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Help on first backpacking trip in Utah
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E. S.
(jsel1000) - F
Help on first backpacking trip in Utah on 05/09/2011 12:43:47 MDT Print View

Our family just started camping last year. My boys are 6 and 8. They love it!

For my 40th this year, I would love to have us all try backpacking. Unfortunately, I am having a hard time planning a trip. I need help mapping out a route that is maybe only a 2-mile hike each day. I would love to have access to a stream or lake so that we can just bring a water filter. And finally, I would prefer not to deal with bears.

We live in Northern Utah and would be willing to drive up to 4 hours to our destination.

Any thoughts? Thanks, Ellen

Ryan Commons
(RyanCommons) - F

Locale: Bay Area, California
Utah Trip on 05/11/2011 00:37:57 MDT Print View

This one is excellent: http://www.philarmitage.net/escalante_hikes.html

You drive down to the town of Escalante and then take a very well maintained gravel/dirt road out into the nowhere. The trailhead starts in flat land and then you slowly drop down a dry river bed that eventually turns to wet sand and a river. Before you know it, you are under 500ft walls and overloaded with contrasting blue sky, red rock, and green cottonwoods.

This is an excellent trip with young kids. I'd recommend calling the park office to confirm the temperatures and water level. I've hiked it in late March (no green on trees yet) and late April (excellent in every way) and the water was 6 inches deep for all 13 miles of both trips.

Best,

RyanRyan Commons Keeping the rock in place in Escalante UtahTent under a giant Cathedral

Edited by RyanCommons on 05/11/2011 00:44:23 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
kids, water, Utah on 05/11/2011 07:06:38 MDT Print View

No bears in that radius means the desert, and water in the desert means hiking along a stream.

An out and back on The Box or Death Hollow in Escalante comes to mind. It'd be nice in early summer, as hot weather would just let the kids go nuts playing in the creek.

If you could talk the park into giving you a permit, a 2-3 day thru walk of Lower Courthouse wash in Arches (from the park road S to the highway) would be great fun with kids. Lots of water, lots of rock formations to gawk at and play on.

There are many great options in the Needles, but you'd need to be water sherpa.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
"Help on first backpacking trip in Utah" on 05/11/2011 07:37:58 MDT Print View

Good suggestions so far. The Box was the first thing that came to my mind as well. Another good one might be Sulphur Creek in Capitol Reef. When are you wanting to go and how many days? A lot of these spots mentioned will be super hot pretty soon. The Box is higher elevation so will be a bit cooler, although a lot of them you'll be walking in the creek a lot of the time so that'll make it tolerable.

E. S.
(jsel1000) - F
Great Suggestions, Thanks! on 05/11/2011 16:38:41 MDT Print View

Thanks for the wonderful suggestions. We are going in late July or early August for 2 nights; so it will be hot! Hiking in/near a stream sounds wonderful. I just want to make sure that I put some thought into it, since I will be dragging everyone along.

Ryan Commons
(RyanCommons) - F

Locale: Bay Area, California
Zion Narrows on 05/12/2011 00:59:17 MDT Print View

One other great trip...especially for hot weather...is the complete Narrows in Zion. You take a bus trip from Zion and then to an all downhill river walk. Truly epic.

RyanNarrows

Mike W
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Narrows on 05/12/2011 02:08:08 MDT Print View

Keep an eye on the weather if you do the narrows. Heavy rain up river can cause flash floods.

E. S.
(jsel1000) - F
Thank you on 07/20/2012 15:21:03 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the suggestions last year. We had a sudden death in the family and had to postpone, but finally took the trip in the fall. We went to the Lower trailhead of the Box. Due to poor planning, we arrived at the trailhead late; so we did not hike in far (maybe just 1/2 mile). But, the kids have been talking about it non-stop. How fun it was to camp near a stream!

Just wanted to drop a line and say, "THANK YOU!" I would never have come up with that area on my own, and it was perfect. We hope to go again and complete the entire hike.