Forum Index > Trip Reports > The Grand Staircase (GSENM) Utah! Paria-Hackberry 10 day backpack April 23-May 2, 2017 Part 2
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
John Morrow
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 1463 | TRs
Location: Roslyn
John Morrow
  Top

Member
PostFri May 12, 2017 9:38 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM) in southern Utah has become a favorite.  Previously, all my explorations (alone or with friends) have been in the eastern Escalante River drainage portion.  This trip explored the western portion through "The Grand Staircase" and can be called the Paria River-Hackberry Canyon Loop.  Within the National Monument is the Paria-Hackberry Wilderness Study Area and the majority of the hike took place in this 136,000 acre WSA.  Kimberly (Rainie Too), who did the bulk of the research for the trip, was joined by and fellow Escalante explorers Linda, Jerry, Robert and myself.  We are all becoming annual regulars down here.  Gwen, diving head first into her first desert experience, joined us for week two!
Total mileage with side canyon trips added up to nearly 100 miles over 10 days.

download for full size
download for full size
GSENM P-H Loop Overview
GSENM P-H Loop Overview

This is Part 2 of three parts:

Part 1 here:  http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8024030

Part 2: Paria River to Rock Springs/Asay Canyon/Sheep Canyon/Bull Valley-Willis Slot Canyons Loop

Part 3: Round Valley Draw/Hackberry Canyon/Yellow Rock/Paria Box...To come.


Part 2:

This leg continues our up-canyon wade of the Paria River toward our resupply car at Rock Springs Creek Trailhead (really just a corral).  Our two side trips were a short loop of Asay Canyon with Asay Bench and a much longer well-known loop of slots and narrows connecting Willis Creek Canyon with Bull Valley Gorge.

Day 4 began packing up camp at Deer Canyon and continuing up the Paria River Canyon to the mouth of Asay Canyon.  Good water was found at an established spring called Crack Spring, 3/4 mile down canyon from the Asay mouth.

Deer Canyon petros
Deer Canyon petros
Deer Petros
Deer Petros
Paria high alcoves and arches
Paria high alcoves and arches
colorful section
colorful section
Passing Lone Rock
Passing Lone Rock
beehives
beehives

Leaving the packs, we explored the lower slot portion of Asay Canyon by the mouth.  It dead-ends with a chockstone we could not climb.  So we backtracked and did a short fun bypass to re-enter Asay just above the slot.  Robert and I descended back through far enough to look at the impasse.

Asay lower slot
Asay lower slot
Paria Hackberry Wilderness Study Area
Paria Hackberry Wilderness Study Area
above the Asay Slot
above the Asay Slot
bypassing the slot impasse
bypassing the slot impasse
checking it from above
checking it from above

Up Asay was a real treat.  Incredibly beautiful canyon shapes and forms with distant white cliffs and lots of hoodoos/beehive formations.  Then a second slot section even.

ready to continue
ready to continue
Paria Hackberry Wilderness Study Area
Paria Hackberry Wilderness Study Area
hoodoos and beehives
hoodoos and beehives
upper Asay slot
upper Asay slot
slot 2
slot 2
slot 3
slot 3

Beyond the slot we had to do some chockstone and slab scrambling to exit onto Asay Bench which we would hike to return to the Paria.  A cattle trail, once blasted, descends to the Paria.

above upper slot
above upper slot
final narrows scramble
final narrows scramble
exiting to Asay Bench
exiting to Asay Bench
Paria Hackberry Wilderness Study Area
Paria Hackberry Wilderness Study Area
cattle trail return to Paria
cattle trail return to Paria

Back with the heavy packs up the Paria to the junction with Sheep Canyon.  The beauty of Sheep Creek Canyon with its high white Navajo sandstone walls was yet another pleasant surprise.  1/2 mile up canyon from the Paria/Sheep junction we settled in on a nice camp bench shaded by cottonwoods and Ponderosa pines.

Onward
Onward
Sheep Canyon confluence
Sheep Canyon confluence
searching Sheep for a camp
searching Sheep for a camp
Bull Valley Gorge mouth
Bull Valley Gorge mouth
where to camp?
where to camp?
Ah, camp!
Ah, camp!

Day 5 consisted of a long and wonderful dayhike loop up Sheep Creek Canyon to Willis Creek Canyon and back via Bull Valley Gorge.  Much info exists on the net and in guidebooks so I'll just describe it in pictures.

The morning started up Sheep Creek Canyon past Bull Valley Gorge mouth (returning that way later) to Willis Creek Canyon.  Then up Willis though its picturesque narrows after a visit to a nearby petroglyph panel.

