Boulder Mail Trail Backpacking Adventure
Level 3: Immersive - Appropriate for athletic families with older kids (teens and above), as well as backpackers with some experience and stamina. Level 3 trips will typically be longer mileage, thus covering more of the Canyon landscape and giving the guest a broader overall experience. These trips will involve mostly well-maintained, but also some unmaintained trails.X
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Boulder Mail Trail is a great alternative if you missed the permit lottery deadline in the Grand Canyon or if you don't obtain a permit in the lottery. This trip is in Grand Staircase/Escalante Nation Monument!
This trip is highly customizable and available on short notice with no permit required. Please contact us and one of our awesome tour planners will help make this the trip of a lifetime and provide pricing based on how you make this trip especially yours!
Total distance with loaded backpack: 15 miles (24 km). Elevation at start/finish: 6,720’/5,960’ (2,048/1,817 m)
Day one: Travel to Escalante, UT from Flagstaff, Phoenix, or Las Vegas. It is a long journey to the remote historic town of Escalante — the gateway to most of the wonders of Grand Staircase/Escalante country. And we will show guests some of the introductory wonders along the way! The evening is spent at lodging in the town of Escalante (Canyon Country Lodge) or Boulder (Boulder Mountain Lodge) (included in the trip), so that we are fresh for an early start the next day.
Day two: Boulder (airstrip) trailhead to Death Hollow. 5.8 miles (9.3 km). Elevation at start/finish: 6,720’/5,760’ (2,048/1,756 m). Moderate. After a short, beautiful drive in the morning to the trailhead, guests will begin the backpacking trip with their gear loaded and their guide accompanying. The hike begins with some miles across slickrock badlands and sagebrush benches, punctuated with a traverse across Sand Creek (a respectable sandstone canyon in its own right, where there may be time to do a short exploration downstream), and then a dramatic descent into Death Hollow. Here you will spend your first night in the desert backcountry, with an exceptional campsite and delicious meal.
Day three: This day is reserved for a little bit of leisure and alot of exploration! Head west to explore nearby Mamie Creek, or stay within the confines of Death Hollow itself. Death Hollow is a fascinating place; a jagged fracture in the Earth, but with smooth water-polished features, massive sandstone walls, and hidden twists and turns. Upstream and downstream from camp, there is challenging hiking and creek-wading, springs, dramatic narrows, swimming holes, and scenery enough to keep visitors busy for days, so expect to feel a strong urge to stay longer! Wonderful meals prepared by your guide throughout the day.
Day four: Death Hollow to Escalante River trailhead. 9.0 miles (14.5 km). Elevation at start/finish: 5,760’/5,960’ (1,756/1,817 m). Difficult. After another great breakfast, guests and guide will begin the long exit from this incredible wilderness. The hike will take you down into one more sinuous drainage at Mamie Creek, and up and over the Antone Flat highlands. Although it’s a long way, you will be encouraged and continually refreshed by long views of some of the most exceptional Navajo sandstone slickrock landscapes to be found anywhere. At the end, celebratory refreshments at the trailhead, and a return to lodging in Escalante or Boulder.
Day five: Return to Flagstaff/Phoenix/Las Vegas.