• Public Gallery  • Help  
• Join Now!  • Log In  • Feature Tour
 Cascade Bill (William Mooseker) | Home > Backpacking Trips > 2012-2019 Trips > 2016 Grand Gulch Utah > 
2016 Grand Gulch Day 5
Click Here

Grand Gulch 2016
Day 5 - May 12

Polly's Canyon to Goverment Trailhead

Climbing Out of Grand Gulch via the Government Trail

Our last day on the trail was only about 3 miles from Polly's Canyon to the Government Trailhead, but it included a 500 foot climb up to the rim. The Government Trail starts a short ways down canyon from our camp. As it climbs out or the canyon, the views become ever more spectacular.

After you reach the rim, the trail crosses the mesa leaving all visual evidence that Grand Gulch even exists. With far away views of the Bear's Ears and other tall mesas, we finally reach the stockpond that marks the trailhead. We all piled into Shelby's truck and made our way back to the Kane Gulch Ranger station where we said our goodbyes to Fred and Cindy.

Heading north, we stopped in Blanding for lunch and after dropping Mike and Madison off in Salt Lake, Shelby and I continued on to Mountain Home, Idaho where we found a motel for the night.

Note photo takers are given in the titles under the thumbnails.

Kickass Trekkers on this trip were: Bill Mooseker, Shelby Stong, Mike Stong, Madison Stong, Fred Stong, and Cindy Stong.

The descriptions under the photo thumbnails in the album sometimes contain links to maps or additional information. These are identified by "Blue” text for links. I've also inserted links to Google Maps to show where certain photos in the album were taken or to locate features shown in the photos. Click on the link, close the sidebar, and choose satellite view. Basically, you can then zoom in and out using the mouse wheel or drag the map by clicking and holding.

For panoramic photos, I would recommend clicking on the thumbnail photo to enlarge. View at original size for most detail. The thumbnails do not do justice to petroglyphs and pictographs, so I would recommend enlarging them as well. Please take the time to view the many videos to better experience what it was like to be there.

Troop 24 Kickass Trekkers Backpacking Trip
-Cascade Bill Mooseker

Date(s): May 12. Album by Cascade Bill. 1 - 95 of 95 Total. 0 Visits.
 Email a Comment
 Your Comment is
 immediately emailed
 to the album owner
Name:   Enter your comment
Start SlideshowTo order prints and photo-products: 1. Select photos. 2. Click Order. 3. Select products.Select images and click to download to your computerSend Email of Selected Photos 
Enlarge photo 1
enlarge 521KB, 1024x1022

To get the plugin just Google "videolan" or CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOAD for Windows. There is a MAC version as well. Disable the Quicktime plugin if you use Videolan.

If you want to save photos to your computer, click the box under the thumbnails of the photos you want to download. Then click the "Download" button at the top of the album. Pick the size you'd like to download (Original is best)and the photos will be downloaded to a folder of your choice.

Enlarge MPEG4 2
enlarge 180.51MB, 1152x648
Download MPEG4
2016 ut may 12 gp001a.mp4
VIDEO - Click Photo to View.
Last morning - Water is on to boil for hot chocolate and oatmeal. The sun is showing on the canyon rim.

Enlarge photo 3
enlarge 120KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-29-56 bill DSC01459
Leaving camp - looking down the Gulch

Enlarge photo 4
enlarge 156KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-30-16 bill DSC01463
Cindy and Fred - due to the big pool at the mouth of the canyon we had to scramble under the cottonwoods of the camp to cross the stream to avoid wading the pool.

Enlarge photo 5
enlarge 186KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-31-48 cindy IMG 9379
Bill - ready to head out

Enlarge photo 6
enlarge 173KB, 768x1024
2016-05-12 05-31-52 cindy IMG 9380

Enlarge MPEG4 7
enlarge 297.48MB, 1152x648
Download MPEG4
2016 ut may 12 gp 002.mp4
VIDEO - Click Photo to View.
Leaving Polly's Canyon and hiking down the slickrock towards the Gov't Trail.

