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  • Matt
    Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me! I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him
    Message 1 of 13 , May 13, 2013
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      Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me!

      I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him into the barracks. I dont think he is up for the full hike unfortunately, nor do we have time.

      I have been thinking about entering via the poverty trail find a campsite near there, set up camp and explore for a day and a half. I just have a couple questions I hope you or someone can help me with

      1. Any suitable camping spots near where poverty trail drops into the East Fork?
      2. How far past the poverty wash cross over do you suggest one drive in a HC 4x4?
      3. Anyone ever hike East Fork toward the end of may? How were the biting flying insects
      4. How difficult or close will I be to the "goodies" from poverty trail?
      Any other suggestions, tips, etc?

      Matt
    • Joe Braun
      Hi Matt -- Funny, I just went through Poverty Trail on my Zion trip last week, so this is pretty fresh on my mind! If you have an HC 4x4, you should be in good
      Message 2 of 13 , May 13, 2013
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        Hi Matt -- Funny, I just went through Poverty Trail on my Zion trip last week, so this is pretty fresh on my mind! If you have an HC 4x4, you should be in good shape for the initial Poverty Wash crossover. That initial descent is pretty steep; I took it in a 2WD SUV and going down was fine, but coming back up was difficult. I almost got stuck because the grade is steep and the road is mostly loose sand with rock shards. I had to back up and floor it and I barely got out. But 4WD, no problem! Once past the crossover, the going is really easy until that descent "road gets very difficult" hill. You'll know it when you reach it. I'd stop there unless you're on an ATV. At the top of each descent spot are good parking and camping areas.

        The entrance isn't that close to the best part of the Barracks (which I'd say is down canyon from the boulder obstacle), but you could easily hike upstream to explore Mineral (nice and deep) or going downstream to explore up both Rock and Poverty would be good. But you'll have a long reverse hike to get back out. As for camping spots, you'll see lots of spots along the river in either direction. I've camped in lower Mineral as well and enjoyed it.

        Late May should be good. Two times that I have done big trips through the East Fork were in early May. As Cliff noted, the spring runoff for the East Fork ends a lot earlier than the North Fork, so you should be good. Levels this year are pretty average.

        Another option is to simply hike in from Checkerboard Mesa, enter the Barracks at the Powell Plaque and explore upstream, camp one night, then hike back out. You don't need a permit, but if you park near Checkerboard Mesa, you might want to check in with the backcountry desk so they don't put an obnoxious "you are overdue" sticker on your windshield. (Ask me how I know that... :) ) And of course, please let us know how your hike goes; I love talking Barracks! -Joe



        --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me!
        >
        > I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him into the barracks. I dont think he is up for the full hike unfortunately, nor do we have time.
        >
        > I have been thinking about entering via the poverty trail find a campsite near there, set up camp and explore for a day and a half. I just have a couple questions I hope you or someone can help me with
        >
        > 1. Any suitable camping spots near where poverty trail drops into the East Fork?
        > 2. How far past the poverty wash cross over do you suggest one drive in a HC 4x4?
        > 3. Anyone ever hike East Fork toward the end of may? How were the biting flying insects
        > 4. How difficult or close will I be to the "goodies" from poverty trail?
        > Any other suggestions, tips, etc?
        >
        > Matt
        >
      • Matt
        The checkerboard option sounds pretty good. I am not 100 percent sure how competent my backpacking compadre is and I was nervous about the drop in, how bad is
        Message 3 of 13 , May 13, 2013
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          The checkerboard option sounds pretty good. I am not 100 percent sure how competent my backpacking compadre is and I was nervous about the drop in, how bad is it? I also read on your website that there isnt any camping in the lower barracks till above the boulder obstacle so are you suggesting hike in from checkerboard, get above the boulder to around poverty wash or rock canyon and camp there? Or camp before the drop into the barracks.



          --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Matt -- Funny, I just went through Poverty Trail on my Zion trip last week, so this is pretty fresh on my mind! If you have an HC 4x4, you should be in good shape for the initial Poverty Wash crossover. That initial descent is pretty steep; I took it in a 2WD SUV and going down was fine, but coming back up was difficult. I almost got stuck because the grade is steep and the road is mostly loose sand with rock shards. I had to back up and floor it and I barely got out. But 4WD, no problem! Once past the crossover, the going is really easy until that descent "road gets very difficult" hill. You'll know it when you reach it. I'd stop there unless you're on an ATV. At the top of each descent spot are good parking and camping areas.
          >
          > The entrance isn't that close to the best part of the Barracks (which I'd say is down canyon from the boulder obstacle), but you could easily hike upstream to explore Mineral (nice and deep) or going downstream to explore up both Rock and Poverty would be good. But you'll have a long reverse hike to get back out. As for camping spots, you'll see lots of spots along the river in either direction. I've camped in lower Mineral as well and enjoyed it.
          >
          > Late May should be good. Two times that I have done big trips through the East Fork were in early May. As Cliff noted, the spring runoff for the East Fork ends a lot earlier than the North Fork, so you should be good. Levels this year are pretty average.
          >
          > Another option is to simply hike in from Checkerboard Mesa, enter the Barracks at the Powell Plaque and explore upstream, camp one night, then hike back out. You don't need a permit, but if you park near Checkerboard Mesa, you might want to check in with the backcountry desk so they don't put an obnoxious "you are overdue" sticker on your windshield. (Ask me how I know that... :) ) And of course, please let us know how your hike goes; I love talking Barracks! -Joe
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me!
          > >
          > > I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him into the barracks. I dont think he is up for the full hike unfortunately, nor do we have time.
          > >
          > > I have been thinking about entering via the poverty trail find a campsite near there, set up camp and explore for a day and a half. I just have a couple questions I hope you or someone can help me with
          > >
          > > 1. Any suitable camping spots near where poverty trail drops into the East Fork?
          > > 2. How far past the poverty wash cross over do you suggest one drive in a HC 4x4?
          > > 3. Anyone ever hike East Fork toward the end of may? How were the biting flying insects
          > > 4. How difficult or close will I be to the "goodies" from poverty trail?
          > > Any other suggestions, tips, etc?
          > >
          > > Matt
          > >
          >
        • mojave_ben
          Yes that steep grade back out across the wash up at the upper end... I drove in with 2WD sedan no problem a few years ago but coming out, I was kicking up
          Message 4 of 13 , May 14, 2013
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            Yes that steep grade back out across the wash up at the upper end... I drove in with 2WD sedan no problem a few years ago but coming out, I was kicking up dust and spinning wheels and hoping I didn't burn something out but I made it. Would not recommend with 2WD!

