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.


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

Jumping on edge of Grand Canyon

Best Camp

About as alive as I can be, but sad to be leaving the depths of the Grand Canyon after a week below the rim. I slept on this ledge the other night, a long way above the murky Colorado River but also a long way below the rim. The moon and stars, a million gajillion trillion tons of bazillion year-old stone below me… wow. “You can’t say you’re going to jump the Grand Canyon then go jump some other canyon.” ~ Evel Knievel

bison running across road

Grand Canyon Bison

Learn more about the GCNP bison plan, and possible lethal culling, here. I felt a little guilty rousing these giants from their sand baths. After all, they became a part of me overnight after I gave up on finding clean water and drank a broth of their poop from a drying-up spring gone foul. It was a bad water day from the start. Despite some other hikers offering to leave me behind half a gallon of jug water, I walked out of my way to a spring and filled up 3L to last me to the next spring (which later turned out to be dry). When I got to the jug it reeked of mold and despite attempts to flavor… continue reading

Tarantula in front of tarantula mesa

Tarantula Mesa

How did Tarantula Mesa get its name is a “which came first the chicken or the egg” sort of question for me. The legs of this Mesa look like tarantula legs. Then again, this evening tarantulas were crawling everywhere. This little guy was my first sighting ever, then shortly after came many, many more.

Me Near Nevills Rapids

Out of Nevills

My previously-sufferable chocolate allergy has finally blossomed into full blown eczema. I start another long hike across the Colorado Plateau next week. How the hell is it even possible to thru hike — to LIVE — without chocolate?! Ideas? No really, I beg your your lightweight, high calorie, healthy-ish backcountry meal ideas. (Self portrait taken in Grand Canyon May 2016)

Angels Zion

Angels Landed

I’m 39 years old (surprise!) and I’ve never felt so scared, overwhelmed, or uncertain about the future as I do today. Something is very, very wrong with the U.S government. I’m going to sign off Insnagram for now because I have more important things to do with my time. You all know where to find me (no, not on FB) and you know I like you, and your grams. But it’s time to make a plan. Besos from my winter bunker. ??? #latergram from June in Zion, from when I still felt on top of the world (looking a little tired from having just hiked 800 miles to get there).

Little Package