Enlarge photo 8
enlarge 201KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-33-22 cindy IMG 9381
Leaving Polly's Canyon camp

Enlarge photo 9
enlarge 148KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-34-16 cindy IMG 9382
Desert primrose

Enlarge photo 10
enlarge 155KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-34-20 cindy IMG 9383
Fred & Bill

Enlarge photo 11
enlarge 260KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-35-26 cindy IMG 9384
Flotsam from summer floods

Enlarge photo 12
enlarge 97KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-35-32 bill DSC01464
We started up this trail, but I soon realized that it wasn't the right one. Shelby kept going and made his way cross country. The Government Trail was much further down the canyon.

Enlarge photo 13
enlarge 155KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-37-18 cindy IMG 9385
Heading up the false trail

Enlarge photo 14
enlarge 267KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-52-34 cindy IMG 9387
We're finally on the right trail.

Enlarge photo 15
enlarge 239KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-50-34 bill DSC01466
Gaining elevation quickly, the views get better as well.

Enlarge photo 16
enlarge 182KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-50-38 bill DSC01467
Mike and Madison climbing up the trail.

Enlarge photo 17
enlarge 186KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-54-20 bill DSC01468
Cindy and Fred

Enlarge photo 18
enlarge 218KB, 1024x698
2016-05-12 05-55-00 bill DSC01469
A Kodak moment

Enlarge MPEG4 19
enlarge 254.77MB, 1152x648
Download MPEG4
2016 ut may 12 gp 003.mp4
VIDEO - Click Photo to View.
Climbing the Gov't Trail - I'm huffing and puffing away as it is a steep trail (Even Mike is huffing a little).  This video gives a good sense of what this trail is like.

Enlarge photo 20
enlarge 116KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-55-18 bill DSC01470
View of Polly's Island across the way.  Polly's Island was formed as the water used to flow around it but then cut the current channel that we came down today, leaving the isolated block known as Polly's Island.

Enlarge photo 21
enlarge 177KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-55-28 bill DSC01471
Ruin just under the rim of Polly's Island.

Enlarge photo 22
enlarge 200KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-56-34 cindy IMG 9389
Another view.

Enlarge photo 23
enlarge 183KB, 768x1024
2016-05-12 05-56-40 cindy IMG 9390
Bill getting a photo of Polly's Island.

Enlarge photo 24
enlarge 200KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-57-00 mike DSCF4525
Bill, Cindy, and Fred climbing up the trail

Enlarge photo 25
enlarge 145KB, 768x1024
2016-05-12 05-57-08 mike DSCF4527
Looking back up canyon - Our camp was in the cottonwoods in the sunlight at the center of the photo.  You can see the slickrock section with the water pools.

Enlarge photo 26
enlarge 141KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 05-57-18 mike DSCF4528
Closeup of the ruin on Polly's Island

Enlarge photo 27
enlarge 203KB, 768x1024
2016-05-12 05-57-24 mike DSCF4529
Cindy and Fred have passed me by.

Enlarge photo 28
enlarge 261KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-01-16 cindy IMG 9391
Fred getting his breath

Enlarge photo 29
enlarge 195KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-01-18 cindy IMG 9392
Madison up ahead - soon we'll be in shadow again.

Enlarge photo 30
enlarge 232KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-01-20 cindy IMG 9393
View looking back up canyon - we've come quite a way so far.

Enlarge photo 31
enlarge 154KB, 768x1024
2016-05-12 06-02-38 mike DSCF4532
Madison on the trail

Enlarge photo 32
enlarge 183KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-03-52 mike DSCF4534
Bill making his way slowly up the climb.

Enlarge photo 33
enlarge 241KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-04-28 cindy IMG 9394
Taking a break on a big ledge - meeting up with Shelby after his cross country climb.

Enlarge photo 34
enlarge 153KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-04-50 cindy IMG 9395
view along the canyon wall

Enlarge photo 35
enlarge 149KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-05-58 bill DSC01475
Almost to the same level as the ruin across the way

Enlarge photo 36
enlarge 167KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-06-08 bill DSC01476
Telephoto view up canyon to bend above Polly's canyon

Enlarge MPEG4 37
enlarge 303.79MB, 1152x648
Download MPEG4
2016 ut may 12 gp 004.mp4
VIDEO - Click Photo to View.
Taking a break at big ledge before forging ahead.