            To Matt's questions:

            If you go down Poverty, there are good places to camp about 5 minutes upstream on the north side, one broad bench just a few feet above the stream and another about 20 feet higher right behind it. I camped there once on a trip similar to what you describe.

            From Checkboard, just before you make the final descent (it's steep, you'll know it) but after the slab crossing, I recall what seemed to be a nice little camp spot on the left. You'd haul your water up from the river so I'd bring some water bags along. Check the map but I'm pretty sure that it outside the park, hence no camping regs.

            There's a small spot right down by the river - big enough for three of us to sit and eat lunch - but brushy so not as scenic. And certainly unsafe if there is any weather.
          • Joe Braun
            The hike in from Checkerboard takes *roughly* 2-4 hours, so while you can find many good places to camp (including the initial shelves right above the river as
            Message 5 of 13 , May 16, 2013
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              The hike in from Checkerboard takes *roughly* 2-4 hours, so while you can find many good places to camp (including the initial shelves right above the river as Ben mentioned), camping here might not suit your needs for exploring up canyon. The route in is mostly a navigational challenge, but if you're good with the maps, route-finding, it's not bad. The only really steep part is right near the end. It can be intimidating, but it's all class 2-3 with nothing really tricky or exposed. I find it to be just fine, but my wife (less of a scrambler/climber) gets really nervous on it, even though she can still make it through with my encouragement. :)

              In Parunuweap between the entrance/exit and the boulder obstacle, there aren't really any idyllic places to camp (IMO), but there are several sandbars and spots where you could make due. Upstream from the boulder, the canyon is less Zion Narrows-ish so there are many places along the banks that should work.

              --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@...> wrote:
              >
              > The checkerboard option sounds pretty good. I am not 100 percent sure how competent my backpacking compadre is and I was nervous about the drop in, how bad is it? I also read on your website that there isnt any camping in the lower barracks till above the boulder obstacle so are you suggesting hike in from checkerboard, get above the boulder to around poverty wash or rock canyon and camp there? Or camp before the drop into the barracks.
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi Matt -- Funny, I just went through Poverty Trail on my Zion trip last week, so this is pretty fresh on my mind! If you have an HC 4x4, you should be in good shape for the initial Poverty Wash crossover. That initial descent is pretty steep; I took it in a 2WD SUV and going down was fine, but coming back up was difficult. I almost got stuck because the grade is steep and the road is mostly loose sand with rock shards. I had to back up and floor it and I barely got out. But 4WD, no problem! Once past the crossover, the going is really easy until that descent "road gets very difficult" hill. You'll know it when you reach it. I'd stop there unless you're on an ATV. At the top of each descent spot are good parking and camping areas.
              > >
              > > The entrance isn't that close to the best part of the Barracks (which I'd say is down canyon from the boulder obstacle), but you could easily hike upstream to explore Mineral (nice and deep) or going downstream to explore up both Rock and Poverty would be good. But you'll have a long reverse hike to get back out. As for camping spots, you'll see lots of spots along the river in either direction. I've camped in lower Mineral as well and enjoyed it.
              > >
              > > Late May should be good. Two times that I have done big trips through the East Fork were in early May. As Cliff noted, the spring runoff for the East Fork ends a lot earlier than the North Fork, so you should be good. Levels this year are pretty average.
              > >
              > > Another option is to simply hike in from Checkerboard Mesa, enter the Barracks at the Powell Plaque and explore upstream, camp one night, then hike back out. You don't need a permit, but if you park near Checkerboard Mesa, you might want to check in with the backcountry desk so they don't put an obnoxious "you are overdue" sticker on your windshield. (Ask me how I know that... :) ) And of course, please let us know how your hike goes; I love talking Barracks! -Joe
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me!
              > > >
              > > > I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him into the barracks. I dont think he is up for the full hike unfortunately, nor do we have time.
              > > >
              > > > I have been thinking about entering via the poverty trail find a campsite near there, set up camp and explore for a day and a half. I just have a couple questions I hope you or someone can help me with
              > > >
              > > > 1. Any suitable camping spots near where poverty trail drops into the East Fork?
              > > > 2. How far past the poverty wash cross over do you suggest one drive in a HC 4x4?
              > > > 3. Anyone ever hike East Fork toward the end of may? How were the biting flying insects
              > > > 4. How difficult or close will I be to the "goodies" from poverty trail?
              > > > Any other suggestions, tips, etc?
              > > >
              > > > Matt
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • Matt
              One more question What are your thoughts on using your French Canyon as an entrance and exit? That seems to put me a bit more in the middle? Road Conditions (I
              Message 6 of 13 , May 16, 2013
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                One more question What are your thoughts on using your French Canyon as an entrance and exit? That seems to put me a bit more in the middle? Road Conditions (I have a limited jeep grand 4x4) Camping near there? etc? Last question I hope :)

