Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Backpacking The Box in Escalante

We took our family backpacking to The Box in Escalante, Utah. This particular trip requires a vehicle shuttle. We started at the top and backpacked down. The shuttle is needed to retrieve the vehicle at the trailhead.

This canyon starts off in an alpine environment and half way down switches to a desert landscape. The trail follows a river the entire trip. This is fun for the kids as we crossed the river maybe 30 times or so. Your feet will most likely be wet when you finish. One of my boys, with the help of a walking stick, was able to avoid getting his feet soaked.
Rock cairns like this one mark the river crossings.

Crossing the river.
All the data we read on this canyon said that it was about 8.5 miles long. We found it was closer to 11 miles by the time our GPS calculated all the river crossings into the mix. It was all downhill which is nice for a beginning family backpack trip. A 7 year old, 5 year old and an 8 year old all carried their own packs and made it just fine.
Taking a break and smelling the trees... 
We proved it to be true. Ponderosa pines smell like butterscotch!
We camped at 6-6.5 miles in. The camping sites are few (we only saw about 3 good sites) and are trailside. There was plenty of water to filter. The next morning we hiked the remaining 5 miles out.

All in all everyone was happy and well.