyon. do you have nat. geo. topo! for utah?

Edited by denaliguide on 03/16/2009 02:53:07 MDT.

James Dubendorf
(dubendorf) - M

Locale: CO, UT, MA, ME, NH, VT
Re: salt creek trail on 03/16/2009 20:13:40 MDT Print View

Les,

Yes, I have the Nat. Geo. topo for Canyonlands. It denotes the arches, designated campsites, and Kirk Cabin, but little else. I will try to carry as little water as necessary, but will come prepared to carry quite a bit if need be.

Man, now I am hoping I've given myself enough time with all the side trips that will be beckoning!

James