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Sept 16-19 Boulder Mail Trail

Highlights

  •   Guides Choice backpacking trip
  •   Historic mail and supplies route
  •   Breathtaking canyon country landscapes
  •   Vast high desert views of Southern Utah
  •   3 distinct, stunning canyons
  •   Natural bridges and slickrock
  •   Cascades and desert oases
  •   The enchanting Escalante River
  •   Amazing night skies

Description

The Boulder Mail Trail offers the opportunity to traverse Utah’s finest canyon country. This wilderness route is a rewarding adventure across a sea of slickrock formations, high plateau Ponderosa Forests and deep shady canyons with spring-fed creeks. It is a trip not to be missed and will be one you'll think back on again and again! The Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument is one of the most beautiful regions in Utah with it’s unique, undulating terrain and brilliant sandstone features. The route takes us across a stunning plateau that was historically used to transport mail and supplies between the towns of Boulder and Escalante. It crosses three major canyon systems and many smaller tributaries that feed into Death Hollow and eventually into the Escalante River.

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Intro to Backpacking
Difficulty:
Solitude:
Saint George, UT
4-6 days
24+mi / 38+km
$1170 Per Person

Travel to St. George

Utah Sales Tax


BACKPACKER Intro to Backpacking Courses

About Intro to Backpacking Courses
BACKPACKER Courses

Wildland Trekking and BACKPACKER Magazine have teamed up to offer these exceptional 4-day courses that introduce future backpackers to the art of wilderness travel! These trips are all-inclusive, which means gear, meals, instructors, transportation, permits...etc. are provided. Follow the packing list you receive during registration for information on clothing and personal items, and then let us take care of the rest! Learning to backpack from experts vastly increases safety and enjoyment while decreasing the learning curve. And who better to do it with than America's premier backpacking magazine and backpacking guide company working together!

What You Will Learn
BACKPACKER Adventures

This course covers the fundamentals of backpacking which includes gear packing, gear management, route planning, map reading, menu planning, cooking, bear safety, Leave No Trace practices, river crossings, heat management, cold management, basic 1st aid and more! You won't know everything there is to know, as your development as a backpacker will continue indefinitely, but the goal is for you to be ready to backpack on your own after this course and begin that journey!

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle from St. George: 4 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 300 feet

We’ll depart St. George, Utah early this morning for the remote town of Escalante, located in the heart of Utah’s canyon country. After reaching Escalante we’ll shuttle to the Boulder Mail Trailhead and have lunch while preparing for our hike.

The overland route from Boulder to Escalante Features a sea of endless slickrock sandstone, deep twisting side canyons, spring-fed creeks, and towering ponderosa pines typical of Utah’s high canyons. Today’s hike is 5.4 miles to a primitive camp overlooking Death Hollow (cover photo) - easily one of the most impressive canyons in the Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument.

Day 2
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1400 feet

Today we’ll wake up with the rising sun, pack our gear and descend into Death Hollow. Death Hollow is large, deep, and full of water - it got its name from the occasional mule that fell into the canyon as settlers attempted the mail route from Boulder to Escalante. As we descend deeper into Death Hollow we’ll be trekking through ankle-deep water. This canyon is filled with huge ponderosa pines and natural springs pouring out of the ancient Navajo sandstone walls. Our destination this evening is Mamie Creek - a large tributary of Death Hollow where camp will be made against a massive escarpment overlooking the canyon.

Day 3
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 400 feet

Today we’ll continue downstream to explore one of the most unique and interesting features in the region - the Mamie Creek Natural Bridge. The bridge is situated above a massive valley where Mamie Creek pours into Death Hollow. Today is all about exploration - and because we’ll leave our camp set up we’ll do it with light day packs! After exploring the bridge we’ll head upstream for some amazing swimming holes and slickrock narrows! Kick back this evening and watch the sun set over immense canyon walls and let your worries slip away.

Day 4
  • Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1400 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2000 feet
  • Shuttle to St. George: 4 hours

Today we’ll pack up early for the 7.5-mile trek across Antone Flats which feature a kaleidoscope of intricate Navajo slickrock formations, canyons, and high altitude ponderosa pine forests. The hike ends with a spectacular view into the Escalante River valley and a steep descent off of the high plateau we’ve been traversing using the old mail route that bypasses the nearly impassable Escalante River Canyon! We’ll return to our vehicle around 2:00 p.m. and head for St. George.




Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Utah hiking guide
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in St. George, Utah to the trailhead and back
  • National park entrance fees
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!


What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required, and we recommend Neoprene socks and water shoes for this trip. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

You will rendezvous with the guide and group in St. George, Utah for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip starts to specify the orientation location, and we are more than happy to pick you up if the meeting if you are staying at one of our recommended hotels but the orientation is taking place elsewhere. The guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Utah Tours your guide can meet you at your hotel in St. George or Cedar City, Utah at an agreed upon time.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day no later than 7 PM.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on backpacking trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Southern Utah

Weather in Southern Utah
Southern Utah is a high desert. The weather is very moderate: occasional dustings of snow in the winter that melt rapidly, and summer temperatures in the low 90s (°F) that often cool down with thunderstorms. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). The ideal time to be in the Canyon Country is Spring and Fall. Read below for average high and low temperatures in Utah's Canyon Country:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
 
 
Month
High
Low
 
Dec-Feb
43°
18°
 
March
55°
27°
 
April
64°
33°
 
May
73°
40°
 
Jun-Aug
88°
55°
 
September
79°
45°
 
October
67°
35°
 
November
53°
25°

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