Hiking Grand Staircase-Escalante & the Glen Canyon Region
by Ron Adkison (Falcon Guides)
© Ron Adkison/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Kane was easy to hike. After the thumb the trail got a little tricky to follow. We got lucky with water, we had rain off and on everyday. You will need to pay close attention to water storage.
The ruins in my opinion were good, even more were the ones that were not on the map.
Bullet canyon trail is a joke. The trail maintence is terrible for a popular trail with rangers nearby. We lost the trail many times the last 2 miles.
I would not do the Bullet Canyon trail again. I don't feel the ruins are worth the effert.
Were going to hike in through bullet, but due to blizzard and ice rangers suggested kane gulch. The first day and night were pretty chilly (probably close to 0), but it warmed up and the snow began to melt after that. Due to cold we were breaking camp late, and with all the sites we moved pretty slow. 4 nights out worked well at our snail pace. Water was abundant (though some was frozen), trail was easy to follow. Recommend walking slowly and keeping your eyes open, ruins are abundant. Info left in ammo boxes by some of the more prominent sites was helpful and interesting. After hiking out we were thankful we did not head in through bullet trailhead in the weather...some steep, tricky terrain that would have been a little scary with ice on the ground. Quickly hitched a ride back to car at the ranger station. Great hike!
Round 1: We had plans to hike from bullet to kane ranger station in early March 2006 but were forced to do a day hike from the station to Turkey Pen ruins due to weather and counsel from the Rangers. Amazing photos with all the snow and ice in the canyon. Highly recommend this time of year just be prepared for singe digit temps.
Round 2: After driving from Las Vegas all afternoon, we camped at the boat launch in Mexican Hat and drove to the ranger station early the next morning to pick up our permits. We managed to get a ride to the bullet trailhead and leave our car at the Kane ranger station. Topo map helped a ton and allowed us to follow the canyon and gauge our pace. Busy weekend, we ran into about 15-20 people in different parts of the canyon. We camped at Sheiks and Turkey Pen and both were perfect spots. Plenty of water at Jailhouse, Junction, Sheiks and Todie just have your trusty filter/purifier. Perfect Kiva, Split-level and Sheiks canyon ruins were the best! There are plenty others that are not listed on the maps. Plan on doing it again and setting up base camp at Sheiks or the junction to explore more!
We entered from Bullet Canyon (where you can camp at the trailhead) and exited Kane Gulch (easy to hitchhike back) over a three-day period. If you like to explore, you should spend 4 or 5 days on this trip. We camped at the mouth of Sheiks Canyon and Todie Canyon and both were incredible spots with reliable springs nearby (bring a filter!). The Green Mask ruin is worth a visit for sure. The section between Sheiks and Todie had the highest concentration of ruins we found on this trip. Many did not have names on maps or in books, but were as impressive as the well-known ruins. Please respect these ancient places. We printed free USGS maps from Trails.com and were glad since routefinding can be tough at times. The Falcon Guide is very thorough and useful for any Grand Gulch visits.
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