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Round Valley Draw
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mini location map2018-09-28
30 by photographer avatarHippy
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Round Valley DrawSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Backpack avatar Sep 28 2018
Backpack19.00 Miles
Backpack19.00 Miles3 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Our friends Jamie and Julia met us in Utah for our annual backpacking trip to celebrate my other half's birthday.
The four of us shuttled girl-Jamie's rent-a-jeep to the round Valley draw Trailhead after we left my Hyundai down at the Lowest Hackberry th.

Round Valley is gorgeous, my-jamie and I had been here three times before while prepping for the Hayduke Trail. It was good to be back.

The Round Valley route drops you right into a slot canyon after a mile or so of walking. The wash you've been walking in just suddenly develops a "crack" in it and then if you follow it a ways you realize there is a whole other world 30ft below you! You drop into the head of the crack, the beginning of the slot canyon.

Right away girl-Jamie and Julia were having to suck it up. The first down climb is slick and at a strange angle. Even I had to reevaluate before making the scramble down. Once you've committed it's a piece of cake.

We handed packs down then I helped the girls find their footing and hand holds. We celebrated and cheered when they overcame their fears of slipping down that wall.

There was one other place where one of our crew attempted to down climb a 12-15ft drop below a big choke stone in the middle of the slot. I imagine this forms a spectacular waterfall at the beginning of a flood!
The downclimb was not successful and they slipped, fell and landed on their side/back. From my perspective up.above them it looked as if their head hit a rock! Luckily they were fine I checked them over as soon as I got down. No head bumps or broken bones or anything, just some rock rash and scraped knees. Scary!! That could've been a lot worse. EVERYONE was much more dialed in after that.

I rummaged through our packs and pulled out our 45ft webbing and quickly rigged an easy handline. The remaining two of the crew climbed down safely with the help of the webbing. I lowered all our paths then set up the webbing to pull through in case I did need to use it.

This trip is dog friendly but I'd suggest having a dog that won't mind being lowered via rappel or hands for these two little obstacles.

The slot canyon was amazing, we followed it until it dumped us into the sandy bottomed Hackberry.
The walls of Hackberry are not looking and dusky as someone once described to me. They are inviting and welcoming. The beckon you to keep moving and to explore every nook and cranny! There were boulders to climb upon and tiny alcoves and caves to visit.

The first ten miles or so are dry and we spent our first night without a water resupply, which was fine. We each had 5 or 6 liters and used it literally. Day 2 we would be walking in water!

Day 2 saw us in the creekbed and witnessing hackberry flow gradually increase! I even got play in Mass amounts of quicksand. My-jamie once was following the right shoreline while the ladies and I stayed to the left, no reason, it just happened that way. We heard a big clomp and looked behind to see my-jamie up to his hips in water and mud! The side he was on had developed into quicksand and decided to open up where he stepped. Oops.

We spent night two on a large sandbar full of bees right along the water. It was absolutely gorgeous! I lit a few incense sticks to keep the bees away. We dug holes in the shallow creek to make a deep enough pocket to fill water from.

Day 3 saw us a mere 7 or 8 miles from my car at the trailhead and we were sad to go.
I honestly don't remember details of the trail regarding day 3. It all blends together.
Your feet are wet a lot of the last half. I brought extra socks but just wore regular boots and was fine. It was still warm in September and perfect!

Canyon Freak Adventures!

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