Hayduke Trail – Day 2
March 15, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 19.7 / 22.9
After going to bed at 8:00 last night we were both up early and anxious to get hiking. We were up and on the trail about 5:30 am.
It doesn’t get daylight until about 7:00 so we hiked about an hour and a half with headlamps
We stopped at Willow Springs and took a breakfast break and refilled our water bottles before working our way down the wash. There were several areas where we had to scramble up and over to get around some real narrow slots.
We reached courthouse wash and the real fun began. The wash wash filled with thick brush and willows and we had to make our way down stream walking in the water. The stream bed was blocked in places by brush and the occasional batch of quicksand (no quicksand doesn’t suck your whole body in and kill you like we were taught in the 70’s). After several hours and very cold feet we reached the road through Zion near courthouse towers.
due to the difficult conditions we opted to do the Park Avenue Trail alternate and cut across the plateau. We made pretty good time across the open desert and the exposed rocks as we got nearer to the Colorado River. Now to tackle the challenge of this route – finding a way down from the plateau to the river below. We selected a route and started heading down working our way around several large pour-offs before finally reaching the mouth of Courthouse Wash. the problem now was that we were still about 100’ above the bottom of the wash below. We scouted around for awhile and finally started working our way back up the wash to find a way down. Much to our delight we found ourselves on a well traveled deer trail which turned out to be there route from the plateau to the water below.
Reaching the bottom of the wash it was an easy hike out on a pretty well defined trail. Jumping on the bike path we quickly made our way to the pedestrian bridge across the Colorado River and made some arrangements for a campsite at Sun Outdoors on the edge of Moab. We set up our tents and headed down the street to Proper Brewery and Burgers for dinner. Of course it rained on us again as we walked back to the campground and we jumped in our tents and got ready for some nice rest and recovery