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 Cascade Bill (William Mooseker) | Home > Backpacking Trips > 2012-2019 Trips > Grand Gulch 2018 > 
Grand Gulch 2018 - Trip to UT & Day
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Grand Gulch 2018

Trip to Utah May 19-20
Day 1: Bullet Canyon May 21
    Bullet Canyon Chutes
    Perfect Kiva
    Jailhouse Ruin
    Pouroff Camp

Fred, Bill, Shelby, Mike & Allan - Down Bullet Canyon Chute #1

Shelby picked me up at home and we drove to Mike's home in Kennewick where we met Mike, Will and Allan. After packing all our gear in Shelby's truck, the five of us climbed in and after a quick stop at the Kennewick REI, off we went. We arrived at the Marble Motel in Tremonton, Utah at dusk - truly a long day on the road.

The next day we headed south making a stop in Price for last minute supplies and then lunch in Hanksville. Along the way we took in the view at the Hite Overlook and arrived at our camp at the head of Todie Canyon. We met Fred at the Todie Trailhead as he had driven up from New Mexico.

We arrived at the Kane RS a little after eight and after watching the mandatory video we picked up our permit and an additional gallon of water after noting the dire warnings about the water scarcity in the canyon. After dropping the packs at the Bullet Canyon Trailhead, we did the relatively short car shuttle and dropped Shelby's truck at the Sheiks Canyon trailhead. This was a little exciting as the last mile was more rocks than road with a herd of cows who were very reluctant to move from their preferred resting spot in the middle of the road. We returned to Bullet where we donned packs and headed out.

Retracing the route of our first Grand Gulch trip in 2001, we descended Bullet and visited the Perfect Kiva alcove and the Jailhouse Ruin. It was a long and hot day and we straggled into camp just before dark.

Note photo taker's names are given in the titles under the thumbnails

Kickass Trekkers on this trip were: Bill Mooseker, Shelby Stong, Fred Stong, Will Stong, Mike Stong, and Allan Hoseth

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 19-21, 2018. Album by Cascade Bill. 1 - 103 of 103 Total. 384 Visits.
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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. To view fullscreen videos click the icon on the top right of the video when it starts playing.

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Loading up Shelby's truck at the Marble Motel in Tremonton, Utah - our usual stop for the first night. We're off to breakfast at Denny's.



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Took a brief stop at the Hite Overlook of Lake Powell.  Not much of the lake visible.

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You can see that the Hite boat launch is high and dry - and the only part of the "lake" that is visible is the original Colorado River.

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After placing a bunch of pink flamingos (inside joke - see previous hike albums 2003, 2005, 2012) at the Todie Canyon road intersection to let Fred know where to turn off, we found Fred already there.  Our usual spot was occupied, so we took the next one up.

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Getting ready to head out to pick up our permit in the morning - Mike, Allen, and Will.

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Shelby - packs are in the truck and ready to go.

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Fred & his rental car at our camp - his truck broke down along the way and he had to arrange a rental.

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A little after 10 AM - the cars have been shuttled and we are ready to head out from the Bullet Canyon Trailhead :Allen, Mike, Fred, and Shelby.

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Mike heading down from the rim into the head of Bullet Canyon.

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Just a short way down Bullet, this ruin up on the rim is visible from the wash.

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Bill & Mike - an alcove near the head of Bullet Canyon.  (we passed this in 2000 - Click Here)

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Bill & Mike

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Making our way down upper Bullet.  Will passes through a patch of wild roses.

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Wild rose blooms

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Mike leaving the wild roses behind - we didn't see any more the rest of the trip.

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Will, Allan, and Mike - still in upper Bullet, as the canyon walls are still pretty low.

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Allen taking a photo.  Will ahead.

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Allan's photo (see previous image) Will and Mike are behind the rock in the foreground where we would take a break before descending down the first of the upper Bullet chutes.

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Taking a break in the shade (about an hour from the trailhead).  You can see the top of the Bullet chute which we named the "Stairway to Hell" located HERE.

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You can see that we will be dropping down quite a bit.

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Video showing upper Bullet Canyon and the descent through the "chutes".


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Shelby at the top of the first chute.  It was very slippy here in 2000 as there was water flowing down.  Roger entertained us all by falling on his rear just below where Shelby is standing.  See 2000 photo here.

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A slightly different angle

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Shelby & Fred

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Bill ready to descend

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Bill & Shelby

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Group photo (sans Will) at the top of the chute.

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Descending the first chute - Shelby, Fred, Allan, and Mike

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Will & Bill in the "Stairway to Hell".  The rock pile at the bottom wasn't too steady but it did make the last step a little easier.

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Will descending the "Stairway to Hell"

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Will & Bill

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Will on the last "step"

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Bill gingerly coming down - when in doubt get on your ass. (it is steeper than it looks)

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Mike at the bottom

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A look back at the chute

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Just a little further, the second chute awaits.  The cairns led us high and to the right, but that way didn't work. The second chute in located HERE.

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High and dry above the second chute. Mike is looking for a way down - if you enlarge the image, you can see the cairns.

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We had to drop down to the top of the chute and come down -
Shelby, Fred and Mike are coming down with Bill at the top.


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I took this photo from the top of the chute.  If you enlarge the photo, you can see a cairn on the top ledge and also why you couldn't easily get down from there. There was a lot of water here in 2000 (Click Here) which made it much harder to get down than in 2018.

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Will, Allan, and Mike at the bottom of the chute.

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Looking back at the chute.

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Taking a break in the shade below the chutes.

