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The Hayduke Trail


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I would love to do this trail someday. Although it's not as long as the CDT, PCT, AT, it is very difficult and requires much preparation. 800 miles, through desert and canyons... sounds like heaven to me. I've been to several of the National Parks in the area and love them all.

Check out these photographs from hayduketrail.org:

http://www.hayduketrail.org/Gallery.html

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Very impressive pictures - This one is definitely on the list. What do you think - About 2 months with a few off days? Sign me up! :) Hopefully the water situation isn't too extreme...

Edited by Aaron
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Very impressive pictures - This one is definitely on the list. What do you think - About 2 months with a few off days? Sign me up! :) Hopefully the water situation isn't too extreme...

Two months might work - assuming lots of preparation & good conditions. Besides the water situation, there is a big variation in climate and elevation (1800 to 11K, if I recall).

There were a couple of people doing the hike early in the season this year that I had read about... not sure of their progress so far (they stopped journaling a few weeks ago). Hope to learn more from them as they continue. For now, I'm just dreaming and planning. :)

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tmountainnut

its something to note that this is so remote that the guidebook for the trail recommends stashing food in sealed 5 gallon buckets in the fall along the trail so that when you hike it in early spring, when the roads are all still snowed in and impassable, you will have your route pre-supplied.

i think this would be a trail i would have to section hike over a few springs before i wanted to do it as a complete through hike. however, if you hike it in the early spring, there should be water from the runoff and snow, and you could always store a few gallons of water with your food just in case. i think doing the first three sections from north arches to Hite, ut next spring would be awesome if i could get the time off and figure out a way to shuttle myself other than hitchhiking my way back.

Andrew skurka also has a very specific mapbook and information packet on the hayduke trail that he sells through his website that is suppose to be extremely useful.

http://andrewskurka.com/product/hayduke-trail-hiking-resources-bundle/

Edited by tmountainnut
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Thanks for the info, tmountainnut!

In the trail journals that I've read, there are pictures of large containers, and I assumed they were just water caches. But they probably had food as well. Interesting.

So many pictures from the trail show desert landscapes and dry earth... it's easy to forget that it is a fairly high elevation. The only time I've been in that area during the spring (late April), we got caught in a horrible snowstorm near Bryce Canyon. Most of the businesses were still closed for the season. Definitely a hike that requires A LOT of planning.

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tmountainnut

yes, definitely a lot of planning. i think if you had a really good 4WD truck and could pack up 20 or so food and water stores to be pre-placed along the trail, that would take a lot of the difficulty out of the trip itself and make it possible to resupply every ~4 days. maybe some older military surplus ammo cans that can be sealed up and hidden, and then just using a GPS waypoint and a map to find them once you're on the trail and you need to resupply, and then after the hike is over, drive back to the supply points to collect the containers.

if you look at my trip report i just finished, you can see how much snow is still left in the middle of march on the north facing slopes at 6-7k feet. we lucked out with good weather, but i can imagine it snowing at canyonlands during that time, and it definitely snowing at places higher up like Bryce canyon and the western parts of the grand staircase.

Also, section 10 would be interesting. i would have to get myself a permit to make a side trip to the wave. i can't imagine not being able to visit it if i was all the way out there on a backpacking trip, its so awe inspiring.

post-68-143508712131_thumb.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
tmountainnut

so, i picked up skurka's resource bundle to supplement the guidebook i already have, so im thinking im going to do some hiking along the trail next spring. i think if i could do a successful hike of sections 1-3 from the north side of arches to hite, that would be awesome, and help get a taste of the entire trail

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  • 1 year later...

I thru-hiked this WEBO in 2009 starting the first wk in April at Arches. I think I was right behind Andrew in starting. I did no caches(too much of a hassle to me) although I used Needles Outpost to mail a resupply box which seems to be a no no these days for HDTers. You can probably buy enough there though to get you to the next resupply though. I used Brain Frankel's resupply pts and added two of my own. Brian did a slightly amended HDT route which I also did of my own design. I thought the route as Joe Mitchell and Mike Coronella came up with, DESPITE THEIR WELL DONE GUIDEBOOK, missed some important scenic highlights in Arches, Escalante-Grand Staircase, Canyonlands Needles District, Buckskin Gulch/Paria River, Bryce Canyon and in Zion that I didn't want to miss. All total with the basic HDT, which is largely a route, NOT a trail, and the added hiking the best I can reason is that I did 1270 miles. But again, I tacked on another 80 or so miles in Arches, 55 in Bryce Canyon, 70 in Canyonlands, 110 in Grand Canyon, 45 in Buckskin Gulch/Paria River, etc.

As Andrew says, his HDT Bundle, which is very well done(wish it was available for my HDT hike!), supplements Joe and Mikes HDT Guidebook. I've seen Andrew's Bundle, and although it is very well done, I think you still need the HDT Guidebook. Andrew's HDT Mapset w/ the notes on the maps makes the HDT more in reach of a wider hiking audience IMHO. GET IT! Get JOE AND Mike's HDT Guidebook! Joe and Mikes HDT Guidebook had good water info back in 2009. This is largely a DRY route IMHO but as they say this type of desert hike you either have too much water at times or not enough. It was a trip finding my way hiking in the Escalante River for 2? + miles into Escalante-Grand Staircase, getting across the Colorado River twice, hiking up Tapeats Creek in the Grand Canyon, etc Then I added on the rest of Buckskin Gulch/Paria River to Lees Ferry and the entire Virgin River Narrows and Subway in Zion NP.

Yes, even in April there was some snow ascending to the 11K+ ft Henry Mountains.

Even though some, including myself, soloed the HDT as a thru-hike I wouldn't generally advise it. Go with someone else or bring a SPOT. If I had gotten severely injured not being able to make it out on my own w/ no SPOT I wouldn't have been found in many places. That almost happened in Capitol Reef NP/Glen Canyon Nat Rec Area as I was descending the Red Slide into Middle Moody Canyon on way to the Escalante River when the ledge I was standing on suddenly gave way.

If you want adventure, remoteness, top notch scenery, and more than a few challenges in an deeply engaging type hike the HDT is great hike. BTW, even with all the awesome pics of the HDT scenery I've seen posted it's even better and more of it in person.

Nice pic of The Wave.

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