                --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@...> wrote:
                >
                > The hike in from Checkerboard takes *roughly* 2-4 hours, so while you can find many good places to camp (including the initial shelves right above the river as Ben mentioned), camping here might not suit your needs for exploring up canyon. The route in is mostly a navigational challenge, but if you're good with the maps, route-finding, it's not bad. The only really steep part is right near the end. It can be intimidating, but it's all class 2-3 with nothing really tricky or exposed. I find it to be just fine, but my wife (less of a scrambler/climber) gets really nervous on it, even though she can still make it through with my encouragement. :)
                >
                > In Parunuweap between the entrance/exit and the boulder obstacle, there aren't really any idyllic places to camp (IMO), but there are several sandbars and spots where you could make due. Upstream from the boulder, the canyon is less Zion Narrows-ish so there are many places along the banks that should work.
                >
                > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                > >
                > > The checkerboard option sounds pretty good. I am not 100 percent sure how competent my backpacking compadre is and I was nervous about the drop in, how bad is it? I also read on your website that there isnt any camping in the lower barracks till above the boulder obstacle so are you suggesting hike in from checkerboard, get above the boulder to around poverty wash or rock canyon and camp there? Or camp before the drop into the barracks.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Hi Matt -- Funny, I just went through Poverty Trail on my Zion trip last week, so this is pretty fresh on my mind! If you have an HC 4x4, you should be in good shape for the initial Poverty Wash crossover. That initial descent is pretty steep; I took it in a 2WD SUV and going down was fine, but coming back up was difficult. I almost got stuck because the grade is steep and the road is mostly loose sand with rock shards. I had to back up and floor it and I barely got out. But 4WD, no problem! Once past the crossover, the going is really easy until that descent "road gets very difficult" hill. You'll know it when you reach it. I'd stop there unless you're on an ATV. At the top of each descent spot are good parking and camping areas.
                > > >
                > > > The entrance isn't that close to the best part of the Barracks (which I'd say is down canyon from the boulder obstacle), but you could easily hike upstream to explore Mineral (nice and deep) or going downstream to explore up both Rock and Poverty would be good. But you'll have a long reverse hike to get back out. As for camping spots, you'll see lots of spots along the river in either direction. I've camped in lower Mineral as well and enjoyed it.
                > > >
                > > > Late May should be good. Two times that I have done big trips through the East Fork were in early May. As Cliff noted, the spring runoff for the East Fork ends a lot earlier than the North Fork, so you should be good. Levels this year are pretty average.
                > > >
                > > > Another option is to simply hike in from Checkerboard Mesa, enter the Barracks at the Powell Plaque and explore upstream, camp one night, then hike back out. You don't need a permit, but if you park near Checkerboard Mesa, you might want to check in with the backcountry desk so they don't put an obnoxious "you are overdue" sticker on your windshield. (Ask me how I know that... :) ) And of course, please let us know how your hike goes; I love talking Barracks! -Joe
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me!
                > > > >
                > > > > I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him into the barracks. I dont think he is up for the full hike unfortunately, nor do we have time.
                > > > >
                > > > > I have been thinking about entering via the poverty trail find a campsite near there, set up camp and explore for a day and a half. I just have a couple questions I hope you or someone can help me with
                > > > >
                > > > > 1. Any suitable camping spots near where poverty trail drops into the East Fork?
                > > > > 2. How far past the poverty wash cross over do you suggest one drive in a HC 4x4?
                > > > > 3. Anyone ever hike East Fork toward the end of may? How were the biting flying insects
                > > > > 4. How difficult or close will I be to the "goodies" from poverty trail?
                > > > > Any other suggestions, tips, etc?
                > > > >
                > > > > Matt
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • Joe Braun
                The big concern is conditions along the long access road from Elephant Butte. I have hiked up French to explore, but I haven t driven the roads at all. Deep
                Message 7 of 13 , May 16, 2013
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                  The big concern is conditions along the long access road from Elephant Butte. I have hiked up French to explore, but I haven't driven the roads at all. Deep sands like on some of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes roads could ruin everything in the wrong vehicle. Hopefully Cliff is reading and can answer? He's the guru for that access route.

