FKT: David Kartchner - GG1D Grand Gulch in a day. - 2023-05-20

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
19h 56m 0s
GPS track(s)

This is Supported due to the food drop and food and boat drop at the river. We left Blanding at 4:00am on Friday, started hiking from the Kane Gulch Ranger station around 5:00am. Due to the much needed rain, the trail was hard to find and difficult to follow with all the vegetation. It was rough going for a while. At around mile 30 we got hit by a life giving rainstorm that cooled us off and rejuvenated our bodies and spirits. We got to our food cache at mile 36 near the Narrows. After a nice warm meal we set out on the last 16 miles. These miles definitely proved to be the hardest, not only were our legs trashed but it was getting dark. Headlamps came out of packs and onto heads at Shaw Arch and we were stumbling and bumbling and boulder hopping to the river. I personally took several falls along this section, my sure footed friends didn’t fall as much as me, but they each took a tumble or slide. It was slow and rough moving. The section over the last big pour over and the final boulders to the river were pretty epic. No mistakes here or we wouldn’t be getting out of the canyon at all. So we were slow and meticulous in our foot placement. Our feet were wet for the last 20 miles of the 52 mile event. But after almost 20 hours we made it to the river. We had our boats and another food cache waiting for us and it was greatly appreciated. After a couple hours of rough sleep and at first light we started to slowly move our now rusted joints, we loaded up the boats and set out on the river for the 14 mile float out to Clay Hills. With the water flowing high we made great time. After a nice drive home we were back to Blanding by noon Saturday. Everyone in our team was amazing and had pains and struggles along the way. But persevered throughout, it was a battle! A proper San Juan County Adventure indeed. Easily the hardest 50 miler I have ever done.

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