Across Utah 2016: Burr Trail Loop Hike (full)

Across Utah 2016: Burr Trail Loop Hike (full)


Welcome to Across Utah 2016. It’s a cold May 1st and I’m getting ready
to set out on an 8 or 9-day hike around the Burr Trail in the Upper Escalante area. Let’s Go! Looks like I’m picking up right where I left
off last year — cold, rainy weather. OK, hopefully it will get better. There’s a couple of pools ahead here in the
slot, so I’m going to see if I can find a high route up and above so that I can stay dry. We’ll see. The canyon opens back up, but unfortunately
to get down I’d have to walk along this ledge and on Day 1 I don’t have my ‘slickrock legs’
yet, so… I’m going to back away. There’s just a little too much exposure here. So, I think I can get down back where I crossed
the canyon and get on the other side. Looks like an easy way down over there. Day 1. Big Horn Canyon. It’s a tough squeeze through here. It’s tight! I can barely get through here with the pack. Oh yes! It’s a lot of work. OK (laugh) let’s keep going! In the West Fork of Big Horn Canyon. It’s a good little slot. Moki Marble madness! Oh this is crazy. This is crazy. Ooooh. Oh my goodness. This water is very, very cold. Ohhh my feet are cold. My legs are cold. Whew. Zebra Canyon — it’s worth it I guess. At least this part is dry. Nice canyon. At least the sun is out now. This is crazy. Gotta keep going. Must have been one heck of a flood to cause
all that. Would not have wanted to be here at that time. Just scared the cows. Just fell into some quicksand by accident. I was just walking along right down through
there and all of sudden my pole was all the way up to the top and the next thing I know
my legs were just going in. The quicksand almost got me. The quicksand seems worse than normal this
year. Take a look at how bad it can be. It’s a little bit scary, but for the most
part you can usually just power through. Just kinda distribute your weight out and…
get through it. Quicksand is not going to suck you under,
it’s just going to drop you down to your knees maybe even your waist. So if you are not paying attention, your gear
can get wet. For instance I lost some of my maps because
I was ready and I went down over my knees in the quicksand. So… hope I can find my way without my maps. Let’s go! Cruising down Harris Wash listening to the birds. Yeah. Cottonwood floaties fill the air. Under this very cool overhang. Literally under the overhang. It really does look like it’s snowing out here. OK, just a little bit farther to the Escalante. We have made it all the way down Harris Wash. Yay! Now we just need to go down river about 4 miles. Now we are cruising. This is the closest thing we’ve seen to a trail in days. We can go a lot faster now. New problem I’ve never had before… a bunch
of bees have taken a liking to my shoes! OK Operation “Retrieve the Boots from the
Bees”commences. Whoa. All right — it was a success. Picked them up with my trekking poles and
threw them down here into the shade and the bees seemed to have lost interest in the shade,
so… time to strap them on and get to moving. Day 4! Had a nice camp last night in the lower end
of Choprock Canyon — well except for the bee infestation this morning. It was a slow day yesterday making my way
down the Escalante. Crossing the river is not hard, but all the
brush around the river just makes for a slow go. But now we are headed UP Choprock. But, before we do that, we are going to check
out the petroglyphs. Let’s go check them out. There are a lot of glyphs through here. Got the hunter right there. Probably the best part of the panel right here. Looks like he was a Shaman. I’m guessing these mean bear prints. Looks like someone used this guy for target practice. I believe that’s what these round notches are. Cowbowglyphs as well… dating back to 1919. It’s pretty good panel, it goes for a long
ways up this rock face. It’s up on a bench kind of hidden from view
in the lower end of Choprock about less than a mile from the Escalante on a big wall facing south. Almost all petroglyph panels face south. OK — time to get up the canyon. I’ve reached the end of the line in south
fork of Choprock Canyon. This is the dryfall which marks the end of
the technical route. Choprock is a slow canyon to hike just because
it’s so beautiful. I end up taking so many pictures. We are getting close to the narrows. Let’s go. Ok, we’ve entered the narrows. May have to get a little wet here. Had to get wet. Not that bad. Oh, may have to get wetter up there. Told you — it’s a good looking canyon. Looks like I have escaped the narrows. I was wrong, the narrows keep going. Going and going. I’m not much of a lunch eater when I’m hiking,
but whenever there’s a lot of water and I’m in a nice place, sometimes I treat myself
to a little blueberry granola. Good stuff! Especially in a place like this — one of
my favorite spots in Choprock Canyon. In an awesome undercut in what Steve Allen
calls the ‘Poison Ivy Fork’ of Choprock. Of all the weird things to find out in the
middle of nowhere, I found part of a Hustler Magazine from 1991. Question is… do I pack it out as trash,
or do I leave it as an artifact? Not sure. Gotta go under this big boulder to avoid all
the poison ivy. Not too bad. Little wet again. OK, almost out of it. Awesome petrified wood out here. This look like the same piece I spotted
10 years ago. I’ll have to check those pictures to make sure. Good chunks all around. Yeah… I’m pretty positive that’s the same piece. Look at this big log right there. That’s a keeper. That one there is huge as well. How’s that? Yay — this is what I did 10 years ago. Thought I’d re-create the shot. Day 5. Let’s Go! Need to head up that way to Colt Mesa where
I know there’s a water source and then I’m going to go around the mesa to the east and
over toward Deer Point which is that high plateau you can see in the distance. Looking back at the route I used to get off
the high cliffs, there’s a weakness at the very top and then it’s just an easy scramble down. Now on towards the mesa. Before setting out I read a lot of reports
of some rancher water sources being dry in southern Utah, so I was very happy when I