                  --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > One more question What are your thoughts on using your French Canyon as an entrance and exit? That seems to put me a bit more in the middle? Road Conditions (I have a limited jeep grand 4x4) Camping near there? etc? Last question I hope :)
                  >
                  > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > The hike in from Checkerboard takes *roughly* 2-4 hours, so while you can find many good places to camp (including the initial shelves right above the river as Ben mentioned), camping here might not suit your needs for exploring up canyon. The route in is mostly a navigational challenge, but if you're good with the maps, route-finding, it's not bad. The only really steep part is right near the end. It can be intimidating, but it's all class 2-3 with nothing really tricky or exposed. I find it to be just fine, but my wife (less of a scrambler/climber) gets really nervous on it, even though she can still make it through with my encouragement. :)
                  > >
                  > > In Parunuweap between the entrance/exit and the boulder obstacle, there aren't really any idyllic places to camp (IMO), but there are several sandbars and spots where you could make due. Upstream from the boulder, the canyon is less Zion Narrows-ish so there are many places along the banks that should work.
                  > >
                  > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > The checkerboard option sounds pretty good. I am not 100 percent sure how competent my backpacking compadre is and I was nervous about the drop in, how bad is it? I also read on your website that there isnt any camping in the lower barracks till above the boulder obstacle so are you suggesting hike in from checkerboard, get above the boulder to around poverty wash or rock canyon and camp there? Or camp before the drop into the barracks.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Hi Matt -- Funny, I just went through Poverty Trail on my Zion trip last week, so this is pretty fresh on my mind! If you have an HC 4x4, you should be in good shape for the initial Poverty Wash crossover. That initial descent is pretty steep; I took it in a 2WD SUV and going down was fine, but coming back up was difficult. I almost got stuck because the grade is steep and the road is mostly loose sand with rock shards. I had to back up and floor it and I barely got out. But 4WD, no problem! Once past the crossover, the going is really easy until that descent "road gets very difficult" hill. You'll know it when you reach it. I'd stop there unless you're on an ATV. At the top of each descent spot are good parking and camping areas.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > The entrance isn't that close to the best part of the Barracks (which I'd say is down canyon from the boulder obstacle), but you could easily hike upstream to explore Mineral (nice and deep) or going downstream to explore up both Rock and Poverty would be good. But you'll have a long reverse hike to get back out. As for camping spots, you'll see lots of spots along the river in either direction. I've camped in lower Mineral as well and enjoyed it.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Late May should be good. Two times that I have done big trips through the East Fork were in early May. As Cliff noted, the spring runoff for the East Fork ends a lot earlier than the North Fork, so you should be good. Levels this year are pretty average.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Another option is to simply hike in from Checkerboard Mesa, enter the Barracks at the Powell Plaque and explore upstream, camp one night, then hike back out. You don't need a permit, but if you park near Checkerboard Mesa, you might want to check in with the backcountry desk so they don't put an obnoxious "you are overdue" sticker on your windshield. (Ask me how I know that... :) ) And of course, please let us know how your hike goes; I love talking Barracks! -Joe
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me!
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him into the barracks. I dont think he is up for the full hike unfortunately, nor do we have time.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > I have been thinking about entering via the poverty trail find a campsite near there, set up camp and explore for a day and a half. I just have a couple questions I hope you or someone can help me with
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > 1. Any suitable camping spots near where poverty trail drops into the East Fork?
                  > > > > > 2. How far past the poverty wash cross over do you suggest one drive in a HC 4x4?
                  > > > > > 3. Anyone ever hike East Fork toward the end of may? How were the biting flying insects
                  > > > > > 4. How difficult or close will I be to the "goodies" from poverty trail?
                  > > > > > Any other suggestions, tips, etc?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Matt
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Cliff
                  The main problems would be navigation (there are several roads) and, as mentioned, deep sand. If you can read a map you shouldn t have any problems. However, I
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 16, 2013
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                    The main problems would be navigation (there are several roads) and, as mentioned, deep sand. If you can read a map you shouldn't have any problems. However, I don't know what the winter has done to the roads. Occasionally it creates deep ruts. When it does, someone makes a bypass road around the bad spot but that may not have happened yet. Really, though, you shouldn't have a problem.
                    You could camp right at the parking area or go down into the canyon and find a spot.

