username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
LabelsComments
triplogs photosets comments more
2 triplogs

Aug 11 2018
bezzantine
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 1
 Photos 23
 Triplogs 2

45 male
 Joined Apr 17 2013
 Mesa, AZ
Broadway CavePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2018
bezzantine
Hiking3.60 Miles 960 AEG
Hiking3.60 Miles
960 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was excited to explore this as a new quick, local East Valley hike. In short, that's just what it is. My wife and I hit the trail about 6pm with plenty of water and a relatively cool August day. Easy-pace hiking, plus about 15min of exploring/photography/water drinking time, the whole thing took almost exactly 2 hours. Lots of "baby head" rocks along most of the trail make it one to keep your eyes on, and not one I'd recommend for trail running. I agree trek poles are a good idea here, and definitely a light if you're going to be on it in the dark. Mostly a very gradual incline, steepening enough at the end to maybe require hands for a moment or two, but not enough to make us break out gloves. Trail appears lightly used, but keep heading toward the cave on what appears to be trail, and you're unlikely to get lost.

View from the cave mouth is spectacular, but the cave smells of bat and maybe also human waste too much to make an inviting campsite. Unfortunate graffiti on walls. Interesting short mine extends east within the cave just deep enough to need a bit of light to explore. We saw no bees - maybe because of the late hour. Acoustics up on the cliff are interesting too. We could hear the conversation-level voices of hikers nearly a mile away headed toward the cave, and fairly low-volume music coming from a home nearly 2 miles out.
_____________________
May 30 2018
bezzantine
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 1
 Photos 23
 Triplogs 2

45 male
 Joined Apr 17 2013
 Mesa, AZ
The BarracksSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Hiking avatar May 30 2018
bezzantine
Hiking16.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles
2,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
BARRACKS SNEAK VIA POVERTY ROAD (2 days)

To bypass what seemed the least-interesting stretch of this hike, we started at Poverty Rd just a few miles from the Zion east gate. This route can be hiked from just off Hwy 9, but high-clearance 4x4 trucks going down Poverty Rd cut the hike by another couple miles or so. An ATV/UTV/rock crawler can get you even closer - to within less than 2 miles from the floor of Parunaweap canyon on this route. Any way you do it, the first part is a straightforward, nearly all downhill road march.

First day, we started about 7am, and were at the river by 10. From there, it's extremely pleasant hiking along the river bed, in and out of water countless times. It had been a dry year, and water was ankle to knee deep in most places. It was also reasonably clear, and we filtered/purified water straight from the river in most cases.

There were plenty of viable camp sites. We started by backtracking and exploring Mineral Gulch (totally worth it, and a preview of the good narrows further down Parunaweap). We had time for this, catching some petroglyphs along the way, and exploring French Canyon (Pretty, worthwhile, but we didn't follow it more than a half mile before the poison ivy density got pretty forbidding) before making camp just past Poverty Wash, all well before dark. We saw one other person.

Second day, we explored Poverty Wash (I'd call this the best of the side canyons, with a fantastic little grotto at the end), then went for the Barracks narrows. Some in our party helped each other over the falls at the well-known obstacle. Most took the bypass upstream and LDC of the obstacle. The bypass means a brief bit of on-all-fours up and downclimbing, including a cavey bit, but is class 3 at worst, and requires no lamp. While there are swimmable-depth spots here and there, water rarely was more than knee deep, and never above the belt unless you wanted it to be.

Beyond that, the scenic quality of the narrows goes from amazing to ridiculous as you wind out the last mile or so. Flash flood danger is highest in this stretch, where escape routes are rare until you hit the Powell plaque.

The Powell plaque is at a wide river bend; a great spot to relax, dump the gravel out of your shoes, maybe put on dry socks. Load up on water in the river or the clearer, but slow-flowing spring LDC, just across from the plaque. We had our fun, and now it was time to pay. We hiked out in mostly full sun on June 1st, with temps in prob the low 90s. It's a 500' up, half-mile class 3 scramble before *relatively* leveling off for another 4ish miles that more or less gradually take you up another 1000'. Do not underestimate this part of the hike. The initial scramble has some disturbing over-the-shoulder views for those not comfortable with heights,though exposure is minimal IF you stay on trail. Take plenty of water, because you won't see anything but a few slimy potholes until you're back at Hwy 9's Checkerboard Mesa pullout. This is typical Colorado Plateau geology, which is beautiful, but can be frustrating to cross. Be prepared for significant sand slogs, enough naked sandstone to repeatedly make you wonder where the trail went if you don't have your land nav game together, and a basically relentless climb that gets worst at the saddle west of Checkerboard Mesa before opening onto a final downhill mile. First people we saw this day were day hikers on the last mile only.

Brief points in addition to usual hiking gear/prep:
1. I strongly recommend GPS and a downloaded trail to follow, or good map and compass if you have the skills. I'm a HUGE fan of smartphone apps like Gaia and ScenicMap that have off-grid map download and gpx trail functions. The first part of the trip (Poverty Rd and along the river) are easy to follow, but GPS will help you find the petroglyphs and side canyons. Most importantly, it will keep you from getting dangerously lost and dehydrated on the last 4-5 miles between Parunaweap and Hwy 9. Cell signal (Verizon, at least) was almost nonexistent until near Hwy 9).
2. Sealskinz type socks or even cheap 2-3mm neoprene socks make creek hiking much more fun. These make a great combination with quick-drying trail running shoes for both the wet and dry parts of the hike. Trek poles are also great for moving quickly and confidently along the riverbed.
3. Re: camping - Between Mineral Gulch and Poverty Wash, there were many places with enough trees for hammocks, plenty of firewood around, and abundant tent space.
4. I recommend at least 2L/person departing from the river and starting the outhike, and maybe double that in serious midsummer heat.
5. If you've read this far... This is an AMAZING hike! Go get it while you can!
_____________________

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

help comment issue

end of page marker