Escalante River


The Escalante River is where legends are born.  Like a wild eyed wanderer it strays to and fro, like a lost drunkard, on its eventual terminus in the insulting travesty that they call Lake Powell.  Yet on its course, it weaves its way through the desert, creating magic as it goes.  Some of the most incredible moments of my life have been amongst the waters that flow through the Esclalante River.  The route presented here is a top down packrafting run of the entire length of the river’s course, choosing to exit out at Coyote Gulch via the crack in the rock route or whatever the hell they call it.  our chosen put in was at the Highway 12 bridge, which is not the most common put in since many people hike in thru Fence Canyon and begin their float there.  That is cheating in my opinion, as you miss out on some phenomenal canyon and rob yourself of many wonderful miles of the Escalante.  Regardless, the real whitewater and gorge does begin beneath Fence Canyon as the river narrows and steepens and sorta becomes a real ‘river’.  It is a bit difficult to define this thing as a river, more like a big creek.  On that note, this run is highly dependent on spring runoff that year and you are certainly not guaranteed enough runoff to run it every year.  We got pretty lucky and had some good flow.  Even then, we were getting stuck on rocks left and right.  We also had many portages, since they had cleared some Russian Olive groves, which is great, but it would wash into the river and create Russian Olive strainers, not so great.  This route is certainly not one for the faint of heart and is a consistent challenge in a very remote environment.  In total, we completed this route in 9 full days.

-> Escalante River – April 15, 2011 <-


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