Round Valley Draw to Hackberry Canyon

5th May Round Valley Draw to Hackberry Canyon 14 miles
Escalante is a small town but has all the facilities we needed; post office, grocery store, thrift shop, gear shops and some nice eateries. We had a good rest up here and after much deliberation, decide to hitch forward around the next section of the Hayduke to start hiking again from near Grosvenor Arch. This allowed us to have a shorter hike next where we could carry less food (four days) whilst allowing us to add in some interesting side trips including Yellow Rock and Bull Valley Gorge.
On the 5th we headed out of town. Breakfast first, sitting outside our motel room, then we packed up and posted our ‘float box’ of extras to the town of Kanab, a couple of weeks of hiking away.

We waited for about 30 minutes at the edge of town before we got a hitch from Mario who worked in the building trade in Escalante and gave us some of his wife’s delicious cactus salad! He dropped us of in the tiny town of Cannonville. As we aimed to hike back through here, we arranged to leave a food package for the next 4 days so that we can save weight whilst hiking.

Cactus salad!

 

 Cannonville was still around 20 miles by dirt road from our re-connection with the Hayduke but we just headed off hiking south on ‘Cottonwood Canyon Road’. We soon got another lift from a very friendly and chatty German couple in an RV along a dirt road for a few miles (there is some traffic here heading to Kodachrome Basin State Park and the Arch). Eventually at midday we reached Round Valley Draw trailhead near Grosvenor Arch. It was pretty around here in an open sagebrush landscape but with sweeping Ponderosa pine trees and white and pink Navajo sandstone cliff faces.

After our cactus salad lunch we headed down south towards the slot canyon of Round Valley Draw. This was an amazing place, the land just opens up into a slot which we could squeeze down for about 20 feet to the floor of the canyon. We loved it! We needed to hand down our backpacks in a few places to squeeze through and jammed logs showed the power of flash floods.

Dropping down into Round Valley Draw slot canyon

 

 

Down!

 

 

 

Flood debris in Round Valley Draw slot canyon

 

From there we traveled down the wider and sandy Hackberry Canyon where eventually we found water (shared with lots of tadpoles which you can see in the pic) and lush cottonwood trees.

(Explanation of “Shackleton”: our 4 two liter water bags are named for polar explorers so we can distinguish them when we carry treated and untreated water – we also have Nansen, Franklin and Tillman with us).

Hackberry Canyon

 

Hot sandy floor of the canyon

 

Our tadpole water source

 

Camp in Hackberry Canyon

 

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