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.


Currently at about 9000′ in a snow flurry, laughing a lot at my own jokes and sorta kinda really cold. In other news I just impressed two men by deftly opening a can of tuna without a can opener. Next level achieved.

Willis Creek Falls

Willis Creek Falls

On this hike through Utah desert in this wet(ter) year, finding water isn’t the problem. It’s just that you can’t choose when and where you find it, it may or may not taste like it’s run through 10,000 cow pies (and it likely has), and it might be just a tiny trickle. I found this shortly before booking myself a nice little cabin near Bryce (for my second zero in 31 days) and was torn. But not so torn that I didn’t tear off my backpack and half my clothes and get under it immediately. Pretty cold, way too much water pressure, uncertain soft sinking sandy pool bottom. But for the second time in a month I was wetting my… continue reading


Played my luck in two sets of narrows today against my totally inaccurate weather forecast for rain – Bull Valley Gorge and Willis Creek. This is Willis Creek narrows, much more accessible and not filled with shoe sucking mud (and snow patches!) like Bull Valley Gorge was. To fit these both in and get to town for FOOD I walked 18 backcountry miles today. By 3pm. I think I’m getting better at this walking thing but the calorie demands are ridiculous so the clear answer is to SLOW DOWN. New daily mile goal: 15 miles a day. I want to savor this better. It’s so savory!


Another one from the Round Valley Draw Slot Canyon. More pics in a few days. I’m rationing both battery and food at this point cuz I’ve been dilly dallying a bit too much in the Utah backcountry and The Hunger has struck.

Yellow Mountain

Currently on top of Yellow Mountain near the bottom of Hackberry Canyon, some 5500 feet tall, and a mile and 800ft up off my route, just to watch the sun set and sleep out under the full moon. The surface looks like giant SKIN, it’s breezy, and there is nowhere to take cover. It looks like the moon using Google Earth. Fantastich advice from my imaginary trail boyfriend, who is real (if that makes sense) but not my boyfriend at all (more of a stalker), and Flemish, and hiking a couple days ahead of me and probably also having the same going-out-of-his-mind-hiking-solo-imagination-stuff going on. Also thank you to Will, who I found today sitting at a spring with his beagle,… continue reading


Yesterday I got to the head of the Round Valley Draw slot canyon, where a gash opens in a wash so narrow you can straddle it, but deep! The gash stays narrow and the hole gets deeper, the fun is going in. Tired and a bit nervous about the drop in (lowering my backpack with rope, getting myself down, etc) I started to make camp. Suddenly I was seized! Get in there! Not like it’s going to be warm or even lit in the morning! So I dropped in, easy peasy. Looked at my clock, 4:20, so I made a quick self portrait, 4:21. Best high EVAR. Happy 4/20

A Lollipop

Today’s road walk, coincidentally stoned on 4/20 thanks to a 4 year-old lollipop, has been grounding and good for the feet. My shoes have dried quicksand stuck in the fabric layers so road walking lets me wear my slippers and rest the poor toes. What with my $5 white sunglasses and white foam slippers I probably look like something out of Burroughs. In a few minutes I’ll be half way done with this incredible trek. That makes me happy and sad. Oh look there’s a car at the bottle of this cliff! I was just gifted an orange and by another person, and orange Gatorade. Best high ever. Happy 4:20

Little Package