3 vehicles headed out on Thursday, June 14th. I had 3 passengers and 5 very large backpacks in the back. In all, 9 people were involved in this little backpacking jaunt. We were heading to a place called Buckskin Gulch, which is listed as one of the world's best hikes/top 100 hikes in many a guidebook. If you want to see exactly where I'm talking about, load up Google Earth and search for Wire Pass Trailhead. Our first night's camp was on the border or Utah and Arizona. Literally. Here's a brief look at the camp:
I never go anywhere without my DSLR, so this trip really pained me because I had to use a small Canon P&S to take photos since weight plays a huge factor in long backpacking treks. So, I apologize in advance for the mundane photos.
Parked at the trailhead with packs ready and waiting:
About 1 mile from the trailhead & entering the canyon:
The first of many water crossings, which my girlfriend (pictured) didn't enjoy too much:
The first leg of our hike is a pain ridden 14 mile jaunt through disgusting water, over boulders, down rockfalls, crawls under debris, with either rock or sand as the base. Here are a few more from that first day:
The walls of the canyon are all over 100' high at the minimum. The narrowest part of the canyon was about 2' wide. The temperature above the canyon was 103F the first day, while it was only about 70F down in the canyon. Since the walls are so high, any wildlife roaming around above that takes a fall invariably dies, or slowly dies. There were dead animals everywhere, although most were bits and pieces of rabbits.
We finally made it to our camp after about 9 hours of hiking:
Most of us just wanted to die at this point. I was trudging a 50+ pound pack with fuel, tent, sleeping bag, clothing, extra shoes, food & 5 liters of water. The grossest thing was pumping drinking water out of the tepid pools of filth.
We spent the next day recovering, then packed up and left around 6pm on the shorter 8 mile exit hike, which turned out to be very brutal. These are from the way out:
We made it to camp around 10:30pm that night & just wanted to die yet again.
Fun stuff. If I had to do it again, I would only take a day pack full of food, water & a water purifier, but simply walk through from start to finish in 1 day.