Rock Garden

OneFifty-Mile Canyon — This should have a real place-name rather than the map-name 'One-Hundred-Fifty-Mile Canyon'. A good option could be Buckhorn Canyon from the Esplanade spring, and at the river it is 'Upset Rapid'.

The corral at the trailhead and other places in the area establish there is a lost era of pioneer cowboy history in this region, and there is much more here less obvious from earlier periods. The Buckhorn Spring Trail has an easy roll-off the rim and through the top layers, but some parts are steep and broken. This can cause confusion from places where alternate trail sections can be misleading.

The trail is historically mapped on the slope north of the primary drainage line on some references. However, the trail appears to have been reconstructed to make a long descent to the south on the broader slope before the far switchback takes the trail back and crossing the center drainage of the slope. Take note to go down at this ravine crossing, and not get misled by the older section of the trail coming up on the return. The lower switchback section is in better condition and goes directly to the spring which is a water source with some shade but overgrown and no pools. The rusty wheelbarrow marks the historical trailbed, with some eroded parts to the right across the slope above the spring.

Continuing down-canyon there is not much immediate trail and many hikers follow the bed, but there is a useful broken-up section on canyon-left. When this returns to the dry bed look for a continuation above the bed on the other side. One section of this track returns to the bed, but another track on the upslope is the old horsetrail that stays higher on the slope.

After a section of gravel streambed there is a rock exposure with a minor drop, and it may be that the old trail crosses to the east here, but as the slopes open up there is another good option to get up on the west side above the bed. This has no track but stays on the flat a considerable distance until a steeper side-drainage forces a return to the streambed.

With an objective for Hotel Spring, look for the next opportunity to get up onto the western sandstone rim and track along the flats to make the turn and work up-canyon above the Hotel arm to find a good descent. The canyon walls are high in the area near the spring with no direct descent. Descend the gravel streambed to the rock pools, but note the water quality may not be as good where there is not a flow.

In the area up from the pools, look for an overhang higher up in the northside cliff above the bed — this is the historic cowboy camp and is also an arch-site, so please just look and leave what you see. To get up onto the Esplanade for a shortcut out, there is a steep access going out of the Hotel area with some minor climbs up through the ravine on the opposite wall — if it looks possible, that should be where it is, but the historic stock crossing is up-canyon where the rock opens up to slopes on both sides.

The main bed of OneFifty descends several minor pouroffs with a passage out of the bed and up the next side-canyon south from Hotel Spring. There are usually some pools or flowing water and a seep in the accessible section of the middle OneFifty streambed. The lower bed is a technical access with several major drops, usually with a rope or pull-cord to get up or down, but I have not gone there.

Routes — Downriver to Tuckup Canyon; upriver to Kanab Canyon. Note that both of these destinations are considerable distance to travel with uncertain water sources and no trails.

Faint signs of the Tuckup Trail remain as a slightly used track on the western slope connecting the Hotel arm to the region of Boysag Point, and there are some good potholes on the slickrock rim out east of the nearest point (not Deadhorse Mesa). To get out onto the western Esplanade, travel like the wild creatures and cut close to the easy slopes around the points, and take the shorter line down-and-up crossing each drainage.

2018 March - Second-half of the two-part intro-to-Esplanade from expert friends, hiking with Chris F and Rick D and Rich R. Other exceptional gifts included fresh rainwater to drink anytime from potholes and pools everywhere, and visits to numerous archaic-period polychrome sites hidden in the clefts and overhangs along the way.

2022 October - First attempt to complete my Esplanade connection to Tuckup with a forced turn-around west of Boysag Point.

2023 May - Next attempt coming from Hades Route after good winter rains, with a successful transit of the Esplanade around SB Point and multiple side-canyons along The Cork region, and finding the critical somewhat reliable potholes along the way.


Catalog of Places - Trips - Routes - Notes