got here to Colt Mesa and the water is overflowing. So now I can drink up and I should have plenty of water to get me through the next leg of of the hike. I’m at the old prospecting site. Now we need to go that way. I’m headed for that prominent point out straight
ahead on the horizon. Need to get to the north side of that, to
the left side of it. No trail from here, I’m just going to have
to find my way. Getting closer. Rounding my point on the left as planned. Almost every hike I find one of these out
in the middle of nowhere. So… whoever you are… Happy Birthday! I just came across a big elk. Scared it. Probably scared me, more than I scared it. We will see if we see it again, but I don’t
know… it took off pretty fast. So no sign of the elk, but the views are pretty
amazing. Check it out. Here I’m looking down to the south. Looking back down to Choprock Canyon, that’s where I came from, farther down to the Moody Canyons. See the Straight Cliffs in the background
there and Fifty-mile Mountain. Way in the distance is Navajo Mountain you can barely see in silhouette. And the back over to the left is Deer Point itself. Good stuff. The ground here is just littered with petrified wood. All kinds of it. Just everywhere. There’s even a whole log of petrified wood. Look at that! Looking out to the Henry Mountains — looks
like a storm is coming. I just got the bejesus scared out of me by this snake. I was so close to it, I thought for sure it
was a rattler, but it’s not. Great Basin Gopher Snake — nothing to be
really afraid of. Still don’t want to step on him though. OK — he’s leaving. And for the record… I’m not really that close. Bye snaker. Take care of yourself. All right, looking down on the Waterpocket
Fold and over to the Henry Mountains. I need to follow the ridge a little farther
north before I drop down in. Mount Ellen has got quite a bit of snow on
it. OK this is it, we are dropping down into the
gullies trying to get down to the lower end of Lower Muley Twist. Let’s go down! Not sure which is the best way to go, but
I’m going to find out. I’ve done it one other time coming in from
the north, but I’m coming in from farther south this time. First cliff band wasn’t too hard. One spot I had to take the pack off just to
lower it down, now from here it’s just some steep scree walking all the way down to get
me to that next level. That’s the way I came down right there. It may not have been the best bet in hindsight,
the hill farther south looks easier. I have a bad feeling about that canyon taking
shape down below me. We’ll see. This is a tough way of getting down, but…
man that view! That view is awesome. I’m assuming this canyon is not going to go
through. I think it’s going to slot up. But, I think I can climb this cliff over here
and get to the top of that ridge and then take that fin all the way down. The only good news is that I can hear the
frogs going which means there’s water down there. So that means I can camp anywhere here if
I had to. In fact, I even see water right there. All right. We’re in good shape. I finally made it down to the canyon floor
and it was a lot of work getting down here so I’m pretty beat. I think I’m actually going to call it quits
here and camp — there’s actually a safe place to camp right up there in the trees. I still can’t tell what’s ahead of me, but
with an early camp I’m going to do some scouting without the pack and see what I can see. That way I can hit it first thing in the morning. Signing out Day 5. Crazy frogs. After scouting last night, I determined going
down the canyon wasn’t feasible, so I’m back up on the high steep slopes trying to make
my way down to Lower Muley Twist. Hope this route goes through, because if not
it’s going to be a lot of work to get back up and around to another route that I know will work. Here we go. Well.. this sucks! Just took a tumble going down this loose scree
and I… my pole bit in and then… bent. Yeah… Ug. All right. Well, that’s as good as she’s going to get. I just hope it still has the strength. Have to be careful with it. OK, I don’t want to count my chickens before
they hatch, but I’m starting to feel a little more optimistic. Looks like this ridgeline runs all the way
down to where it gets flat and I should be able to get down. Yay! I’m down in the canyon floor. And I’ve reconnected with my route from 6
years ago, so from here on out I know the routes OK and won’t be that hard. Let’s go! A little more scrambling over big boulders
than I remember, but we are pretty close now. I think that’s actually a massive arch up there. You can see some daylight coming through. I’d like to climb up that bench and get a
picture of blue sky underneath the arch, but just don’t have the time. There’s actually no blue sky there anyway
— it’s just clouds, so… that’s my excuse. Oh yeah… that’s an arch. Found a better view down stream. Yay — we are down in the lower end of Lower
Muley Twist. Now we just need to go UP lower to get to
Upper Muley Twist. Let’s go! It’s hard to grasp how large this undercut is. It is huge. HUGE. It’s granola time in the old Cowboy Camp. Yum — pretty good place for a treat. And it’s starting to rain. Took a little cover, it’s not very bad now,
but.. actually the forecast is for a really big storm tomorrow, so we will see what happens. To get past this rockfall you have to go under
these boulders, or climb above them. So I chose under. I already did it with the big backpack, once
was enough. Let’s go! Another huge undercut. Another great undercut in Lower Muley Twist. Sun is going down in Capitol Reef and… Oh, it’s Mr. Shadow! Hey Mr. Shadow — how ya doin’?! I’ve reached the Burr Trail Road, but that’s
not the end this time. In fact, it’s only about the half-way point. Now I’m making a loop around the Burr Trail
all the way back to my Jeep. I don’t know if you can see it… but there’s
a morning rainbow out there. In the slot in the upper end of Upper Muley Twist. Notice that he big log that was there a few
years ago… is gone. But there is one boulder to climb down. Do this and we’ll be out. Well the rain finally started coming down