Enlarge photo 38
enlarge 163KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-06-52 bill DSC01477
Mike & Madison

Enlarge photo 39
enlarge 124KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-07-00 bill DSC01478
Shelby & Cindy

Enlarge photo 40
enlarge 102KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-09-26 bill DSC01480
Selfie of the Old Man

Enlarge MPEG4 41
enlarge 466.40MB, 1152x648
Download MPEG4
2016 ut may 12 gp 005a.mp4
VIDEO - Click Photo to View.
Hiking along the trail from the big ledge to just below the rim

Enlarge photo 42
enlarge 220KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-14-46 bill DSC01481
Yellow evening primrose along the trail

Enlarge photo 43
enlarge 212KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-14-52 bill DSC01482
Don't know what these white flowers are - look like Phlox but have 4 petals instead of 5.

Enlarge photo 44
enlarge 226KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-17-46 cindy IMG 9397
Looking across to Polly's Island

Enlarge photo 45
enlarge 135KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-17-50 cindy IMG 9398
Getting up to the rim

Enlarge photo 46
enlarge 178KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-17-54 cindy IMG 9399
Here comes Bill

Enlarge photo 47
enlarge 167KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-18-36 cindy IMG 9400
Shelby & Mike

Enlarge MPEG4 48
enlarge 385.03MB, 1152x648
Download MPEG4
2016 ut may 12 gp 006.mp4
VIDEO - Click Photo to View.
Last part of the climb to the rim

Enlarge photo 49
enlarge 197KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-19-56 cindy IMG 9401
Another bench eroding away

Enlarge photo 50
enlarge 139KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-20-46 cindy IMG 9402
unusual rock formation near the rim

Enlarge photo 51
enlarge 269KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-21-38 cindy IMG 9403
The last steps before the rim

Enlarge photo 52
enlarge 123KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-22-24 bill DSC01483
Looking down canyon

Enlarge photo 53
enlarge 172KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-22-42 cindy IMG 9404
Two thumbs up -we made it

Enlarge photo 54
enlarge 233KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-22-44 cindy IMG 9405
Fred makes it to the rim

Enlarge photo 55
enlarge 114KB, 1152x715
2016-05-12 06-22-50 bill DSC01484
Panoramic view of Polly's Island

Enlarge photo 56
enlarge 163KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-26-56 cindy IMG 9406
Bill makes it to the rim

Enlarge photo 57
enlarge 113KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-30-52 bill DSC01487
Shelby & Cindy

Enlarge photo 58
enlarge 115KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-31-00 bill DSC01488
Mike & Madison

Enlarge MPEG4 59
enlarge 442.34MB, 1152x648
Download MPEG4
2016 ut may 12 gp 007.mp4
VIDEO - Click Photo to View.
Video showing Madison trying to get cell reception (everyone else had it); Bill arriving at the rim; Last look into the canyon before heading to the trailhead.

Enlarge photo 60
enlarge 189KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-33-26 cindy IMG 9409
Ready for the last lap

Enlarge photo 61
enlarge 142KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-33-00 bill DSC01491

Enlarge photo 62
enlarge 112KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-33-14 bill DSC01493
Bill at the rim

Enlarge photo 63
enlarge 163KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-33-32 cindy IMG 9410
No Reception!!!

Enlarge photo 64
enlarge 131KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-33-54 bill DSC01494
Mike at the rim

Enlarge photo 65
enlarge 126KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-36-16 mike DSCF4536
Mike got this shot as we left the rim.

Enlarge photo 66
enlarge 198KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-36-24 mike DSCF4537
Telephoto - note Polly's Island ruin to right of Bill.

Enlarge photo 67
enlarge 144KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-36-40 - mike DSCF4538
On the Gov't trail - note how quickly the canyons disappear.

Enlarge photo 68
enlarge 280KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-37-12 cindy IMG 9412
Madison & Shelby -The Windgate and Mossback Buttes in the background.

Enlarge photo 69
enlarge 120KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-40-00 bill DSC01495
To the north are the Bear's Ears

Enlarge photo 70
enlarge 125KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-40-54 mike DSCF4539
Telephoto of the Bear's Ears - we drove through them in 2012 for our backpack in Dark Canyon.

