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Canyonlands National Park UT

Backpackers: Ed Tucker, Carl Fisher, and John Gundry

Photo Album

We flew from Green Bay WI to Salt Lake City UT and rented a car for the drive to Moab UT where we planned to spend the night at The Lazy Lizard, a hostel. The price was right (about $30) for a cabin for Ed and Carl (John will join the trip in a few days), included sheets and blankets, and towels for showers. Nothing fancy but, hey, we like sleeping in tents!  After dropping our gear in the cabin we headed for The Moab Brewery, a local brew pub where we had excellent food and even better beer.

September 28, 2010 - 7 miles. Early in the morning we loaded up for the 1.5 hour drive to the ranger station at Canyonlands National Park where we picked up the permit for our previously reserved trip and got the most recent trail and water reports. At 10:30 we departed on the Peekaboo Trail, leaving our rented van parked near the Squaw Flat campground. The was no water until we reached Peekaboo Camp - 5 miles from the start point - and that water was not flowing but looked safe enough. A month prior to our trip a flash flood roared through the canyon making route finding past Peekaboo Camp difficult and challenging. We learned quickly to appreciate the remaining cairns and searched endlessly for the faint trails. We were not required to stay at a specific camp site so we choose a sand bar near the river with water 1/4 mile behind us.

September 29, 2010 - 8.5 miles. We camped at SC4 after a day where the trail was better even though we had to walk against brush that the flood had pushed over in our direction and was slightly uphill. We saw no one else the entire day.

September 30, 2010 - 9 miles. The day started off badly, almost ending the trip, and then finished very nicely. About 1 hour into the day of hiking we lost the trail. We spent an arduous 30 minutes fighting against the brush trying to find the trail all the while seeing bear tracks in the mud and sand. We stopped, took a break, assessed the situation, and decided that if this is what the route was going to be like we would turn back and head in. Discouraged, we turned around. Just as we started the exit the thickest of the brush we looked to the right at what appeared to be a wash from the storm heading sharply uphill. We stopped and decided to give route finding one last chance and, you guessed it, we found nice trail safely tucked high above the river on a plateau. Hiking was easier for the remainder of the day. Had we turned around we would have missed the pictograph of All American Man and Indian structures dating back to the 13th century. Very cool and worth the walk. We stayed at camp SC3 which was very near an excellent water source.

October 1, 2010 - 14 miles. Today we headed back towards the car. We did far more miles than originally planned as the walking was easier than going this direction and we were better at route finding. We ended the day back at Peekaboo Camp where we camped even though we did not have a permit. We saw no one all day or night. The picnic table at Peekaboo Camp was appreciated.

October 2, 2010 - 5 miles. Back to the car by 10 am, then to Moab and the The Lazy Lizard to meet our other hiking buddy, John. Of course, we had dinner and brews at The Moab Brewery.

October 3, 2010 - 5 miles backpacking and 5 miles day hiking. Drove back to Squaw Flat campground, parked in the same area, and headed out on the trail towards Chesler Park Trail. Arrived at camp around 1pm, set up, and then set out in search of Druid Arch and water. We hiked Druid Arch trail and found water about 1.5 miles from camp which was concerning - quite a walk for water every day. Upon return we found water less than 100 yards from camp that we had missed initially. Oh well - no need to worry. There was thunder and lightening all afternoon and shortly after our return to camp the rain set in for 30 minutes. Our camp had a rock overhang which protected us nicely from the rain as we finished off two of the bottles of wine we had carried with us.

October 4, 2010 - 8 miles dayhiking. Hiked the Chesler Park Loop trail and Joint Trail where we had excellent views of the needles. The Joint Trail is a 1/4 mile long, 3 foot wide divide in the rock that is about 50 feet deep. Very interesting walking. Again this afternoon there was thunder, lightening, afternoon showers, and consumption of two more bottles of wine.

October 5, 2010 - 8 miles dayhiking. Hiked the Devil's Kitchen Camp loop. Almost like a broken record we had rain in the evening and we polished off two bottles of wine. The rain did continue into the night and at some point my tent leaked OR it came in directly through the door. I went to sleep with my door open (it wasn't raining then!) and at some point in the night woke up and closed it. Maybe rained in before I woke up?

October 6, 2010 - 5 miles backpacking. Out to car then, of course, to The Lazy Lizard and The Moab Brewery.