All Humans Are Welcome Here!

Category : Hayduke

I hiked the Hayduke Trail solo eastbound in Spring 2016 and solo’ed it again westbound in Fall 2017. Then I designed a similar route and hiked that solo in 2019. I had fun. If I make it look easy, just 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.

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


Was going to summit Ellen yesterday but I hit the wall HARD. I looked at the numbers and realized I’d been hiking 16 days straight with an average of 16.5 miles/day through some difficult Utah terrain with short days. Also, some turkey sausage given to me by a tourist made me puke* black stuff on Sunday evening just as I topped Tarantula Mesa. It was pretty metal. This whole thing is pretty brutal, like right now, walking into the clouds at 10,000′. But it means a huge success for me because I’m going to be able to complete a shoulder season Eastbound solo hike across Utah, just like I wanted. Except maybe the black puke part. Happy Halloween! * Not… continue reading

spring under fiftymile

Found a Spring

Last month I met a fascinating East Indian man living out some purgatory in Kanab, Utah. His name is Adi and when I got curious about how he could toss out words like tumescent and bunberry he told me to look up California 250737. Well… now, Adi, WTF are you doing in Kanab?! I do meet the most interesting characters. Adi said his Wild West dream entails “guns, gold, and broads.” This is cute because he has never done anything outdoorsy in his life. He rarely ventures more than a block from his job at a motel. But Adi can recite classical poetry and quote Jim Morrison. His true love is the English language. He knows it better than I… continue reading

Nearly Impossible Without Rope

Sheer exhaustion. No wonder the family hiking Round Valley Draw as a loop were looking at me and my pack so funny. I mean, they seemed totally confused why I was headed in and confident I’d get out the top end. Silly me. It’s a total bitch to climb out of that slot!! Nearly impossible without rope… I did at one point slip down the narrow chute at the top end and skinned my back on my spine. Each attempt made me more and more tired, and left me feeling more and more like a rodent trapped in a maze. I started to panic a little bit. I should have taken the bypass trail around the northwest side of the… continue reading

tonto trail


Can you see the big horn sheep? Find the cairn then look left. These guys are everywhere in the Grand Canyon. In fact, last night I was cowboy camped and almost got trampled by one. Believe me they’re a lot bigger, louder, and much more majestic when they’re almost on top of you. Last week I was frustrated with a route along The River and decided to climb high and find a game route. I found a precarious ledge and got optimistic. But I was really making an ass of my go as a human sheep, slipping every third step and not gaining any ground. I looked down in the talus below where I belonged and there was a sheep,… continue reading

Little Package