                    --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > The big concern is conditions along the long access road from Elephant Butte. I have hiked up French to explore, but I haven't driven the roads at all. Deep sands like on some of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes roads could ruin everything in the wrong vehicle. Hopefully Cliff is reading and can answer? He's the guru for that access route.
                    >
                    > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > One more question What are your thoughts on using your French Canyon as an entrance and exit? That seems to put me a bit more in the middle? Road Conditions (I have a limited jeep grand 4x4) Camping near there? etc? Last question I hope :)
                    > >
                    > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > The hike in from Checkerboard takes *roughly* 2-4 hours, so while you can find many good places to camp (including the initial shelves right above the river as Ben mentioned), camping here might not suit your needs for exploring up canyon. The route in is mostly a navigational challenge, but if you're good with the maps, route-finding, it's not bad. The only really steep part is right near the end. It can be intimidating, but it's all class 2-3 with nothing really tricky or exposed. I find it to be just fine, but my wife (less of a scrambler/climber) gets really nervous on it, even though she can still make it through with my encouragement. :)
                    > > >
                    > > > In Parunuweap between the entrance/exit and the boulder obstacle, there aren't really any idyllic places to camp (IMO), but there are several sandbars and spots where you could make due. Upstream from the boulder, the canyon is less Zion Narrows-ish so there are many places along the banks that should work.
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > The checkerboard option sounds pretty good. I am not 100 percent sure how competent my backpacking compadre is and I was nervous about the drop in, how bad is it? I also read on your website that there isnt any camping in the lower barracks till above the boulder obstacle so are you suggesting hike in from checkerboard, get above the boulder to around poverty wash or rock canyon and camp there? Or camp before the drop into the barracks.
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Hi Matt -- Funny, I just went through Poverty Trail on my Zion trip last week, so this is pretty fresh on my mind! If you have an HC 4x4, you should be in good shape for the initial Poverty Wash crossover. That initial descent is pretty steep; I took it in a 2WD SUV and going down was fine, but coming back up was difficult. I almost got stuck because the grade is steep and the road is mostly loose sand with rock shards. I had to back up and floor it and I barely got out. But 4WD, no problem! Once past the crossover, the going is really easy until that descent "road gets very difficult" hill. You'll know it when you reach it. I'd stop there unless you're on an ATV. At the top of each descent spot are good parking and camping areas.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > The entrance isn't that close to the best part of the Barracks (which I'd say is down canyon from the boulder obstacle), but you could easily hike upstream to explore Mineral (nice and deep) or going downstream to explore up both Rock and Poverty would be good. But you'll have a long reverse hike to get back out. As for camping spots, you'll see lots of spots along the river in either direction. I've camped in lower Mineral as well and enjoyed it.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Late May should be good. Two times that I have done big trips through the East Fork were in early May. As Cliff noted, the spring runoff for the East Fork ends a lot earlier than the North Fork, so you should be good. Levels this year are pretty average.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Another option is to simply hike in from Checkerboard Mesa, enter the Barracks at the Powell Plaque and explore upstream, camp one night, then hike back out. You don't need a permit, but if you park near Checkerboard Mesa, you might want to check in with the backcountry desk so they don't put an obnoxious "you are overdue" sticker on your windshield. (Ask me how I know that... :) ) And of course, please let us know how your hike goes; I love talking Barracks! -Joe
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me!
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him into the barracks. I dont think he is up for the full hike unfortunately, nor do we have time.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > I have been thinking about entering via the poverty trail find a campsite near there, set up camp and explore for a day and a half. I just have a couple questions I hope you or someone can help me with
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > 1. Any suitable camping spots near where poverty trail drops into the East Fork?
                    > > > > > > 2. How far past the poverty wash cross over do you suggest one drive in a HC 4x4?
                    > > > > > > 3. Anyone ever hike East Fork toward the end of may? How were the biting flying insects
                    > > > > > > 4. How difficult or close will I be to the "goodies" from poverty trail?
                    > > > > > > Any other suggestions, tips, etc?
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Matt
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • Glenn Ray
                    Matt, Just this past Sunday I took this EXACT route (i.e., drove Elephant Cove to Parunuweap WSA, camped and hiked into the Barracks via French Canyon). You
                    Message 9 of 13 , May 16, 2013
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Matt,

                      Just this past Sunday I took this EXACT route (i.e., drove Elephant Cove to Parunuweap WSA, camped and hiked into the Barracks via French Canyon). You definitely need a 4x4/AWD vehicle because the trails are sandy, but they are doable and conditions are quite good. Even a novice like me managed it.

                      From the Elephant Cove trailhead at Coral Sands road (easy to see: there is a large wooden kiosk and several park benches), you drive north from the only road out. This is route 20; you'll see several signposts at junctions along the way. Take route 25 (right fork at junction) about 4.5 miles in. Take route 18 (sharp right turn up a slope) at 8.8 miles in. Stay on this road for about 3 miles and you'll see a parking/camping area on the left (I camped there two nights). There is another parking area about 0.2 miles further north.

                      The entrance to French Canyon is about 3/4 mile northwest from the parking area. The entrance is on the east ridge into the canyon and is marked with several cairn. It is a steep scramble down: at least 80 feet. You then hike southwest to end up on top of the edge of the dryfall at the end of the canyon. The end of the canyon south of here is short and very lush; a nice side trip. Continue west to the other side of the canyon and you'll find trails that will take you down to the floor. A small stream of water (from a spring) starts about 200 yards north and you'll want to go ahead and change to water shoes there.

                      I haven't taken the Checkerboard entry/exit myself, but saw it from the bottom. Looks a lot steeper than I imagined, but it is also more-direct than the French Canyon entry, which I found difficult to do coming back (solo); there are some tight spots in that final section and some loose rock. However, camping in the WSA was fantastic and scenic in its own right.

