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Thanksgiving trip--Grand Gulch, UT

  • Nov 22, 2012 · 7:00 AM

 

The game plan is as follows…

Destination: 

Grand Gulch, UT.  This area is situated north of Mexican Hat and south of Natural Bridges.

 This is not your average car camping experience.  There are no services within 40-50 of this location so while this is car-camping this is primitive car-camping.  All provisions, including water and firewood, must be brought with you from Phoenix to last for the entire trip.

Be sure you fuel up in Mexican Hat as it is your last opportunity for fuel.  Trucks and SUVs are strongly advised should bad weather come in on us.  A shovel is a very good idea to have in your vehicle.

There is zero cell phone reception in the area.  Please have an atlas or map print outs in your vehicle for the area we are traveling.

We are not doing a pot luck dinner this year for Thanksgiving.

I am leaving Arizona the Friday before the trip to go to Capitol Reef and I will not be available for questions.  If you have any please post them to the comment line and we have enough seasoned desert winter campers that your question will get answered.

Several carpools have been set up and are full.  You are responsible for setting up your own transportation.

You are also responsible for yourself throughout the duration of this trip in making sure you are prepared and equipped for this trip. 

 

Water: 

You will need to bring all your water for the weekend with you as there is no water where we will be hiking and water in the canyon in highly unlikely.  Natural Bridges to the north has running water but that is a 50 mile round-trip drive and Mexican Hat is about an 85 mile round –trip drive and both will take up your hiking time so be sure you bring it with you.

 

Firewood: 

You will need to bring all your firewood for the weekend with you as there is no gathering of firewood permitted on the Gulch Plateau and there are no resources to secure more without driving to Mexican Hat.  Everyone is strongly encouraged to buy their wood at the wood place on Washington and the Loop 202 in Phoenix and to purchase a hardwood like oak, red gum, or citrus.  The hardwoods burn long, very hot, and provide a great coal base since where we will be it will be very, very cold.   Firewood is very, very, very important and we have a large group meaning we need a bigger fire for everyone to be warm at night--no firewood means a very, very cold night.  The bundles from Circle K or the grocery store are absolutely useless on this trip so don’t bother.  Everyone needs to bring at least 4 bundles (about 15 pieces) of hard wood each for this trip.  If you bring crappy wood or not enough don’t be surprised if you receive grimaced faces in response and maybe a cold shoulder, literally.

 

Weather: 

Um, cold, cold and colder.  We will be experiencing a desert winter condition for this trip.  Highs are anticipated in the mid-50s and the low is in the upper 20’s.  Your water will freeze at night unless it is protected in an empty cooler or in nalgene bottles in your sleeping bag.  Please monitor the weather to be prepared. 

 

Driving Directions: 

The best route driving is through the Flagstaff-Kayenta-Mexican Hat route.  Plug in a driving direction request to your mapping site of choice for Phoenix to Mexican Hat to obtain your route to Mexican Hat.  From Mexican Hat take 261 North and you will climb a set of switchbacks to reach the Grand Gulch Plateau.  Continue on 261 to FR 251 and take a left.  This is the road to Bullet Canyon which is the area we are camping in and hiking around.  Continue on FR 251 for about 2-3 miles and we hope be located on the north side of the road near the trees.  If you pass the trailhead or the pit toilet you’ve gone too far.  Signs will be posted for directions on the FR once we (Kevin and I) get there around 9ish on Thursday but we believe Pat will beat us there on Wednesday so look for Pat J  If we are not in the trees (it may be taken or may not be big enough for us) keep an eye out because we will be in the general facility.

 

Agenda:

Thursday:  Set up camp and hike Natural Bridges, if you’re interested.  Water is available at Natural Bridges if you need it.

Friday:  Bullet Canyon to Shiek’s Canyon.  This requires a short car shuttle or is a short 4 mile hike back to camp from the Shiek’s Canyon exit.   About 13 miles not including the car shuttle/hike back.

Saturday:  Kane Gulch to Coyote Canyon, again about 13 miles. The option also provides for a short side trip into Todie Canyon.  This requires a longer car shuttle for those going straight through but the option for an in/out is always possible.

Sunday:  Drive home.  People can go straight home or stop at Valley of the Gods or Monument on the way home or Bridges if you missed in on Thursday.  Four Corners is in the general area also on the way home but will not be in direct route.

 

Fees:

            There is a $5 use fee for the Grand Gulch payable at the Bullet Canyon TH right near camp.  This is good for the entire duration of the trip.

            There is a $10 per car entrance fee to Natural Bridges, which is a National Monument.  Free if you have the National Parks pass on someone in your vehicle.

