The weekend of 8 May 09, we headed to Escalante. I had been out of town for most of the
winter, and I really wanted to get into a canyon. Well, I planned to hike Hurricane Wash down
into Coyote Gulch. We had done this hike a couple of years ago, but it was a nice canyon, and
we didn't hike Coyote Gulch at all. So I wanted to head back and try to make it to the
Escalante. We stayed in Torrey on Friday night and then headed to the trail. On the way
there, though, Tracy figured out we were going somewhere we had already been, and she
decided she wanted to go somewhere new. So I scoured the map and picked Harris Wash
(Google Map). Well, we headed down Harris Wash, and it wasn't anything like Hurricane
Wash. It was really rocky, and the creek was completely skanked out with cow crap...even one
dead cow right in the water. But we kept hiking. Really, the canyon wasn't very pretty at all.
But we kept hiking. We went in about 6.5 miles and found a nice alcove to pitch the tent...after
clearing out piles of cow crap. We took a short nap, then I emptied my pack and continued
down-canyon for another mile and a half to see if the canyon got prettier. It didn't. So I went
back to camp to find Tracy had set up camp. She asked how I was doing on water, so I
checked my Camelback, only to find I had about 3 mouthfulls left. Not good. We were just a
week away from our trip to France, and there was no way I wanted to drink that skanky dead
cow crap water. So we debated, and finally decided to just pack everything up and head back
to the truck. We figured it would be too hot to hike back during the day, not to mention the
extra time of staying overnight, to be able to make it out without purifying water. I just really
didn't even want to purify or boil that water. So we packed up and headed back about 7:45.
About half of the hike back was in the dark, and we made it back to the trailhead about 10:30
pm. We set up camp at the trailhead, where I had more water in the truck, and we had an
uneventful rest of the night. Good times. Bottom line: Harris Wash sucks. Don't bother with it.
Of course, I love hiking in the dark, but I don't enjoy doing 16 miles in one day with my pack on
only to camp where I started. So I'm not going back to Harris Wash.