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Southern Utah Thanksgiving backpacking suggestions

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Southern Utah Thanksgiving backpacking suggestions

Postby bohlsen » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:15 pm

I'm contemplating heading down to southern Utah for a 3 or 4 day backpacking trip over Thanksgiving and wondering if anyone has any good suggestions. I searched the forum and looked through a couple guide books but haven't found quite what I'm looking for yet. The criteria that I'm looking for would be something non-technical (scrambling would be great, but anything requiring ropes is a no go), 20+ miles, not too cold due to elevation or shade, something(s) cool to see (arches, slot canyons, spires, pictographs, waterfalls) and with water available for purification. Any ideas would be much appreciated, thanks!
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Re: Southern Utah Thanksgiving backpacking suggestions

Postby mpeet » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:09 pm

You could go down to Grand Gulch and either do a long backpack, a short backpack, or several day hikes. There are several ruins to see and walk around as well as pictographs. Also in that same area is Monument Valley and Natural Bridges. The area is BLM land so you can camp just about anywhere.

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Re: Southern Utah Thanksgiving backpacking suggestions

Postby climbing_rob » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:00 am

I would suggest a nice loop hike through the Canyonlands Needles area, always a favorite of ours. We might do this ourselves again very soon, for the 5th-6th time. Lots of options, we always like the Joint trail (very mild, short slots) coupled with the Druid arch trail, easy to get right around 20 miles or so.

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Re: Southern Utah Thanksgiving backpacking suggestions

Postby Scott P » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:18 am

There are thousands of possibilities.

Robbers Roost Canyon is usually nice that time of year.

Fourmile/Ticaboo loop should be really good that time of year.

Twin Corral Box Canyon is another good one.

As far as Grand Gulch goes, it can be nice, but the upper end is at pretty high elevation. That time of year you may want to enter lower down, such as from Collins Springs.
Last edited by Scott P on Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Southern Utah Thanksgiving backpacking suggestions

Postby bohlsen » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:21 am

Thanks for the replies, I'll check those out. Are all of these reasonably accessible with a normal car? I have a Honda Pilot which has done pretty well on some rough roads but its old now and I prefer not to rough it up too much.
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Re: Southern Utah Thanksgiving backpacking suggestions

Postby ezabielski » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:57 am

Last year I was backpacking in Escalante for Thanksgiving (had Thanksgiving dinner by headlamp in a park in town!). The route is pretty well known: Hurricane Wash to Crack in the Wall. It's got everything you're asking for. PM or reply if you want more details. I loved it so much that me and some friends are going back to do a different route this year over the week of Thanksgiving.

I've also done Grand Gulch, Collins Spring to Kane Gulch ranger station. I did it in late March and it was great. Less water availability though, so I don't know how it will be in late Fall. Call the Kane Gulch ranger station for conditions if you're interested.
Last edited by ezabielski on Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Southern Utah Thanksgiving backpacking suggestions

Postby Scott P » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:00 am

All of those are mentioned are pretty accessible without a 4wd, but watch the roads after a snowstorm.
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