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Deer Creek Hoodoos llama trip May 6-14

Sat, 2023-05-06
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
Are dogs allowed?: 
Not allowed

Once more returning to the canyon country, our spring 2023 trip will be based in the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument, in the slickrock hoodoo country above and east of Deer Creek. This is the same area that we explored in May 2013. We will reach our camp by hiking down from the Deer Creek trailhead, east 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 country with no trails. The destination is not guaranteed, but if we are not able to go for plan A, 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 leave Los Alamos on Saturday May 6, for the drive somewhere in the vicinity – Torrey, Boulder, or Escalante – to spend the pre-trip night in a motel.

On Sunday May 7 we will leave town in the morning 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 13, reaching civilization sometime in the afternoon. I will look for lodging for a final night in the Torrey area. On Sunday May 14 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 6, and the night before, on Saturday May 13. Some people choose to split the trip with a stop in Bluff, Utah, the night before arriving in the Boulder area. 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. 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 $500 deposit, which will be close to the final total. We’ll make hotel plans once the trip roster is determined.

Exploring the slickrock on the May 2013 trip to the Deer Creek Hoodoos area

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