For a long time I have wanted to hike the Kaiparowits Plateau. The Kaiparowits Plateau is a banded cliff and mesa that parallels the Escalante River for about 50 miles.
We start off at the Hurricane Wash Trailhead we came out of two days ago but instead of heading into the Escalante canyons we turn west towards Fiftymile Bench. There is an ATV Trail we start off on that goes mostly straight up to a bench where there has been recent work to create earthen dams in several of the drainages to water cows. Pretty soon we are on a pack trail that also follows the angle of repose through a break in the cliff. We climb over 3000 feet in less than two miles and then are above the cliff bands on a flat sandy bench full of sagebrush and juniper pines.
We hike for another mile and a half to Mudhole Spring which will be our last water for about 30 miles. There is an old line cabin there and a pipe buried in soil coming out from the spring. It is a small clear trickle. We take the time to fill up eight liters of water each.
The packs are now a lot heavier as we have just added 17.6 additional pounds of weight. Kaiparowits Plateau has remained untouched partly because of access and lack of water.
We cross country from Mudhole Spring to Monday Canyon. Hey and we are here on a Monday! But Monday Canyon doesn’t care as she throws us her challenges with pouroffs and house-sized square blocks of sandstone.