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mini location map2022-04-16
15 by photographer avatarjacobemerick
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Escalante RouteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking25.10 Miles 7,292 AEG
Hiking25.10 Miles   15 Hrs   52 Mns   2.27 mph
7,292 ft AEG   4 Hrs   50 Mns Break
1st trip
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After a poor four hours of sleep along FR 682, finished the drive to a frighteningly windy Lipan Point and got my gear ready for a 3AM start. Had second thoughts, then third thoughts, and hopped on the bike before fourth thoughts. The wind knocked me all over the road, made the downhill sections feel like flat ground, turned the uphill sections borderline impossible, and the 6.5 mile ride took close to an hour. Stowed the bike, kissed the ground, and started the hike proper at 4AM.

New Hance
Wind became manageable shortly after dropping below Coronado Butte. No ice or seasonal damage to note. Trail was easy to follow in the dark. Steep sections, coupled with my water-heavy pack (an overly-cautious 10L), had my knee barking in short order. Think I prefer going up this one, assuming proper hydration. Made slow time and didn't reach the river until 7:40AM, which happened to be exactly when a group of campers were packing up for their day.

As I was going W -> E, the first milestone was Papago Wall. There was a very tempting trail that stuck to the beach that I almost followed (my knee was v unhappy after that descent), tho it doesn't seem to go all the way through? Heading up the scree was surprisingly easy, and dropping down the other side was also no biggie. I am not comfortable with climbing/scrambling, especially solo, and the two climbs were both near the bottom and easy to do butt-in or butt-out, depending on comfort level. After that was Seventy-Five Mile (slot) Canyon, which was pretty neat. However, by the time I reached Escalante Creek it was 10AM (way behind schedule) and I was struggling (stupid knee) so I took an extended break to re-evaluate my planned day.

The break helped (ate a bunch of food, took some Ibuprofen, costume change, guzzled a few liters) so I decided to continue. Climbing up and through Escalante Creek and around 4352' felt good, and cruising down the other side with the fantastical colors and rolling hills of Furnace Flats was borderline spiritual. Speaking of, the furnace was definitely cooking today, and the winds across the open land were welcome. Reached Tanner Beach around 3PM (now a full 2 hours behind schedule) and filtered a few liters before the climb.

I loved this trail. Plus I was pushing a lot of water (drank a liter almost every mile), so there was no chance of cramps. At first I thought it would be Hermit-esque, with a few big climbs separated by long traverses, but it was a lot more gradual, easy to stick to a pace, and the Supai section was dominated by Cardenas & Escalante Buttes. Even that grind for the last 1.5 miles felt good. Compared to New Hance & Grandview, this trail is an excellent shape. Finished up under the full moon with a big smile.

Had serious doubts about this one. 10L should have been enough for me in good conditions, but the wind & knee conspired to slow me down. Luckily the Colorado was clear enough for some quick filters and I was able to keep well-hydrated, and that "reset" at Escalante Creek really helped make this a wonderful experience.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Escalante Creek  Red Canyon

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Escalante Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Two small trickles along the trail. With patience and some digging you could probably pull some water out.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Red Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Trickling water from "spring" all the way to where the trail first enters the creek, then it's dry to the River.

dry Tanner Canyon Dry Dry
HAZ Member
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