with some force. It’s not that bad, but… I could be getting wet for the rest of the day. Right now it’s a good time to be under Cap
Arch — it’s acting as my cap and keeping my dry. There it is up there. OK — it’s not raining that hard so I think
I’m going to move out and hike in the rain. What I’ve done as a precaution though is taken
my rainfly and wrapped it around my pack to keep my gear dry in case it starts raining hard again. OK — time to get up the little secret exit
out of Upper Muley Twist. It’s not really a secret, it’s just not publicized anywhere. OK let’s go. Thought my easy progress was stopped by this big boulder jam, but luckily there’s a way underneath and out to the top. All right — that’s the way we’ll go. Looking back, the Henry Mountains
are covered in clouds. OK — just a little bit more and we’ll bea at the top. OK — little bit more, little bit more. There we go… finally see out to the west. Looking out toward the Circle Cliffs and Boulder
Mountain covered in snow or rain. That’s the way we are headed. I hear some coyotes. I don’t think they like me being here. Cruising along, following the Circle Cliffs. It’s a cold day in May. Got a long ways to go to get over to The Gulch. Let’s go! It’s raining. Trying to make my way around the Circle Cliffs
and it’s slowing me down. All right — it’s Day 8. I had a good camp here in the middle of the
Circle Cliffs. Today we need to over to The Gulch and push
it on the final stretch back to the Jeep. It should be another day, maybe two. Getting closer. Circle Cliffs — I’m coming for you. Made my way back to the Burr Trail. As much as I hate to do it, I’m walking along the road. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made and I
need to make up some time. So, as opposed to my planned route through
the Upper Gulch, this will save me at least a half a day. And… at least it’s a beautiful road. You know if I have to walk a road, this is
one of the best around. So.. let’s do it. Yay — made it to the top. Now time to go down Long Canyon. All right — off the paved road. Entering the Gulch. This first part is not one of my favorite
hikes, but it’s fairly fast. It’s going to get me to where I need to be. I’d rather be up on the High Route, but it’s
a little slower. It takes some route finding, so… this will
work for today. Hopefully I won’t have to battle any cows. Descending into a windy Sand Holler — as
they call it. Aiming for that notch up there between the two peaks. The tanks here are huge. HUGE. OK — we are getting close to Boulder Creek. The Boulder Creek Narrows. Definitely not going through there today. Too late and definitely too cold. Cooking dinner. Hey snaker. Day 9 — Final Day, let’s take it home. Well I’ve been stung by another one ofroutes. There’s supposed to be a way to bypass a lot
of the river, and there doesn’t seem to be — it’s cliffed out. I’ve looked all along the ledges and there’s
just no way down — it’s crazy steep. I’m going to have to go all the way back and around. Time to get back in the water. Whew — wish I could show you what I just did. I had to go through this pretty swift current,
cold, up to the belly with the pack up over the head. Too hard to do twice, so I’m not going to
re-create that one. Sorry folks. Cold. So right up there is where I was exactly two hours ago. Took me that long to go back, and then all
the way down around the creek. I’ll have to look into where I noted that
shortcut from, whether it was Kelsey, or Allen, or possibly even via the TOPO maps at the
visitor center — somebody is wrong though, ’cause there’s no route up there — you’re
walled in the whole way. Still moving down the creek. That tree is just a buzzing. Yay — I finally made it to the Escalante. I think I read somewhere that the Boulder
Creek doubles the size of the Escalante. Looks about right. That’s the Escalante on the left, Boulder
Creek on the right. From here the Escalante definitely gets bigger. OK — we’ve left the Escalante behind and
we’re headed up Phipps Canyon. On the final stretch home. Still making my way up Phipps Canyon. Think we have an eagle fighting with some swallows. He was on a perch up there. Yeah. Climbing my way out of Phipps Canyon, still
need to get up to the rim and find the Jeep. We are getting close. Sun has gone down on Day 9. We are still climbing up the slickrock. Incredible sight looking back. That’s where I came from. It might be dark, but that’s the Jeep. I can see it. Trust me. There’s the moon. There’s my Jeep. The loop is complete! Heya — I’m back! As you saw I finished my hike last night after dark. So I thought I’d come out here to an iconic
spot on the Burr Trail to do a little hike wrap-up. It was a good trip. It was 9 days about 150 miles. And I say it was a good hike, despite it being…
kinda miserable. The weather was chilly and rainy. And, if you follow my videos, you know I prefer
warm or hot any day over cold and wet. But, despite that, my body kind of failed me a bit. I had more blisters than normal, my knee started
giving me problems, and it made it really hard to push for those 20-plus mile days that
I needed to do. One of the reasons I didn’t do an extended
through-hike this season was that two months ago I suffered a severe high-ankle sprain. And because of that I’ve been taking it easy,
trying to rest up and let it heal fully before setting out on this hike. The truth is, I think that actually did me
more harm than good. The ankle actually held up pretty well, but
my lack of conditioning and just being physically prepared for this trip really dragged my down. There’s that saying that… You don’t stop hiking because you get old. You actually get old because you stop hiking. I think this trip proved that too me. That last two months of just doing nothing,
I think really slowed me down on this hike. So… the moral of the story for me, is that
I’m going to keep hiking. I’m going to get out there and keep my body
active and keep doing it. So… I’m going to stay active and keep making videos
about hiking across Utah. So look for more extended through-hikes coming soon. As always… thanks a lot for following along…
and see you next time.