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  • Kevin

    What a great adventure!

    November 26, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Post more photos, or better yet picasa?

    November 26, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      You will be sorry that you asked for more photos. There will be more than you care to see, haha... This morning at Mesa Arch @ Canyonlands. This afternoon at the Delicate Arch of Arches NP.

      November 26, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      It's all funny until you have to return to Chicago and work. :-P

      November 26, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Simply amazing! Thanks Lisa for coordinating.

    November 26, 2012

  • Vickie

    Great trip. Great to see old friends and meet new ones.

    November 26, 2012

  • David

    This group gets along together.

    November 25, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    High desert, high adventure, high energy, highly positive hikers, highly skilled leaders, all in all, just say take-A-Hike...

    November 25, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Darrell, Pat and I should be arriving around 1pm Thurs. Look out for us. Excited to get out of town, once again!

    November 21, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    The Cactus crew now has firewood exactly to Lisas specifications... Filled my truck fromright to left and as high as the tailgate.

    November 19, 2012

    • David

      Where are we meeting to carpool?l?Wher

      November 20, 2012

  • Darrell J.

    I have wood that Kelly gave me. I tried splitting some and burned it last night. It burned fairly well. So I will split more and I will bring as much as I can carry.

    November 19, 2012

  • Lisa

    I am cautioning everyone to make sure you bring not only the right wood for the trip but that you make sure you set up your carpools to make sure you have room for all the wood needed on this trip in addition to your gear and coolers. There is no scavenging of wood on the plateau and anyone scavenging to supplement for what they did not bring will be asked to burn it in their own fire in their own campsite--my camp will not violate the Gulch. Red gum aka eucalyptus is $55 an eighth at Berry Brothers Wood which should be enough for just about 3 persons.

    November 13, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Toomey & Canada Dave coming to the 14nov meeting?.. also any one person who needs a carpool ride?

    November 13, 2012

    • David

      Will you be at the meeting? When do you plan to leave for Utah?

      November 13, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    There should be room for one more in my truck. Are you planning to come to happy hour this Wednesday?

    November 13, 2012

    • Keegan L.

      John, that's good news! Happy hour sounds good...see you there?

      November 13, 2012

  • Keegan L.

    I'm available to leave anytime Thursday. Do any of you fine folks have a spot open in a vehicle?

    November 11, 2012

    • Karen

      check with John

      November 13, 2012

  • Karen

    John, Kathy and I are leaving Thurs morning.....1:00 ish, should get us to camp about 9:00 am. John is driving his truck, check with him on room for more riders.

    November 13, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    She said "WOOD".. Uh, huh-huh, huh-huh.

    November 11, 2012

  • Lisa

    Berry Brothers Wood. 602/244-1422. 5317 E Washington

    November 11, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be coming from Moab, UT on Thursday afternoon. Not sure if anyone would be in the same area as I am.

    November 11, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Darrell, Kelly and I are carpooling. Not sure if Pat is coming w/us or not. We plan to leave Thursday morning. Not sure on time.

    November 11, 2012

  • Kevin

    Of the persons who did not come to the meeting, it is time to get the word out as to when you are leaving and if you have room for carpooling.

    November 11, 2012

  • Paila

    Any updates? Had to work the night of the meeting.

    November 8, 2012

    • Paila

      Are all the carpools full?

      November 9, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    My car is full unless I know you.

    November 7, 2012

  • Lisa

    We are at the Alma School location.

    November 7, 2012

    • Randy from M.

      I was at the right place, didn't know there was a back room.

      November 7, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm not able to come to the planning meeting tonight. Look forward to more details of the trip.

    November 7, 2012

  • Gary & T.

    Just finished a two night backpack thru the Gulch. A beautiful riparian area with a high density of Anasazi Ruins. Leaves just starting to change - hopefully you will see lots of fall colors too - enjoy!

    October 29, 2012

    • Lisa

      Thanks :)

      November 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Love Utah. Will look-up where this is. Meeting is Thursday at Old Chicago, 6:30? Hope to see you there.

    November 3, 2012

  • Lisa

    Planning meeting Nov.7th at 630 pm, old chicago

    November 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm seriously contemplating this one.... I need a long trip away.

    October 30, 2012

  • Lisa

    Natural bridges is right there and will prolly be the Sunday stop before coming home

    October 28, 2012

13 went

  • Lisa
    Assistant Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Kevin
    The Poolman, Assistant Organizer
  • Vickie
    Assistant Organizer
  • Darrell J.
    Assistant Organizer
  • Karen
    Ice Queen, Assistant Organizer
  • Pat D.
    Doctor Detroit (aka Doc), Assistant Organizer
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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