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Backpacker Magazine – September 2005

ESCALANTE: A Complete Adventure Guide

When Utahans really wants to disappear, they head to the magnificent canyons of Grand Staircase-Escalante.

by: Steve Howe


Dry Hollow Dayhike
Unspoiled canyons and slickrock bowls
This gorgeous canyon sits just east of Hogback Ridge on UT 12. From the town landfill gate southwest of Boulder near milepost 85, search south along the rim 200 yards for the easy chimney (12S 0460504E 4193188N) down the short, overhanging cliff. Descend northwest down a slickrock ramp to the bottom.

Follow the gorge south through slickrock bowls, cattail beds, and cottonwoods. After 7 miles, you'll intersect Boulder Creek. Stay left, following trail for 2 miles until you can look west up a broad slickrock valley to power poles on the horizon. Near a stream meander, locate user trails across the river and climb past a pourover (12S 0465343E 4184968N) to UT 12 near milepost 77.

USGS quads Boulder Town, Calf Creek
Window Wind Arch

5-star views atop the Kaiparowits Plateau

This 20-foot-high hole punches through a fin of white sandstone on the edge of the Straight Cliffs, offering 100-mile vistas across Escalante and Canyonlands. Reach it via a 13-mile round-trip on the Middle Trail, beginning from the Hurricane Wash trailhead 34.2 miles south of UT 12 on Hole-in-the-Rock Road. Head 2 miles southwest, then climb 2,500 feet through cliff bands to the 7,300-foot plateau. Continue southwest to the rim-edge pack trail; follow it northwest a mile, looking for the fin to the NNE (12S 0482854E 4134592N).

USGS quads Blackburn Canyon, Big Hollow Wash
This perfect weekend route twists through two narrow, nontechnical slot canyons.

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