44 thoughts on “Across Utah 2016: Burr Trail Loop Hike (full)

  1. Love your videos Jamal, I subscribed around the flood video I think. I'm in Idaho and really wanna get over that way and enjoy some of that. I hike in a wheelchair but my shoulders have paid the price so I have to change my goals to more seek and chill and enjoy the view outings. Got a van to camp in and sure there's tons of places to cruise into those areas pretty well, anyway, thanks for the beautiful, fun, and real deal videos man, Peace. John from Idaho 🙂

  2. It was lovely to tag along on your journey! I am very excited for the next adventure; make sure to heal your knee up first though ;)!

  3. Moqui Marble Madness…I actually have an old YT video named that from some time I spent in the same area, too cool. Can't believe you ran into an elk, I've seen deer and the random shy coyote around there, but dang, an elk…?! So glad to see another of your adventures, is more motivating than you could ever know! Looking forward to more of your adventures, stay healthy!

  4. oh YES!! //only got a slight view of the Fold when i passed thru Capitol Reef, getting to upper Muley is huge on my list thanks for giving us a better look at all of this//ill get there but not going to try and replicate your hike through those crazy slots though wow

  5. Another great hike. I love watching your adventures and seeing your beautiful pictures!! Especially Zebra Slot. Even if your maps get wet & ruined in freezing cold water that you had to walk in, you don't need them. You know Escalante & Capital Reef National Park by heart from all your previous hikes!

  6. Freemont Petroglyphs…. and in colder climates they face south, in the southern deserts they always face north.

  7. Can you give me a recommendation of a great day-hike in Utah that might not be well known with a max dist 10-12 miles. I can go a little farther if needed.

    I've done Angel's landing and Observation Point as well as the main Bryce trails.