Penstemon?
Penstemon?
Starting up Sheep
Starting up Sheep
Sheep Creek deepness, Grand Staircase Escalante NM
Sheep Creek deepness, Grand Staircase Escalante NM
Favorite panel!
Favorite panel!
curvylines
curvylines
Sheep detail
Sheep detail
detail
detail
Into Willis Canyon
Into Willis Canyon
narrowing
narrowing
Arch!
Arch!
Willis Narrows
Willis Narrows
narrows
narrows
narrows 2
narrows 2
opening
opening
2nd Narrows
2nd Narrows
Willis Falls
Willis Falls
3rd Narrows
3rd Narrows
3rd Narrows
3rd Narrows
last view
last view

To return via Bull Valley Gorge we had to walk 1.5 miles of the Skutumpuh Road.  Lots of water initially in BVG so we used a fixed rope to do a short rappel at the beginning.  A second fixed knotted rope exists to aid in a second dryfall/chockstone descent but was not necessary to use.  Then just normal scrambling chockstones and dryfalls to negotiate until it became a walk through.

Bull Valley beginning
Bull Valley beginning
Rappelling in
Rappelling in
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, UT
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, UT
Linda descends
Linda descends
dark tight portion
dark tight portion
BVG again
BVG again
slot look
slot look
Bull Valley Slot
Bull Valley Slot
A fun descent
A fun descent
lighting
lighting
obstruction
obstruction
At the pickup
At the pickup
The famous pickup bridge
The famous pickup bridge
flood debris
flood debris
opens
opens
tightens
tightens
another tight strtch
another tight strtch
Kimberly around a dryfall
Kimberly around a dryfall
a final narrowing
a final narrowing
big firs appear
big firs appear
Hackberry-Paria Wilderness Study Area; Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  UT
Hackberry-Paria Wilderness Study Area; Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  UT
Paria-Hackberry Wilderness Study Area, UT
Paria-Hackberry Wilderness Study Area, UT

We even found another small petroglyph panel which was a big treat for me!

Another neat panel!
Another neat panel!
detail
detail

Day 6 we packed up the Sheep Canyon camp, returned to the Paria River, and went about four more miles up canyon to the mouth of Rock Springs Creek Canyon.  Many more petroglyphs enroute!  Then we finished the final four miles to the car at the top of Rock Springs Canyon.

muddy Sheep into Paria
muddy Sheep into Paria
High Panel
High Panel
strange designs
strange designs
Another high panel
Another high panel
detail 1
detail 1
detail 2
detail 2
anything to access art
anything to access art
Yet another high panel
Yet another high panel
A Paria River backpack
A Paria River backpack
big walls in Upper Paria
big walls in Upper Paria
Nice canyon
Nice canyon
high sides
high sides
lone dome panel
lone dome panel
Into Rock Springs Creek
Into Rock Springs Creek
a nice canyon
a nice canyon
Robert
Robert
colors in upper Rock Springs
colors in upper Rock Springs

The first two legs were so great I could hardly wait for the final descent down the length of Hackberry Canyon.  However, it was so windy and cold with a front coming in, we opted not to car camp at the resupply car and instead stay the night in Cannonville, UT.  There we met up with Gwen who'd be joining us for the remainder of the hike.  And, wouldn't you believe it, while doing breakfast in town we recognized Lindsay (Marmot) and Gabriel packing in some morning carbs as energy to fuel the rest of their long distance hike of the Hayduke Trail!  They had just traced our Paria route and even caught our entry in a register at one of the petroglyph panels!  That was so cool.

--------------
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
John Morrow
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 1463 | TRs
Location: Roslyn
John Morrow
  Top

Member
PostFri May 12, 2017 3:38 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Oh yeah,
This pathetic administration is trying to do away with National Monuments created by Presidential Executive Order after 1996.  Authority that was granted to the Executive Branch in the passage of the 1906 Antiquities Act.  This includes Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument created by President Bill Clinton.  Presidents of both parties have used this authority to create Monuments.
We have 15 days of comment period to defend them.  Please make your voice heard!
The Mountaineers make it easy here:
https://secure.everyaction.com/htgQ_txEoUmCtTwpOmQg9g2

Or here:
https://www.friendsofcedarmesa.org/take-action/

--------------
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Gwen
LO Girl-of-the-Month



Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 1564 | TRs

Gwen
  Top

LO Girl-of-the-Month
PostFri May 12, 2017 7:26 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Thanks for the reminder to sign, John.

Wow, Part II looks fantastic! Now I see why you all were fussing and fawning over the memory of Asay - really good stuff!

--------------
Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
   All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > The Grand Staircase (GSENM) Utah! Paria-Hackberry 10 day backpack April 23-May 2, 2017 Part 2
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy