Hayduke Trail 2023

The Hayduke Trail is a 812mile / 1307km route across the Colorado Plateau in Utah and Arizona. The route is entirely on public land, and most of it is off-trail. It starts at the northern border of Arches National Park, and continues south thru 5 more national parks – Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion – as well as Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument.

The main challenge of the route will be navigating technical terrain; the weather should be quite pleasant in April and May, and there isn’t much elevation gain/loss. The highest point is Mt Ellen (11,419ft/3481m), though much of the trail stays low, generally around 4500ft / 1370m The router’s creators, Joe Mitchell and Mike Coronella, have a page with all the info. They named the route for George Washington Hayduke, a character in Edward Abbey’s fictional novel “The Monkey Wrench Gang.” (a great book!). The trail doesn’t take the most efficient route thru the desert, but rather meanders around to absorb the most scenery. This high-level map is illustrative:

The hike should take me between 50 and 60 days, as I plan to average 16 miles per day. This hike has been a long time coming! (It was originally planned for spring 2020).

Daily Blog Posts:

Getting Ready for the Hayduke

Day 1: Starting with Surprises

Day 2: Off the Beaten Path

Day 3: Back Thru Moab

Day 4: Roadwalking and Talking

Day 5: Meandering thru Canyon Terrain

Day 6: Complex Terrain, Mud, Blood

Day 7: Canyonlands NP

Day 8: Butler Wash to Beef Basin

Day 9: Fable Valley Trail to Dark Canyon

Day 10: Finding Religion in Dark Canyon

Day 11: Refilling at Hite, Crossing the Red Benches

Day 12: Dancing with the Dirty Devil

Day 13: NearO to Hanksville

Day 14: Uphill to Mt Ellen

Day 15: Pennellen Pass down to Tarantula Mesa

Day 16: Swap Canyon and Muley Twist Canyon

Day 17: Halls Creek Alternate

Day 18: Stevens Canyon

Day 19: Chasing Waterfalls in Coyote Gulch

Day 20: Hard Hitch out of Escalante

Day 21: Slow Miles

Day 22: A Four Canyon Day

Day 23: Big Miles Small Slots

Day 24: Hackberry Canyon

Day 25: Paria River

Day 26: Willis Narrows to Tropic town

Day 27: Zero in Tropic

Day 28: Bryce National Park Day 1

Day 29: Bryce National Park Day 2

Day 30: Park Wash Roadwalk

Day 31: Buckskin Gulch fun, Arizona Trail sun

Day 32: Arizona Trail to Jacob’s Lake

Day 33: Zero Day in Kanab

Day 34: Back on the Kaibab Plateau

Day 35: Staying High on the Arizona Trail

Day 36: Soggy Trails and Sunny Skies

Day 37: Downhill to the Colorado River

Day 38: Grand Canyon – River Cruise and Beamer Views

Day 39: Grand Canyon – Scrambling the Escalante Trail

Day 40: Grand Canyon – Tonto Trail

Day 41: Grand Canyon – Up the South Kaibab Trail

Day 42: Grand Canyon – Back Below the Rim

Day 43: Grand Canyon – Slow Miles to the North Rim