The Escalante River Trail is a popular backpacking point-to-point route near the town of Escalante, Utah and within Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM). The entire length of the Escalante River is 87 miles, but this route allows you to see 15 miles of it overnight one night of backpacking. Much of the way, your path will be the river itself. On a blue sky, warm & sunny day, splashing through the stream along tall Navajo sandstone walls feels amazing. Around every corner is something new and exciting to look at. The Escalante Natural Bridge. An arch. Petroglyphs & pictographs. Ruins. You name it, it has it.
Are you ready to take the leap from car camping to backpacking?! Most people are intimidated to go on their first trip, not confident on their backcountry skills and maybe don't really know what they need to buy. Learning how to use the most important skills will make you a more efficient backpacker, make you feel more confident, and help make your adventure more streamlined.
Here are 10 tips for backpacking Buckskin Gulch! Backpacking Buckskin Gulch is a one of a kind adventure - not only do you get to travel through the world's longest and deepest slot canyon, but you have some of the most amazing views of long hallways with rocks towering 200-300 ft above you, hiking through dark sections of molded rock, climbing over obstacles, but also get to experience camping overnight in this amazing area. While this canyon has been nicknamed the "worlds most dangerous hike" it also often appears as one of the top "must-do hikes" in the world! As long as you go prepared, it's a trip of a lifetime!
Buckskin Gulch is the longest and narrowest slot canyon in the world - a serpentine hallway with walls of solid stone and a floor dotted with boulders where in some places it's so tight, even the sky is not visible. The rock walls tower anywhere from 100-300 ft tall, and at it's narrowest, is only 2 feet wide. You can hike Buckskin Gulch in a single day, or carry a full pack and camp in the heart of the slot canyon - an experience only done by up to 20 people per night in the entire 45 miles slot canyon.
Backpacking to Titcomb Basin in Wind River Range of Wyoming should be on every backpackers "to do" list. The rugged terrain offers massive mountains with spire towers, clear glacial lakes, high alpine grassland & wildflowers, and world class hiking, backpacking, and climbing. Titcomb Basin is truly a pristine and special place.
Ibantik Lake ("eye-ban-tick") is located conveniently close to the Mirror Lake Highway in the High Uintas, and backpacking this route is perfect for beginner backpackers since it's a fairly short yet rewarding trail. It is a very popular lake to camp at, and therefore you won't have much solitude. The best things about this lake is how clear the water is, and you'll see plenty of mountain goats as Notch Mountain looms above you. The trail is really easy to follow, and is best done as a point-to-point route.
Priord Lake sits high in the Uintas in Ashley National Forest at roughly 11,000 ft. The water is an incredible turquoise color, with the Prior Cirque, Priord Peak, and Yard Peak as a beautiful backdrop. The scenery here is unreal, however it takes some advanced navigation skills to get there. The trail has the three bad "Ms" - marshy, mucky, and moist. Horse and cow poops also lines the trail. The trail is also either very faint, or non-existent at times, therefore, this is not a good trail for beginner backpackers.
Farmer's Lake is a lake in the Timothy Lakes Basin in the High Uintas. The trail follows the Swift Creek Trail, as it gains 3,000 ft in 9 miles. There are several other lakes you could backpack to including East or West Timothy Lakes, and Carroll Lakes. Backpacking to this area requires at least a one night minimum stay - two nights is preferred. There is plenty to explore as a day hike in the area and even bag some peaks. The best part about this trail and lake is that we didn't see anybody over 3 days on a weekend! You'll find plenty of solitude here.
Today's Guest Post comes from Heather Lyon! She, her husband, and dogs recently took a backpacking trip to Granddaddy Basin in the Uintas, and she's here to let us know all about it!
By Heather LyonThe Uinta National Forest about an hour due East of Park City, Utah is known for many things. Some of these include Kings Peak, over 1,000 alpine lakes, awesome fishing, and our favorite - prime backpacking. It's so simple to go there. Just buy a map, pick a trail, and how far in you want to go. You will surely find yourself with some of the best views at your chosen campsite for the evening.
Little Death Hollow is a slot canyon in the northeast corner of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in an area called the Circle Cliffs. Not to be confused with "Death Hollow" near Boulder, UT, Little Death Hollow offers a 4 mile slot canyon that, when dry, offers few obstacles, and beautiful high red sandstone cliffs which deepens and narrows as you continue down canyon. The swirling sandstone is mesmerizing, yet hard to stare at as you try to scrape through with your pack on. Little Death Hollow could be done in a day, but backpacking at least 1 night (2 nights preferred) allows you to really explore the area and surrounding canyons, swim in the Escalante River, and create a loop.