“Enjoy an epic journey in the heart of Utah.”
— Matthew Kidd
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Swimming · Waterfall · Wildlife
This trail follows a river all the way to its junction with the Escalante River with great sandstone views the entire time. It's pleasingly green along the river much of the way, and the aspens are a glorious yellow when running in the fall (e.g. early October). The canyon is wide enough that it allows plenty of sunlight while often avoiding direct sunlight.
The trail is not marked but it is easy to follow and there is nowhere to get lost except up the occasional side canyon. There are dozen of river crossing so be prepared to get wet up to your knees. I did okay with the combination of waterproof hiking boot and waterproof knee high socks; my companion just wore waterproof toe socks that gave him good traction and didn't hurt his feet because the trail is mostly sand and riverbed rocks are small. Sometimes it is easiest to just navigate in the river, particularly towards the end of the canyon, near the confluence.
Flash floods are possible in this area, so this trip should be postponed if rain is likely. However, this is not a slot canyon per se. If you are caught by a flash flood, you should have time to scramble to location two or three meters above the river and set up camp.
I suggest wearing a hat, mostly to prevent getting your head scratched by low branches.
This route is almost always done one way and as part of a larger loop. For a fee, you can arrange a shuttle in the town of Escalante, in which you can have your car moved from the start of the Boulder Mail Trail
to the junction of the Escalante River and Highway 12. Escalante Outfitters
is a good place to make inquiries, check recent conditions (mid-May through mid-June spring runoff can boost river flow), and buy topo maps (though GPS works pretty well along this route despite being down in a canyon).