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Coming up the canyon were two backpackers with their dog.  They told us about the scarcity of water.

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Will - after the chutes we follow a bend to the left and another to the right where the "trail" leads onto a bench high above the wash.  We can see the next bend in the distance.

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Will - this bench is located HERE

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Bill - Approaching the end of the bench where the trail drops back to the wash (and shade).

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Will - the cairn shows the way down

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Fred & Bill - after descending from the ledge we found a nice spot to take a break and have lunch - bagels, cheese, and summer sausage.

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Allan taking a break.

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Mike - I think that our lunch spot was located HERE.

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Shelby getting out the windscreen to slice the cheese and sausage.

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We are really down in the canyon now as the walls on either side are impressive.

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Making my way down canyon shortly after passing a side canyon on the right, I came upon Mike, Allan, and Will taking a break HERE

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Canyon wall above our break point.

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Mike, Bill, & Allan taking a break. When I got up to go, I pulled another of my "wrong way" moves and headed back up the canyon - luckily the guys were there and yelled at me to turn around!

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A little ways down from our break spot, looking up at the point on the rim that was shown in the previous photos.  Note the large house sized boulders above.

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Not long after out break, Bullet opens up to become a wide grassy flat.

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Looking across grassy plain to the canyon wall ahead (actually it is one of several tooth like projections extending into the canyon on the north side.

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Looking back to the base of the "tooth" extending from the north rim.

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Looking back up Bullet, you can see we where we left the narrow canyon and entered this wide open spot.

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Looking back up canyon - the trail shown here leaves the wash and crosses the grassy plain. I think that the photo was taken from HERE.

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Looking down canyon from about the same spot as the previous photo. Note the squat hoodoo above the trees on the right.

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This squat hoodoo is at the tip of the "tooth" shown in previous photos.

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Rounding the "tooth", this is the view back up canyon

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Looking towards north wall - taken from HERE.

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Allan resting just before rounding the bend before Perfect Kiva comes into view- It's hot and we've been on the trail for over 6 hours.

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Perfect Kiva Alcove - I was tired so I rested in the shade of the cottonwood to the right of center, while everyone else went up. If you enlarge photo, you can see two hikers in the shadows that we later met at Jailhouse Ruin.

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Telephoto of Perfect Kiva Alcove

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Will, Mike, & Shelby at Perfect Kiva - note grinding depressions in rock.

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Heat and age were doing us in - compare to PHOTO from 2000.

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ruin and grinding stone.

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Mike relaxing and enjoying the view.

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Mike with grinding stone.

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Small ruin in alcove.

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Will inspects large ruin with intact roof.

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Will's video of the Perfect Kiva alcove.


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Allan descending into the kiva - The kiva has been restored and reinforced and you are allowed to enter it.  The ladder is not original!

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View of the opening - edges reinforced with flat rocks.

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Another view

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This photo shows a cracked roof beam that has been reinforced by short posts.

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Small ventilation hole in kiva, possibly for smoke?

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Close up of ventilation hole.

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Ladder to kiva in natural light.

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Will at kiva ladder - notice that the bolt in the right strut has been added since 2000 - Click HERE.

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Grinding stone.

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When the guys came down, I joined them and we forged on around the next bend and the distinctive white circular pictographs on the wall above Jailhouse Ruin become visible. (enlarge photo to view)

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Allan elected to wait in the shade but the rest of us made our way up the slickrock to this ledge containing Jailhouse ruin.  Passing me on the way up was the couple in the photo of the Perfect Kiva Alcove.

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Bigfoot??

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Amazing design at Jailhouse.

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Will's video of Jailhouse Ruin. You can see Mike also making a video with his GoPro, which unfortunately was lost with the misplaced SD card. At the end of the video you can see why this ruin is called the "Jailhouse".

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Photo of the multi-level Jailhouse Ruin with the large pictographs above it.  You can see the couple (as noted in the photo of the Perfect Kiva alcove) in the foreground - they were hoping to make it to Sheiks Canyon that night. Will is descending at the right.  Although I had made it up to the ruin in 2000, the steep climb up to it seemed too much this time.

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Another view.  While we were there, we were joined by two women hikers, who told us about possible sources of water in the area.

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Mike on the ledge just below Jailhouse.

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Will got this shot of a small granary on the Jailhouse ledge.

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After coming down from Jailhouse, we headed on down canyon - Shelby has loaded my pack onto his lawn chair.  Up ahead you can see Allan in the trees.

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Allan below Jailhouse Ruin

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Will & Fred crossing wash from side canyon west of Jailhouse.  On information from the two women hikers, Mike went up this side canyon to see if he could get some water - he found a couple potholes and got about two gallons worth.

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The next few miles, were grueling even without a pack. Allan (still carrying his pack) had to drop off for a break while I pushed on ahead.  Along the way I sighted a small ruin across the way (enlarge photo).  We had visited this ruin in 2000. Click HERE.

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Telephoto of small ruin.  Back at the ranger station, there had been some discussion about water being available near a ruin.  After the trip we speculated that this might have been the one.

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Looking down canyon from the top of the hill above our camp.

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We got into camp late, so dishes and water filtering were done under headlamps. From Google Maps, I correctly deduced that there were several potholes of water above the pour off near our camp.  Normally, there would have been water below the pour off, but it was an unusually dry year.  Our camp is located HERE.  You can see the potholes above the pour off.  As we were preparing dinner, the couple we had seen at Jailhouse, passed by heading down canyon for a night hike to Sheiks Canyon and water at the Green Man spring.

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