  8. Very cool video of your hike–as always! Having had knee surgeries and severe ankle sprains myself, I couldn't agree more with your post-hike reflection and the need to stay active.

    If you don't mind my asking, what do you use to film your videos (camera + support) and later edit them? I'm hiking the JMT starting at Horseshoe meadows, and I still have to figure our how I'm going to capture some memories (I do own a Canon S120). Cheers!

  9. Excellent! Thank you for going to the extra work of making the video. What a pleasure to watch. I lived in the great southwest for 10 years. I love it the most. People tell me that they are "too old" to do what I do. They are younger than me. I think they just stopped moving and became "old".

  10. Thanks for sharing Jamal. Any time you post a new video or update it makes my day better as it not only inspires me in my own travels but they are so entertaining. I look forward to future editions of Across Utah. Keep up the great work.

  11. Hi Jamal,
    another fantastic video of yours about a wonderful hike. Thank you so much for sharing. I appreciate all the time and effort you put into your videos!
    So now I can't wait to get to Utah with my family myself… in August we will be there. Looking forward to seeing any new videos.

    Take good care,
    Bernhard

  12. Great video Jamal as always. I was there this year when you were for at least parts of your hike. ( Upper Muley twist, Big Horn canyon, Harris wash, Burr Trail etc) Maybe we will see each other some day.

  13. Really enjoy your work, one suggestion: start out each video with a screenshot of a map with your route marked on it.

  14. Great trip Jamal. Your video makes me want to try this hike, look a great route, very scenic and lots of fun. Thanks for making these videos, I really enjoy them.

  15. Fantastic video .. again. Your hikes are my dreams. Traveling the parks since 1989 I always dreamed about the things you are doing. But first I was unexperienced and then I was a family-traveller. So there was never time or chances to experience what you did. The silence, the freedom, the feeling to get back to the basics. A hike to Zion's Observation Point and to the Great Gallery were the greatest 'adventures' I've had (Don't laugh). Beside that it was mainly the 'view points'. As a fan of pictographs, petroglyphs and ruins I'm always like paralyzed when you 'stumble upon' panels I've always dreamed of or some which I've never heard of. Jamal, I wish you all the best and I hope you continue your work here on Youtube and on your site. Greetings from Germany.

  16. Jamal , I came back from work and I was  ready for the  next hike with you. It was excellent hike. You are the richest man, you are one of a few who has seen amazing places. Burr Trail is one of them. The rainy pictures were awesome. Thank you for taking me there. I'm getting ready for the next hike.

  17. Very much enjoyed this video. What a cool loop. I didn't realize that Big Horn Canyon was a thing. Now I want to make a loop through that, down Harris, up Choprock and back. Assuming that it's possible. I've been through Harris before, just a couple weeks after the massive flash flood came through and reeked havoc on the canyon in 2013. Either way, thanks for helping inspire a much needed trip in the desert. Look forward to more videos Jamal!

  18. Thank you for the inspiration here Jamal! I really enjoyed the narration and other production values as your video brought back some fond memories of LMT Canyon. Looks like you were able to pull off this route without caching water and/or food?
    After a couple of short overnight adventures in this area last October, Capitol Reef NP might be my new favorite backpacking spot. Hope your ankle heals up nicely and I will be sure to keep an eye on your channel.

  19. Really nice to see this one again. I know most of this route and it tickles me to see it in the fine manner that you like to take it all in and share it. Thank you sir!

  20. Thats 17 miles a day for 9 days. Dang that is a lot of moving. I've been wanting to do the highline trail over 7 days averaging 10 miles per day, so I have time to fish & side explore. Looks like you guys had the trip of a lifetime !!! I would be interested if you guys had a picture of your full route

  21. I'm new to your channel … just wanted you to know I love being here. Thank you for taking the time to share. Your videos are outstanding. PS, I wave to my shadow also … it's good to see I'm not the only one. Stunning pictures and colors and shapes, thanks again.

  22. Noting a few alternate THd's on your main interactive map- this may be one I could take my hound with me for a backpack. I mean parts of it, The washes- no slots of course . Nice sites down by the river. Was out on the Burr Trail down by pet wood areas a while ago. Yes, the area up top of Choprock  looks familiar- the Circles Cliffs. This is a winner! Great ref points- and even some cool hiking available if truck camping. thanks- I recognize the red mini fans under those Circle Cliffs. I am a canister dude too myself- a  Markley I've used for years, at least you can adjust flame- use others too. Enjoyed this one- the ending overlook must be back out by the end of the Burr Trail- oh, and what you were saying holds true- hike every day if you can.

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