Thursday, June 3, 2010


Wanting to avoid the memorial day crowd the wife and I decided to try the hopefully less known Yellow Rock in the GSENM. The original plan was to start on the Yellow Rock trail, loop around through lower death valley, then drop into either Sam Pollock Canyon, or the further down into the Hackberry. This was obviously overly ambitious for us backpacking newbies so my backup plan was Yellow Rock, camp near there, loop around to the Box of the Paria through Cottonwood Wash and back to the parking lot. Many do this as a day hike but I thought it would be cool to camp


After reading other trip reports I understood the initial trail from the  valley floor to the top would be quite the workout, but somehow I did  not understand that their was an actually designated, easily  identifiable  trail. So Renee (wife) and I risking life and limb, (jk  but it did push our comfort level a couple of times especially with  semi-heavy packs) found our own trail less scramble to the top.

I forgot to mention that the bugs(biting gnats) around the Hackberry  Trail head Parking lot were horrific. I thought once we hiked away from  the water things would improve, I was sadly mistaken!

After the very demanding climb to the top Renee was already to the point  of calling it a day! I couldnt blame her going up the wrong way was  very difficult and the worst part was we could not stop to take a  breather as the biting gnats were still all over us every time you  paused even for a moment.

Once on top Yellow Rock was clearly visible as was the correct trail. We followed the trail to yellow rock but once again the gnats were terrible. At this point we realized that camping would be very uncomfortable because of the gnats. Using bug spray was futile! We made the decision to hike to the top of Yellow Rock, then return to the car following the correct trail (going down where we went up would have been pretty dangerous with our packs) we dropped our packs off under a Pondorosa, and scrambled to the top of Yellow Rock. Yellow Rock itself was amazing and as was mentioned on this site one of the best short hikes in the area, especially if you follow the correct trail!

Even though our initial plans were thwarted, this TR could be have been posted on the "what was the worst ill never ever do that again trip thread, by my own stupidity, over packing (did I really bring 4 apples, 1/2 pound of cherries, carrots, etc just for snacks WTF?), getting lost and especially the biting demon gnats from hell the trip was a success.
-Yellow Rock is friggin awesome
-I learned my wife is the MAN. I underestimated her!
-Dont go near the Paria area in late May (later read in guide book that the little gnats are bad from late May to July)
-Dont bring the kitchen sink backpacking
-Cottonwood Canyon Road is very scenic in late May. The yellow wildflowers were amazing!

All and All a good day in Southern Utah!


Anonymous said...
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pjnlorrie said...

Hi Matt,
You are living my dream-my family and I are seriously making plans to move to Utah.

HHS Class Of 2000 said...

We'd like to invite Matt Anderson to follow the blog created for the Hurricane High School graduating class of 2000. Please visit

Thank you!!

Dr J said...

Matt... I see that you don't filter your comments and are stuck with many porn spam comments - all the ones that come through with Chinese characters you should "deny" in moderation. Otherwise you are supporting porn. Google apparently isn't interested in cleaning up their act, it's been reported many times without any action.

All the dots are links to porn, and if Google's bots spot the link on YOUR blog - it is a "vote" for their sites - which gives them a higher ranking in search engines. Just thought you should know. If you can, you should probably go into moderation and delete all their posts.

By the way... exactly where is Yellow Rock - you didn't mention the state.

Matt Anderson said...

Sorry this hike is in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM) Utah. The GSENM is huge this hike is in the more southern section right off Cottonwood Canyon Road.