All Humans Are Welcome Here!

Category : Hayduke

I hiked this trail in Spring 2016 and again in Fall 2017. Then I hiked my own version of it in 2019. I had fun. If I make it look easy, keep in mind I’m tough as nails.

From the back cover of the book that started it all:

Traversing six national parks (Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Zion), a national recreation area, a national monument, and various wilderness, primitive, and wilderness study areas, the Hayduke Trail is a challenging, 800-mile backcountry route on the Colorado Plateau. Whimsically named for a character in Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang, the trail begins in Arches National Park and ends in Zion National Park, stays entirely on public land, and traverses the complete variety of terrain available to hikers on the Plateau short of technical climbing.

Joe Mitchell and Mike Coronella pioneered Hayduke after concluding that a long trail—such as the Appalachian or Pacific Crest— was possible on the Plateau, thus introducing more people to these unique and threatened public lands. The Hayduke Trail includes detailed maps of the entire route, suggested cache points, and a wealth of description and tips for tackling this intense undertaking.

How to Avoid the Crypto on the Arches Slickrock Route

Nic Barth has published some fairly loose GPS tracks for his “alternates” or shortcuts on the Hayduke. Some of them might be worth looking into. Myself having hiked the route back and forth more than twice, I frankly don’t think you’ll be missing out if you ignore Barth’s KMZ/GPS input entirely. If you want to miss out, his alts are in fact generous shortcuts. Barth’s “Arches Slickrock” route is popular. I see scenic advantages to both the Slickrock route and the official Hayduke route. Unfortunately publishing the “Slickrock” route opened the door for significant negative environmental impact. Some people have tried to tell me they have hiked it without killing cryptobiotic soil but they are 101% full of shit. There… continue reading

Hayduke Trail Tips

(updated fall 2019, fall 2020, winter 20/21, spring 2022, spring 2023) These are organized section by section, east to west. I’ll probably add a few more things as they pop into my head, but these are the ones that stood out today. All things that weren’t obvious to me at first… Please do not cairn this route unless you are very lost and have no other way of back-tracking. Some folks seem to think they’re smarter than other hikers, sorta like they’re the only one who “gets it,” and the only one who has found the “correct way.” Great, fine, but do not leave permanent record of your supremacy (you may later cringe to discover you were wrong). Most hikers… continue reading

heart shaped sandstone tinaja


I found this heart-shaped “pothole” in Courthouse Wash in Arches NP yesterday morning just after I found out a ride home to the Eastern Sierra had been arranged for me (thanks to Donna Saufley and @kellybelly_jellybean). My heart almost exploded with gratitude. Especially now, a day later when my body has realized the hike is over and it can let go. My stomach is inside out again with the gastritis thing and the cracks in my feet started to freakin’ bleed. Walking is not on the table today, even tho it’s “national take a hike day.” Oh, the irony. Things held together long enough for me to complete my hiking goals. It’s uncanny. And I’m thankful! So thankful. I wrote… continue reading


I was given a Haypuke trail name last month and it is “Scarecrow.” At first I had no idea why a stranger would greet me, “Good morning, Scarecrow!” I thought it was some sort of slang I’d never heard before, and thought of calling her a name. But really, looking at myself and my hiking getup, I now find it hilarious. Later on trail I found an antique Old Crow liquor bottle with its cap intact near what appeared to be an old boys’ shooting range. It had a crow cast in the glass. I carried it for about 40 miles until I met Gary and Jeanine from Teasdale who admitted they were in the process of getting rid of… continue reading

red jasper arrowhead in person's hand

Jasper Arrowhead

Curtis, a sparkly blue-eyed babe I met in the middle of nowhere the other day, kindly taught me how to find arrowheads. Last night I thought I’d give it a try. Right away I found something that looked like it might be an arrowhead, maybe, but I really wanted to see a real one. So this morning I set my intentions high, making sure to be specific on what I was asking for. I stopped after walking an hour or so to take off my thermals (is this like a stupid cold, short ass day time of year to be thru hiking or what?) and filter some water. I looked around for an arrowhead. All done, no luck, I threw… continue reading

Old mining claim in tin

1955 Mining Claim

A mining claim from 1955 found on the Red Benches (Utah) on Sunday Afternoon. It was damp but folded neatly inside that neat old tobacco tin. I put it back. Wonder how that claim holds these days… Nearby I found a petrified tree trunk, its core filled with crystals. I’m gonna bore you a bit with this but I got some good ones coming trust me. It’s just that to post anything or contact my mom, I have to climb the highest thing around to get data signal. You should see the sunset over Needles right now holy shit.

Some pieces of pottery I found

Ruin Find

Finally it happened to me. I hear of people who can’t help but trip over arrowheads and potsherds. Yesterday I looked down and they were everywhere. I picked my favorites, took a picture, and put them back where they can sit another several hundred years being ignored. ? Oh, and I’m still alive. I did some low mile days thru Dark Canyon Wilderness into Bears Ears National Monument (is it still Bears Ears? I spent the morning following tracks of a bear and cub) and am savoring the lack of momentum. An excellent aspect of going slower is finding treasures like this. That’s hard to do on a thru-hike. Anyway, I’ll be done hiking in about a week. ? Not… continue reading

T-shaped doorway in a remote ancient native american cave dwelling

Ruins You Probably Won’t Get To

These are some pretty remote ruins for most people, and so despite not having protection, they’re in pretty okay shape. Looking closely at the adobe, there are small rocks pressed into it to create patterns/designs. This T-shape door is something you’d see more of closer to Monument Valley, but here we are closer to Canyonlands. This structure was built inside an amphitheatre/cave which had a small spring in the back. The view of the valley below was expansive — not only beautiful but affording good warning of oncoming strangers. Below the cave I found the town “dump” which included a ton of painted and textured potsherds. I descended to the dry creekbed nearby to camp for the night, and ascended… continue reading

Meat is Murder

Near Henry Meat-free (opinion)

Dear waitress who lectured me about how cattle ranching on public land is good for the land, how grazing fees are unfair, and how if we knew our history we wouldn’t be tearing down statues: I was wearing my SMITHS tee shirt the whole time you yacked at me. And across your state, which in my humble opinion as someone who has hiked across the land ranchers probably assume nobody sees, has been destroyed by cattle. I ate your burger to fit in and be polite and gagged down as much of that milkshake as I could while you yacked so I could excuse myself, but I’ll probably puke it up in a black pile later. I feel like a… continue reading

jumping on top of mount ellen


If you’re like me and suffer gastric ulcers from constant fret over water availability; food supply; obstacles such as cliffs, quicksand, and inclement weather; concern for your safety and survival not to mention flesh wounds and niggling overuse injuries, or maybe getting trampled by bison or Big Horn Sheep, you chase everything with good amounts of Ibuprofen, electrolytes, and Sour Patch Kids, and you don’t let it slow you down. Just add some Rolaids to the mix! No, but seriously my biggest concern with having my “continuous stupid footsteps” on the Schmayduke Trail was getting over the Henry range before it snowed. I worried myself sick over it. Now I’m totally over it. I’m also in the final stretch. With… continue reading

Little Package