Joined: 11 Sep 2007
Posts: 104 | TRs
|Three of us enjoyed a 5 day backpack into Salt Creek Canyon in late April/early May. We intended to have my husband drop us off at Cathedral Buttes but Indian Creek was raging and our Subaru couldn't cross as it was up to the middle of the door. So we waded across and started walking the 20 miles to Cathedral Buttes. After about 4 miles a truck pulled up and offered us a ride -- who picks up senior/middle age women who hitchhike? Just about everyone! The rest of the drive took an hour, it rained, we were dry in the truck and we arrived at the trailhead to a brilliant lightening display across the canyons.
The first day we dropped 1,000 feet into the canyon and then it is flat and very pleasant walking for about 40 miles. We exited on the Peekaboo Trail – 2.5 miles of slickrock hiking!!! We retrieved our car at Squaw Flat CG.
Since the road was impassable it lowered the number of folks in the canyon. We saw one person the first 4 days and then the last day a bunch of day hikers appeared.
We had permits for Upper Salt 1 (better campsite than Upper Salt 2); Upper Salt 3 and then two nights in the Salt/Horse Zone. These were good camping choices as we spent a lot of time, everyday, wandering in side canyons looking at Anasazi art and ruins. Between the 3 of us we have over 60 years of desert hiking experience and we agreed that Salt Creek took the prize for the most art and ruins. Even more than Grand Gulch. Water was plentiful and quite clean.
The road up to Cathedral Butte is the crux of this trip. If it rains and you have a car at that TH it is entirely possible you would be either unable to get to it or wouldn’t be able to get it back down the road. I heard that there is a Moab shuttle service with vehicles that can ford Indian Creek. For a hefty fee drop they you at the TH. Might be worth it.
Sorry no photos….mine are not so great.