View Full Version : Back country roads in the Escalante area
Anyone familar with back roads between Page, AZ more specifically Big Water up to Escalante, Utah. I have some detailed maps but have no idea how long it will take to traverse this route? Thanks
All day if you are in a hurry. I'd plan on a couple days if I was going to take a camera or just for my pleasure. It is a very beautiful area. Take your time and enjoy the solitude and beauty.
If it has been raining in the area-DO NOT GO. My father in law and I got stuck there last spring and had to walk 20 miles to escalante. The roads about half way to Escalante are clay and deep clay at that. Combine this with steep hills and you have a recipe for disaster. You might say the three hour tour turned into an overnight really cold hike.
My father-in-law by they way is sick and cannot think of any cool rock formations. There are some on this back road though. Getting onto kaparowitz is cool. Steep as all get out and one hell of a view at the top.
If the roads are good take it slow and it will take all day. Some nice scenery. If it has been raining you should still be able to get on top of kaparowitz. Good luck and I cannot stress enough checking the road conditions. If it gets a little slippery turn around instantly.
Stop in at fotoquick and they should be able to guide you to some pretty spots. They are right next to safeway in Page.
Thanks James and Mark, sounds like as the crows flies isn't always the fastest way to go.
I just returned from this region but did not travel the route you intend. You should definitely call the Escalante Interagency Office: (435) 826-5499 These guys are super nice and a great source of information.
There are also two outfitters in Escalante who know the region well : Escalante Outfitters http://www.aros.net/~slickroc/escout/ and Drew and his wife at http://www.utahcanyons.com/ These folks are also quite familiar with the travel planning of serious photographers.
Sadly for me I only had 3 days there and I watched as the smoke from southern california blew through at 50mph!
Yes!!!! Mark is not exagerating when he says it get's slippery. I was up at the top about a mile below the top of the road overlooking the lake and it started raining and I had to wait all day long to be able to back my way up to the top. There is no way I could have continued down to Big Water without sliding off into oblivion. And it's a long long long way down. That stuff is slicker than snot. What a wonderfil adventure though. James
It won’t be long before just about everyone has their own Escalante story.
Here’s mine: I was about half way between Big Water and Escalante in a Dodge Neon. It was getting late so I pulled over for the night. Didn’t sleep much because it rained all night. Next morning, being unable to continue, I tried to backtrack to Big Water. Couldn’t do that either because a large cattle truck was high-centered in a washout right in the middle of the road.
The short of it: Waiting for some wranglers to jack the truck off the axel……2 days.
Waiting for the water level at the washes to go down enough to cross and shoveling mud off the edges of the washes to prevent high centering…another 2 days.
Lesson learned: When crossing deep water in a Dodge Neon: disconnect the fan.
Say hello to Hayduke and Seldom Seen Smith for us!
Did you drive this route yet and if so, was it worth it?
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