                      (Thanks to Bo Beck for helping clarify some of this before I went)

                      -Glenn


                      --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Cliff" <kol84b@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > The main problems would be navigation (there are several roads) and, as mentioned, deep sand. If you can read a map you shouldn't have any problems. However, I don't know what the winter has done to the roads. Occasionally it creates deep ruts. When it does, someone makes a bypass road around the bad spot but that may not have happened yet. Really, though, you shouldn't have a problem.
                      > You could camp right at the parking area or go down into the canyon and find a spot.
                      >
                      > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > The big concern is conditions along the long access road from Elephant Butte. I have hiked up French to explore, but I haven't driven the roads at all. Deep sands like on some of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes roads could ruin everything in the wrong vehicle. Hopefully Cliff is reading and can answer? He's the guru for that access route.
                      > >
                      > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > One more question What are your thoughts on using your French Canyon as an entrance and exit? That seems to put me a bit more in the middle? Road Conditions (I have a limited jeep grand 4x4) Camping near there? etc? Last question I hope :)
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > The hike in from Checkerboard takes *roughly* 2-4 hours, so while you can find many good places to camp (including the initial shelves right above the river as Ben mentioned), camping here might not suit your needs for exploring up canyon. The route in is mostly a navigational challenge, but if you're good with the maps, route-finding, it's not bad. The only really steep part is right near the end. It can be intimidating, but it's all class 2-3 with nothing really tricky or exposed. I find it to be just fine, but my wife (less of a scrambler/climber) gets really nervous on it, even though she can still make it through with my encouragement. :)
                      > > > >
                      > > > > In Parunuweap between the entrance/exit and the boulder obstacle, there aren't really any idyllic places to camp (IMO), but there are several sandbars and spots where you could make due. Upstream from the boulder, the canyon is less Zion Narrows-ish so there are many places along the banks that should work.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > The checkerboard option sounds pretty good. I am not 100 percent sure how competent my backpacking compadre is and I was nervous about the drop in, how bad is it? I also read on your website that there isnt any camping in the lower barracks till above the boulder obstacle so are you suggesting hike in from checkerboard, get above the boulder to around poverty wash or rock canyon and camp there? Or camp before the drop into the barracks.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Hi Matt -- Funny, I just went through Poverty Trail on my Zion trip last week, so this is pretty fresh on my mind! If you have an HC 4x4, you should be in good shape for the initial Poverty Wash crossover. That initial descent is pretty steep; I took it in a 2WD SUV and going down was fine, but coming back up was difficult. I almost got stuck because the grade is steep and the road is mostly loose sand with rock shards. I had to back up and floor it and I barely got out. But 4WD, no problem! Once past the crossover, the going is really easy until that descent "road gets very difficult" hill. You'll know it when you reach it. I'd stop there unless you're on an ATV. At the top of each descent spot are good parking and camping areas.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > The entrance isn't that close to the best part of the Barracks (which I'd say is down canyon from the boulder obstacle), but you could easily hike upstream to explore Mineral (nice and deep) or going downstream to explore up both Rock and Poverty would be good. But you'll have a long reverse hike to get back out. As for camping spots, you'll see lots of spots along the river in either direction. I've camped in lower Mineral as well and enjoyed it.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Late May should be good. Two times that I have done big trips through the East Fork were in early May. As Cliff noted, the spring runoff for the East Fork ends a lot earlier than the North Fork, so you should be good. Levels this year are pretty average.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Another option is to simply hike in from Checkerboard Mesa, enter the Barracks at the Powell Plaque and explore upstream, camp one night, then hike back out. You don't need a permit, but if you park near Checkerboard Mesa, you might want to check in with the backcountry desk so they don't put an obnoxious "you are overdue" sticker on your windshield. (Ask me how I know that... :) ) And of course, please let us know how your hike goes; I love talking Barracks! -Joe
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me!
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him into the barracks. I dont think he is up for the full hike unfortunately, nor do we have time.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > I have been thinking about entering via the poverty trail find a campsite near there, set up camp and explore for a day and a half. I just have a couple questions I hope you or someone can help me with
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > 1. Any suitable camping spots near where poverty trail drops into the East Fork?
                      > > > > > > > 2. How far past the poverty wash cross over do you suggest one drive in a HC 4x4?
                      > > > > > > > 3. Anyone ever hike East Fork toward the end of may? How were the biting flying insects
                      > > > > > > > 4. How difficult or close will I be to the "goodies" from poverty trail?
                      > > > > > > > Any other suggestions, tips, etc?
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Matt
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • TomJones
                      You could also go down next to Rock Canyon and then use French for an exit, which would give you somewhat of a loop. Pretty good map and pics here:
                      Message 10 of 13 , May 17, 2013
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                        You could also go down next to Rock Canyon and then use French for an exit, which would give you somewhat of a loop.

                        Pretty good map and pics here:

                        http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/rock-canyon/

                        (if I say so myself).

