CAUTION: THIS IS A VERY EXTREME HIKE. PLEASE READ THE COMPLETE HIKE DESCRIPTION BELOW AND RSVP WITH INTEGRITY.
Starting point and meetup location for this event will be in front of the ranger station at the Stone Door trailhead.
Hiking distance is 27.3 miles according to the breakdown of the hiking route, using the trail descriptions given on the park trail map.
This is a very strenuous hike due to its distance. There's a few short climbs and descents involved with this hike, going into and out of the Gulf. The rim trails are generally smooth and easy to hike, but the interior Gulf trails can be wet and very rugged. Estimated hike time will vary depending on each individual's capabilities, but expect to be hiking between 10 to 14 hours total.
Each hiker will be be accountable for their own safety, transportation, and completion of the hike. However, I encourage every hiker to use a buddy system at the minimum for safety reasons. It's best to hike with someone, but if your pace has you hiking alone, then choose another person going as a hiking safety buddy. The two of you can use each other as a person to report to, insuring you both make it out safely.
Be advised, this is a self paced hike and not a group lead hike. You as an individual must have the ability to read the park map, and follow the route given in the hike description.
A carpool meetup will not benefit this hike. It will be best if everyone provides their own transportation to this hike. If you choose to carpool, only do so with one other person. Everyone will finish at various times, and it would be unreasonable to expect anyone to wait very long for others they carpooled with to finish.
The map for the park can be downloaded and view at this web link: http://www.friendsofscsra.org/savage-gulf-trail-map.pdf
Below is the hiking route & mileage:
0.9 From the Stone Door Ranger Station hike to the Stone Door Overlook and the beginning of the Big Creek Rim Trail.
3.2 Hike the Big Creek Rim Trail to its junction with the Big Creek Gulf Trail.
3.1 Hike the Big Creek Gulf Trail to its junction with the Connector Trail.
3.2 Hike east on the Connector Trail to its junction with the Collins Gulf Trail.
9.9 Hike the complete Collins Gulf Trail which is the combination of the Collins Gulf and Collins Rim Trail. It will end at its junction with the Stagecoach Road Historic Trail.
1.6 Hike the Stagecoach Road Historic Trail to its junction with the Connector Trail.
3.6 Hike west on the Connector Trail to its junction with the Big Creek Gulf Trail.
0.9 Turn Right onto the Big Creek Gulf Trail which goes up through the Stone Door.
0.9 Once at the top of the Stone Door, hike the Stone Door Trail back to the Stone Door Ranger Station and the parking area.
Total mileage = 27.3
Safety Note: If you haven't reached the Collins West Camp Area by 1 PM, you're hiking pace is to slow, and you'll be finishing past dark if you continue. If this occurs to you, please exit here on the Collins Gulf Access Trail and hike 1/4 mile out to the parking area. I will drive to this location after finishing my hike to see if any hikers ended their hike at this location. If you do end your hike at this location, and need a ride back to Stone Door, be prepared to sit there for a few hours waiting for me to finish my hike and make the drive around to that location. I drive a Jeep, which is silver in color with a black top, and I'll only be able to transport 3 people if needed.
Mandatory hiking gear will be:
~Water- carry at least 64 ounces and have the ability to filter or treat more along the way.
~Food and energy source- carry something that can be eaten without cooking that will re-supply your body with nutrients and electrolytes. A healthy sack lunch and some trail mix to eat along the way are a good choice.
~Headlamp or flashlight
~Park map, or at least a print out of our hike route and its description.
Optional items to carry:
~Extra pair of socks
~Pen and paper
~Small first aid kit
~Emergency fire starting items
~Emergency space blanket