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Willow Patch llama trip May 7-15, optional pre-trip starting May 2

Sat, 2022-05-07
Bill Priedhorsky
(505) 412-0376
Leader Email: 
Are dogs allowed?: 
Not allowed

Once more returning to the canyon country, our spring 2022 trip will be based in the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument, near the confluence of Sand Creek and its Willow Patch tributary. We will reach our camp by hiking down from McMath point, south of Boulder, Utah. We will explore the oases, slick rock, domes, and huge views of the canyon country. The outing is fairly physical, with several hours of hiking every day, with a comfortable base camp to return to every evening. The route to camp might be just a few miles, but the route is over rugged, trailless country. The destination is not guaranteed, but if we are not able to go for Willow Patch, we will head somewhere else wonderful in the same general area.

The llamas and packers will carry our gear in, and then return the day of departure to take us out. We will day hike from our base camp on the intervening days. The day outings will involve hiking across the desert, scrambling up rock formations, and following side canyons to see what we can see. We expect some amount of low-level scrambling on the rocks with rope assistance upon request.

We will stretch the trip with an optional 5-night stay in Torrey, Utah, where I have reserved a 4-bedroom house. From that base we can day hike in Capitol Reef National Park. The Torrey pre-trip party will leave Los Alamos likely on Monday, May 2, overnight in Bluff, Utah, then head for Torrey on the 3rd, hiking somewhere midway to split up the trip. Persons skipping the Torrey stay should arrive in Torrey on the evening of Saturday May 7, to join the pre-trip party for dinner at the house, and stay in lodging that they have arranged privately.

On Sunday May 8 we will leave Torrey at about 8:00 AM to drive ourselves and our gear to the trailhead, pack it onto the llamas, hike to camp, and settle into comfort - kitchen tables, social circle with chairs, two-burner stove, and wine cellar. We share the cooking and camp chores. We will hike out on Saturday May 14, reaching civilization sometime in the afternoon. I will look for lodging for a final night in the Torrey area. On Sunday May 15 we will head for home.

Participation will be limited to 8 people. Since we are limited to 8 slots, there is a possibility that the trip will fill quickly.

A word about the expenses. The packer cost per person, which is just the llama pack service, will be approximately $500 plus a tip of about $40-50. Persons travelling directly to the trip will need a hotel room the night before, on Saturday May 7, and the night before, on Saturday May 14. Many people choose to split the trip with additional hotel nights before or after the trip. There are occasionally expenses to revitalize the community gear like water filters, which might add up to $20 per person to the costs, plus a few dollars for propane. The 4 bedroom, 2.5-bath Torrey house will cost a total of $1760 for the five nights. It includes 3 bedrooms with a queen bed, and a 4th with two twin beds. We will divide up costs equally per bedroom.

I seek participants who would like to hike with the group on all-day explorations. Community gear will include tables, stoves, kitchen gear, etc. The personal gear limit is likely to be around 50 pounds, which includes your share in community dinners and any libations. 

Please contact Bill at if you would like to join in, and note whether or not you are interested in the pre-trip. To confirm a slot will require a $400 deposit for the llama trip and $400 for a space in the Torrey house. I'm looking forward to another great time.

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