                        Tom

                        --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Matt,
                        >
                        > Just this past Sunday I took this EXACT route (i.e., drove Elephant Cove to Parunuweap WSA, camped and hiked into the Barracks via French Canyon). You definitely need a 4x4/AWD vehicle because the trails are sandy, but they are doable and conditions are quite good. Even a novice like me managed it.
                        >
                        > From the Elephant Cove trailhead at Coral Sands road (easy to see: there is a large wooden kiosk and several park benches), you drive north from the only road out. This is route 20; you'll see several signposts at junctions along the way. Take route 25 (right fork at junction) about 4.5 miles in. Take route 18 (sharp right turn up a slope) at 8.8 miles in. Stay on this road for about 3 miles and you'll see a parking/camping area on the left (I camped there two nights). There is another parking area about 0.2 miles further north.
                        >
                        > The entrance to French Canyon is about 3/4 mile northwest from the parking area. The entrance is on the east ridge into the canyon and is marked with several cairn. It is a steep scramble down: at least 80 feet. You then hike southwest to end up on top of the edge of the dryfall at the end of the canyon. The end of the canyon south of here is short and very lush; a nice side trip. Continue west to the other side of the canyon and you'll find trails that will take you down to the floor. A small stream of water (from a spring) starts about 200 yards north and you'll want to go ahead and change to water shoes there.
                        >
                        > I haven't taken the Checkerboard entry/exit myself, but saw it from the bottom. Looks a lot steeper than I imagined, but it is also more-direct than the French Canyon entry, which I found difficult to do coming back (solo); there are some tight spots in that final section and some loose rock. However, camping in the WSA was fantastic and scenic in its own right.
                        >
                        > (Thanks to Bo Beck for helping clarify some of this before I went)
                        >
                        > -Glenn
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Cliff" <kol84b@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > The main problems would be navigation (there are several roads) and, as mentioned, deep sand. If you can read a map you shouldn't have any problems. However, I don't know what the winter has done to the roads. Occasionally it creates deep ruts. When it does, someone makes a bypass road around the bad spot but that may not have happened yet. Really, though, you shouldn't have a problem.
                        > > You could camp right at the parking area or go down into the canyon and find a spot.
                        > >
                        > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > The big concern is conditions along the long access road from Elephant Butte. I have hiked up French to explore, but I haven't driven the roads at all. Deep sands like on some of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes roads could ruin everything in the wrong vehicle. Hopefully Cliff is reading and can answer? He's the guru for that access route.
                        > > >
                        > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                        > > > >
                        > > > > One more question What are your thoughts on using your French Canyon as an entrance and exit? That seems to put me a bit more in the middle? Road Conditions (I have a limited jeep grand 4x4) Camping near there? etc? Last question I hope :)
                        > > > >
                        > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > The hike in from Checkerboard takes *roughly* 2-4 hours, so while you can find many good places to camp (including the initial shelves right above the river as Ben mentioned), camping here might not suit your needs for exploring up canyon. The route in is mostly a navigational challenge, but if you're good with the maps, route-finding, it's not bad. The only really steep part is right near the end. It can be intimidating, but it's all class 2-3 with nothing really tricky or exposed. I find it to be just fine, but my wife (less of a scrambler/climber) gets really nervous on it, even though she can still make it through with my encouragement. :)
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > In Parunuweap between the entrance/exit and the boulder obstacle, there aren't really any idyllic places to camp (IMO), but there are several sandbars and spots where you could make due. Upstream from the boulder, the canyon is less Zion Narrows-ish so there are many places along the banks that should work.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > The checkerboard option sounds pretty good. I am not 100 percent sure how competent my backpacking compadre is and I was nervous about the drop in, how bad is it? I also read on your website that there isnt any camping in the lower barracks till above the boulder obstacle so are you suggesting hike in from checkerboard, get above the boulder to around poverty wash or rock canyon and camp there? Or camp before the drop into the barracks.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Hi Matt -- Funny, I just went through Poverty Trail on my Zion trip last week, so this is pretty fresh on my mind! If you have an HC 4x4, you should be in good shape for the initial Poverty Wash crossover. That initial descent is pretty steep; I took it in a 2WD SUV and going down was fine, but coming back up was difficult. I almost got stuck because the grade is steep and the road is mostly loose sand with rock shards. I had to back up and floor it and I barely got out. But 4WD, no problem! Once past the crossover, the going is really easy until that descent "road gets very difficult" hill. You'll know it when you reach it. I'd stop there unless you're on an ATV. At the top of each descent spot are good parking and camping areas.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > The entrance isn't that close to the best part of the Barracks (which I'd say is down canyon from the boulder obstacle), but you could easily hike upstream to explore Mineral (nice and deep) or going downstream to explore up both Rock and Poverty would be good. But you'll have a long reverse hike to get back out. As for camping spots, you'll see lots of spots along the river in either direction. I've camped in lower Mineral as well and enjoyed it.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Late May should be good. Two times that I have done big trips through the East Fork were in early May. As Cliff noted, the spring runoff for the East Fork ends a lot earlier than the North Fork, so you should be good. Levels this year are pretty average.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Another option is to simply hike in from Checkerboard Mesa, enter the Barracks at the Powell Plaque and explore upstream, camp one night, then hike back out. You don't need a permit, but if you park near Checkerboard Mesa, you might want to check in with the backcountry desk so they don't put an obnoxious "you are overdue" sticker on your windshield. (Ask me how I know that... :) ) And of course, please let us know how your hike goes; I love talking Barracks! -Joe
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me!
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him into the barracks. I dont think he is up for the full hike unfortunately, nor do we have time.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > I have been thinking about entering via the poverty trail find a campsite near there, set up camp and explore for a day and a half. I just have a couple questions I hope you or someone can help me with
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > 1. Any suitable camping spots near where poverty trail drops into the East Fork?
                        > > > > > > > > 2. How far past the poverty wash cross over do you suggest one drive in a HC 4x4?
                        > > > > > > > > 3. Anyone ever hike East Fork toward the end of may? How were the biting flying insects
                        > > > > > > > > 4. How difficult or close will I be to the "goodies" from poverty trail?
                        > > > > > > > > Any other suggestions, tips, etc?
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Matt
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • Joe Braun
                        Glenn -- I m smelling a trip report coming; can t wait! -Joe
                        Message 11 of 13 , May 17, 2013
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Glenn -- I'm smelling a trip report coming; can't wait! -Joe

