Route: Escalante Overland Route (UT)

Submitted by emilyrosekeddie on Sat, 10/03/2020 - 05:55pm
Utah, US
77 mi
Vertical Gain
20,000 ft

The Escalante Overland Route was proposed by Steve Allen in the end of his book, Canyoneering 3, as an incredibly demanding and challenging off-trail route finding and navigation extravaganza, requiring advanced Canyoneering, climbing, and navigational skills. The route starts on Hwy 12 northeast of the town of Escalante, and end at either the Red Well TH (as described in Allen's book) or the 40-mile TH (~1 mile longer, but includes some of the excellent Coyote Gulch), off of the Hole in the Rock Road. Distances and elevation gains are approximate as the nature of the route means there would be some differences in these figures as route finding would suggest. On our route, we added approximately 1.5 miles to see Golden Cathedral out of Neon Canyon. Those attempting this route are highly recommended to study maps of the proposed route, be familiar with and carry the terse description from Allen’s book, and come up with a basic route to follow based on those things. The submitted route is our “planned” route, which deferred from the verified route submitted which we tracked daily from start to finish. 

Adventure Alan details an extension of the route to the town of Escalante starting at the south Boulder Mail Trailhead heading north.


Thank you Emily and Garret for setting up this route! 

I am writing in hopes of finding a partner for this route next year, south to north, including Ichibod, Hydra, Shofar which I have scouted the route for. Please send me an email if interested:

Goal is route completion in 3-4 days, going in April/May when the days are longer and temps lower compared with fall season. 

Some crux passages, especially in optional category, are more difficult going NOBO but you probably know this

Im not sure which passages you mean. I did the slot climb out of fold. 

Ill be attempting this next week southbound, mainly because I still have a sedan. But I wanted to go NOBO simply because of where I will be at night.. going SOBO Ill be running to get past the class 3 cliff traverse going into fold canyon before sunset. Also I would have the bigger more intimidating area (fold --> cyote) behind me if I become more sleep deprived going NOBO. Of course the rivers flow south, so that is another factor.

But Im pretty sure it can be done either direction, no issues. 

Tracking for my attempt:

I'll start Monday 4/22. Excited but also very nervous/anxious. Ill be using Emily and Garrets GPS track (thank you for that) for the first half then prior scouting for Scorpion --> Cyote. Im nervous cause of where Ill be night 2. Aiming to get past the scary cliff traverse before sunset of night 2. If I cant make it past before sundown Im in no way going to do that at night! Will be stuck until sunrise day 3.

Will take it one section at a time! Beautiful area but an ass kicker even if you take it slow! So may as well go fast. Peace!