Enlarge photo 71
enlarge 134KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-41-08 mike DSCF4541
Moss Back Butte

Enlarge photo 72
enlarge 174KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-41-14 mike DSCF4542
Red House Cliffs

Enlarge photo 73
enlarge 200KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 06-45-10 cindy IMG 9413
Shelby passes some cryptobiotic soil on top of the mesa. Since these organisms are damaged easily, you avoid walking on them if at all possible.

Enlarge photo 74
enlarge 291KB, 768x1024
2016-05-12 06-50-42 mike DSCF4544
Yucca plant about to bloom

Enlarge photo 75
enlarge 195KB, 768x1024
2016-05-12 06-50-48 mike DSCF4545
Close up of yucca blooms

Enlarge photo 76
enlarge 138KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-01-00 mike DSCF4559
Up ahead are Madison, Cindy, and Shelby

Enlarge photo 77
enlarge 161KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-00-28 mike DSCF4555
Telephoto view

Enlarge photo 78
enlarge 150KB, 768x1024
2016-05-12 07-00-42 mike DSCF4557
Another view

Enlarge photo 79
enlarge 119KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-04-48 mike DSCF4562
Pink Prickley Pear Cactus flower

Enlarge photo 80
enlarge 130KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-05-02 mike DSCF4564
Another view

Enlarge photo 81
enlarge 73KB, 1152x248
2016-05-12 07-16-22 cindy IMG 9414
Panorama view from Gov't trail (enlarge to original size)

Enlarge photo 82
enlarge 339KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-39-44 cindy IMG 9420
Goodbye to the last primrose on the hike.

Enlarge photo 83
enlarge 224KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-43-52 cindy IMG 9422
Cindy at the stock pond at the trailhead.

Enlarge photo 84
enlarge 205KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-43-36 cindy IMG 9421
Cindy at the end of a long hike.

Enlarge photo 85
enlarge 118KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-43-58 mike DSCF4570
Madison points to the Gov't Trailhead on the map

Enlarge photo 86
enlarge 200KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-46-30 cindy IMG 9427 1
Our route as shown on the trailhead map (enlarge to show our camps and the route)

Enlarge photo 87
enlarge 353KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-44-12 cindy IMG 9424
Flowers at the end of the trail

Enlarge photo 88
enlarge 279KB, 768x1024
2016-05-12 07-45-04 cindy IMG 9425
End of the trail - Shelby's truck.

Enlarge photo 89
enlarge 323KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-45-26 cindy IMG 9426
Trail sign - 3 miles to the gulch.

Enlarge photo 90
enlarge 237KB, 768x1024
2016-05-12 07-49-40 madison IMG 6699
Start (or end in our case) of the Gov't trail

Enlarge photo 91
enlarge 127KB, 1024x768
2016-05-12 07-56-12 cindy IMG 9429
Getting the gear into the truck for the trip back to Kane R.S.

Enlarge photo 92
enlarge 124KB, 1024x672
2016-05-12 09-19-18 mike DSCF4574
Back at the Ranger Station I do a little bandaging on my blister (it was a big one) that had been slowing me down for the last 3 days.

Enlarge photo 93
enlarge 101KB, 768x1024
2016-05-12 09-19-32 mike DSCF4577
Not fun

Enlarge photo 94
enlarge 130KB, 768x1024
mike DSCF4587
We said our goodbyes to Fred & Cindy at the Ranger Station as they were heading south via the Moki Dugway.
Here we pass through the notch in Comb Ridge and leave Cedar Mesa country behind.  We had a great lunch in Blanding at the Homestead Steakhouse. Heading north we dropped Mike and Madison off in Salt Lake. Shelby and I made it to Mountain Home, Idaho for the night. Then on to Washington the next day.

Enlarge photo 95
enlarge 189KB, 1152x643
the end-2400px.png
CLICK HERE for Previous Album (Day 4)
CLICK HERE Back to Grand Gulch 2016 Folder

 Select All.  
Album Properties. Email Album. Send Invitation. Add to Website. Share URL