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Grand Gulch/ Cedar Mesa Utah advice needed
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(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Grand Gulch/ Cedar Mesa Utah advice needed on 02/08/2011 21:21:05 MST Print View

I'm heading into Grand Gulch and Buckskin Gulch in early April.

Looking for advice on shuttle (for Grand Gulch), food storage, and water purification.

Much appreciated.

James Arriola
(Ravs4fun) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Grand Gulch info on 02/09/2011 14:55:54 MST Print View

Martin, I would suggest calling the Monticello BLM Field Office to get the most recent area info. I don't know about shuttles but maybe the BLM does. Far Out Expeditions in Bluff offers day trips and might be able to offer some sort of shuttle service.

In years past I have successfully hitched from Kane Gulch which is where the BLM Vistor Center is to Bullet Canyon. Most people are pretty hiker friendly in that part of the state. It all depends on where you are hiking though.

Food storage was never really an issue before. I stored food in OP Saks and hung them in a stuff sack up in a tree just in case. There are bears in the area that wonder in from time to time but they are not really a concern. There is probably no need to bring a bear canister.

Water is always the biggest issue in the Cedar Mesa area. Some years are pretty dry and some are pretty wet. It just all depends. Some of the springs that appear on most maps have been dry for a number of years. Once again the BLM could provide you the most recent info. I have used filters before but my last few trips I have used Aqua Mira drops or tablets.

In 2009 which was a dry year there was water at Jail House Spring but it was pretty small and looked like cocoa. My wife and I managed to obtain about a liter while fighting the flies and other flying critters all vying for the same water. The Green Mask Spring flowed pretty well and we enjoyed ever drop of it. The big pour over pool had water in it but also was pretty full of sediment and such.

In April you can get snow or hot weather. It all depends. Bring a pair of binoculars to scout for ruins and rock art. You should have a great time.

Have a great trip.


Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Grand Gulch/ Cedar Mesa Utah advice needed on 02/09/2011 15:55:09 MST Print View

Water purification:
Nothing unique about this area in these terms. Do what works for you. Currently, I'm liking my Steripen.

Food storage:
I just hang my food in a nearby branch. Get it off the ground, that's all.

I'm unaware of a company that runs shuttles for grand gulch. I'm sure it exists for a price. I just walked from the trailhead to pavement (barefoot, on the sand, one mile) then hitched. VERY light traffic, but the second car picked me up. It looked like most other people were using bikes for the shuttle.... That'd be a good plan.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Grand Gulch/ Cedar Mesa Utah on 02/09/2011 19:27:46 MST Print View

You're planning to drive to the trailhead right? At Kane? Where are you coming out? Bullitt or Polly's/Gov Trail? Its reasonably easy to walk to 261 from Bullitt and you should be able to catch a ride back to Kane. It's a bit of a walk out from Pollys to the trailhead at the stock-pond and a shuttle may not be willing to drive out that far depending on their vehicle. Then it's still a LOT further to the paved road.

Water should not be a problem in April but the ranger station (Kane) will know if it is and where it is. There pretty much flat out will not be bears in April, if ever, but there are lots of pesky smaller critters so hang it.

Best chance to arrange a paid shuttle from someone in Bluff like Far Out Expeditions or ask at the Recapture Lodge who might do a shuttle.

here's from the recaptures web site:

We will not be offering shuttle services this year.

For information on river and hiking shuttles please contact:

Black Hawk Transportation - 435-678-3224 (Blanding)
Mexican Hat Lodge - 435-683-2222 (Mexican Hat)
Valle’s Trading Post - 435-683-2226 (Mexican Hat)

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW on 02/09/2011 19:55:32 MST Print View

Go check over at there will certainly be someone over there with the information and who might be willing to run a shuttle for you.

Peter Sustr
(czechxpress) - F - M

Locale: Boulder
grand gulch on 02/09/2011 23:33:14 MST Print View

I hiked from Kane to Bullet last year in March. The water was plentiful near the places marked on the map but, you need to be really aware and keep your eyes open. No special treatment just aquamira.

The shuttle service is expensive, I don't remember who it was but, I was quoted $125 for a shuttle back to Kane. Most of that is just for them to get there because the closest town is Mexican Hat I believe... (cool place)

Best thing is plan on walking the road back and just hope you get picked up.

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: Grand Gulch/ Cedar Mesa Utah advice needed on 02/10/2011 21:36:49 MST Print View

We were in Grand Gulch in 2009 in April and saw enough water that I'm not too worried about finding it, but rather treating/straining the much/mud out of it. Was wondering if the desert rats on this board had any tricks they'd be willing to share.
We are planning on entering via Kane and exciting via Collins. We were hoping to get a shuttle back from Collins to our car at Kane or to do the shuttle ahead so our car would be waiting (the latter being preferable). I suspect hitching from Collins will be impossible. Thanks for all the suggestions. I've had a post on Bogley for a few weeks now but have not received any takers. We did manage to arrange a shuttle in Paria for the following week without any difficulties. I had contacted Far Out about a month ago but they were already booked for the days we needed.

As for food storage, I know there are some steel mesh critter bags out there but they don't seem ultralight. Good to hear that hanging on a branch keeps the mice out.

Thanks for all the advice.


Edited by drown on 02/10/2011 21:41:44 MST.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Grand Gulch/ Cedar Mesa Utah advice needed" on 02/13/2011 11:00:49 MST Print View


there's a way out of deer canyon on the east side about 1/2 way between Polly's and Collins; maybe 5 miles upstream from Collins on the east side that is actually much nearer to the stock pond head of Gov trail. You might consider that as an alternative to going all the way round if getting from gov. trailhead back to kane is more manageable.

I went down this route in May and there's one bit of slope @ 75-100 feet height on the south side of the middle fork of Deer JUST above the pretty awesome pouroff of the south fork of Deer and just below the pouroff of that middle fork that gets you up and over the more or less terminal pouroff of the middle fork.

I was going down and didn't find it hard at all as these things go.Some scrambling through brush and boulders the last 100 yds or so up from the big pouroff of the South Fork which is a nice shady spot to take a break and maybe get some h20.Basically "Grand Gulch clear" from the junction of GG up to that point. that south fork pouroff is the one shown in the photo tag in google earth. The s. fork pouroff is almost directly across from the picture link. the middle fork is right of the link and the exit is on the s. side of that middle fork between the s.fork pouroff and the mid fork pouroff. The big kind of alcove, canyon on the north side of the combined middle and south forks above the merger with the north fork ( Deer has 3) looks like it would go out as well with some judicious route picking but the south wall up to just before that mid-fork pour-off is a total no go.......woooo ( I thought the way in was west of the south fork pour off so I scouted that wall for about an hour trying to link up a way down. Still makes me nervous remembering.

Edited by obxcola on 02/13/2011 11:06:18 MST.

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: Grand Gulch/ Cedar Mesa Utah advice needed on 02/16/2011 19:16:31 MST Print View

In case anyone else is looking I found a shuttle service to get me out of Collins Spring and back to Kane's ranger station:

Jim out of Bluff operates a shuttle service: 435 672 2455

Mike Offerman
(moffer) - F
Re: Re: Grand Gulch/ Cedar Mesa Utah advice needed on 02/23/2011 10:56:57 MST Print View

What kind of price were you quoted? Was this from the Collins Springs trailhead, or at the paved road?

Thanks, Mike