Day 24: Hackberry Canyon

Sunday May 14, 25.3mi/40.7km

Dog Flat Plateau (380.6/5840ft) to Hackberry Canyon (404.7/5360ft) (UT) +1.1mi detour around slot canyon

It had rained overnight, and we packed up our wet tents and started our roadwalk at 6:45am. It looked like a beautiful morning.

The sky behind us didn’t look as welcoming, good thing we weren’t walking that direction!

It was almost 9 miles of easy hiking to get to Grosvenor Arch, and we had some pretty good views along the way at the highpoints. Looking back to the east:

And looking ahead to the west:

I hiked down the hill and caught up to Shadow, who was 10 minutes ahead of me. There was a little picnic area at the trailhead, and he had already exploded his pack and started drying his stuff.

I did the same thing and pretty soon we had a full-on yard sale! There was even a long-drop toilet, and a trash can, so we emptied out all of our food trash and lightened our packs. I strolled over to the Grosvenor Arch to check it out.

It was only 10:30am, so we got back on the roadwalk and headed to the next section of the Hayduke. There were a ton of cows along the way. Hi cows!!

We got to the Round Valley trailhead at noon and had lunch. I signed us into the register and saw a few other Haydukers, one of them was just one day ahead of us.

After lunch we hiked down the Round Valley wash to the slot Canyon.

We dropped into the slot Canyon and got past the first obstacle….

The second drop looked much higher and steeper. The guidebook and other sources say there is a log here to assist with the descent, and sometimes there is a rope too. Neither of those things existed, and we couldn’t figure out how to get down the 2nd drop.

So we reversed our steps and climbed back out of the slot Canyon, and saw that the sky had turned very dark with thunderstorms. Yikes, not a good time to be in a slot canyon with potential flash floods!

So we found a detour around the slot canyon, which traveled high above on the canyon rim.

The view down into the slot Canyon was impressive.

After a mile, we took a side canyon, and descended into the main slot canyon. It worked much easier than I anticipated, and there was very minimal brush or scrambling.

Once we were back in the bottom of the main canyon it was pretty open and wide.

We spent all afternoon hiking down Hackberry Canyon, about 9 miles in total.

The rock and the cliffs were so cool looking and multi-colored, it kinda reminded me of Muley Twist Canyon from last week.

The canyon weaved back and forth for miles and it was quite a sight.

Eventually Hackberry Canyon opened up a little wider, and some sunlight came through. It was a little hot.

We came to the spot where there was supposed to be a spring, and it was dry. No water. So we just kept walking until we started seeing greener plants and cottonwood trees, a good signal for water.

Half a mile later, Hackberry Canyon had a small flowing stream in it, and we filled up our bottles. Since it was 6pm, we also decided to stop and camp. After setting up and making dinner, I checked my phone and realized we had hiked 25 miles today! It’s pretty unusual on the Hayduke to do more than 20miles, since most of the terrain is rough and/or requires navigation. A good day!

Happy mother’s Day!

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