Hayduke: Through the Needles

  For thru-hikers traveling through the southern portion of Canyonlands there are many options for traversing the Needles District. I get a few emails every year from those doing the Hayduke Trail asking which is the BEST route. IMHO there really is not a “bad” way through the Needles, but it’s hard… Continue reading

Hike Guide: Inside Stevens Arch

Stevens Arch in the lower Escalante is one of the most impressive arches in Utah (and arguably the world!) At 220′ feet wide it’s rumored that a crazy pilot once flew a small plane through its opening. The arch stands high in the Navajo sandstone as the river flows in… Continue reading

Hike Guide: The Upper Paria

The Upper Paria doesn’t get as much attention as the Lower Paria a little farther south. The Upper Paria (rhymes w/ “Maria”)  is located in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and is a braided river in a much more wide-open canyon than its lower counterpart which is famous for its… Continue reading

Hayduke Alt: Via Escalante East (Upper Muley/The Gulch)

This is the second/northern option that I present to Hayduke Hikers looking for an alternate to connect the Burr Trail Switchbacks (HDT Section 6 Start) to Escalante. If you haven’t already, read the pros/cons for skipping this part of official Hayduke and get the detail on the southern option here:… Continue reading

Hayduke Alt: Via Escalante East (Choprock/Harris)

Almost all Hayduke Hikers end up in the town of Escalante for a re-supply (or do an inconvenient cache pre-hike.) Getting to this small town from the route usually means a long and sometimes difficult hitch along the Hole-in-the-Rock Road. However, many great canyons in this region provide possible alternates… Continue reading

Hayduke: Navajo and Reese Canyons

Navajo and Reese Canyons are two remote canyons on the Kaiparowits Plateau. Their inclusion in Section 7 of the Hayduke Trail makes the inner portion of a big “W”-looking pattern on the map. At first I thought it might be better just to bypass the seeming circuitous route with its… Continue reading

Hayduke: Happy Maze Alternate

Another alternate to consider for those hiking the Hayduke Trail — an exciting route through The Maze and Happy Canyon. I don’t expect many to opt for this alternate, but it is actually my preferred route for a trek across Utah. Approximate Mileage Comparison: Official Hayduke: 85.7 miles Happy Maze… Continue reading

Hayduke: Heart of the Needles

If doing the official Hayduke Route through Canyonlands (ie no Outpost Resupply or Salt Creek Alternate), I implore you to consider this alternate through the heart of the Needles. I understand the official route is likely the quickest way through the area and could probably be done fast enough to… Continue reading

Hike Guide: Lower Muley Twist

Lower Muley Twist is a spectacular canyon in Capitol Reef just south of where the Burr Trail Road cuts through the mid-section of the park. Supposedly the name originates from pioneers claiming the canyon could “twist a mule” with its many meanders. Lower Muley Twist is known for its amazing… Continue reading