Hayduke Trail – Day 4 (22 miles)
My alarm went off at 6.20 but it was still dark. I stayed in bed for 15 minutes until it was bright enough to pack up without a headlight.
I continued down the short side canyon that I dropped down into late last night. I then proceeded up Lockhart Wash. The wash was mostly easy walking. There was a very basic jeep road that I could follow. I kept on switching between this and the dry creek bed, whichever was a more direct route to the next turn of the canyon.
The canyon then opened up into its source basin. I followed the road up to the right and around the Horsehead rock outcropping.
I was happy how the morning has progressed as it was very straightforward. I passed a couple of water pools but decided to wait until I was in the next canyon as it should have flowing water.
The flowing creek that I thought would be a blessing turned out to be inconvenient. The silt meant I did not want to drink from it, and the flowing water created bogs, mud pits and slippery surfaces.
I would jump from one side of the creek to the other as we twisted and turned with the canyon. I was making fairly slow progress. I was not particularly enjoying this canyon but it did keep me thoroughly entertained.
I then headed down into the last canyon for the day. It took a bit of work to try to find the easiest way down, but when I found it I got down without the need of my hands.
At the bottom, I needed to follow this up to its end. However, I headed straight for the other wall and made my way out of the canyon. I wanted to see The Loop of the Colorado River, and it was epic. It is this areas version of the Grand Canyon’s Horseshoe. It was well worth the extra effort.
This was when I discovered that I lost my maps for the next 100 miles! I still had the information on my phone, so it was not the end of the world but still rather frustrating.
I got back down into the canyon and continued up. I wanted to get to the Canyonlands NP Visitor Centre to hopefully get a new map and pick up a food parcel from an outpost near there.