                          --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Matt,
                          >
                          > Just this past Sunday I took this EXACT route (i.e., drove Elephant Cove to Parunuweap WSA, camped and hiked into the Barracks via French Canyon). You definitely need a 4x4/AWD vehicle because the trails are sandy, but they are doable and conditions are quite good. Even a novice like me managed it.
                          >
                          > From the Elephant Cove trailhead at Coral Sands road (easy to see: there is a large wooden kiosk and several park benches), you drive north from the only road out. This is route 20; you'll see several signposts at junctions along the way. Take route 25 (right fork at junction) about 4.5 miles in. Take route 18 (sharp right turn up a slope) at 8.8 miles in. Stay on this road for about 3 miles and you'll see a parking/camping area on the left (I camped there two nights). There is another parking area about 0.2 miles further north.
                          >
                          > The entrance to French Canyon is about 3/4 mile northwest from the parking area. The entrance is on the east ridge into the canyon and is marked with several cairn. It is a steep scramble down: at least 80 feet. You then hike southwest to end up on top of the edge of the dryfall at the end of the canyon. The end of the canyon south of here is short and very lush; a nice side trip. Continue west to the other side of the canyon and you'll find trails that will take you down to the floor. A small stream of water (from a spring) starts about 200 yards north and you'll want to go ahead and change to water shoes there.
                          >
                          > I haven't taken the Checkerboard entry/exit myself, but saw it from the bottom. Looks a lot steeper than I imagined, but it is also more-direct than the French Canyon entry, which I found difficult to do coming back (solo); there are some tight spots in that final section and some loose rock. However, camping in the WSA was fantastic and scenic in its own right.
                          >
                          > (Thanks to Bo Beck for helping clarify some of this before I went)
                          >
                          > -Glenn
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Cliff" <kol84b@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > The main problems would be navigation (there are several roads) and, as mentioned, deep sand. If you can read a map you shouldn't have any problems. However, I don't know what the winter has done to the roads. Occasionally it creates deep ruts. When it does, someone makes a bypass road around the bad spot but that may not have happened yet. Really, though, you shouldn't have a problem.
                          > > You could camp right at the parking area or go down into the canyon and find a spot.
                          > >
                          > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > The big concern is conditions along the long access road from Elephant Butte. I have hiked up French to explore, but I haven't driven the roads at all. Deep sands like on some of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes roads could ruin everything in the wrong vehicle. Hopefully Cliff is reading and can answer? He's the guru for that access route.
                          > > >
                          > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > One more question What are your thoughts on using your French Canyon as an entrance and exit? That seems to put me a bit more in the middle? Road Conditions (I have a limited jeep grand 4x4) Camping near there? etc? Last question I hope :)
                          > > > >
                          > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > The hike in from Checkerboard takes *roughly* 2-4 hours, so while you can find many good places to camp (including the initial shelves right above the river as Ben mentioned), camping here might not suit your needs for exploring up canyon. The route in is mostly a navigational challenge, but if you're good with the maps, route-finding, it's not bad. The only really steep part is right near the end. It can be intimidating, but it's all class 2-3 with nothing really tricky or exposed. I find it to be just fine, but my wife (less of a scrambler/climber) gets really nervous on it, even though she can still make it through with my encouragement. :)
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > In Parunuweap between the entrance/exit and the boulder obstacle, there aren't really any idyllic places to camp (IMO), but there are several sandbars and spots where you could make due. Upstream from the boulder, the canyon is less Zion Narrows-ish so there are many places along the banks that should work.
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > The checkerboard option sounds pretty good. I am not 100 percent sure how competent my backpacking compadre is and I was nervous about the drop in, how bad is it? I also read on your website that there isnt any camping in the lower barracks till above the boulder obstacle so are you suggesting hike in from checkerboard, get above the boulder to around poverty wash or rock canyon and camp there? Or camp before the drop into the barracks.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > Hi Matt -- Funny, I just went through Poverty Trail on my Zion trip last week, so this is pretty fresh on my mind! If you have an HC 4x4, you should be in good shape for the initial Poverty Wash crossover. That initial descent is pretty steep; I took it in a 2WD SUV and going down was fine, but coming back up was difficult. I almost got stuck because the grade is steep and the road is mostly loose sand with rock shards. I had to back up and floor it and I barely got out. But 4WD, no problem! Once past the crossover, the going is really easy until that descent "road gets very difficult" hill. You'll know it when you reach it. I'd stop there unless you're on an ATV. At the top of each descent spot are good parking and camping areas.
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > The entrance isn't that close to the best part of the Barracks (which I'd say is down canyon from the boulder obstacle), but you could easily hike upstream to explore Mineral (nice and deep) or going downstream to explore up both Rock and Poverty would be good. But you'll have a long reverse hike to get back out. As for camping spots, you'll see lots of spots along the river in either direction. I've camped in lower Mineral as well and enjoyed it.
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > Late May should be good. Two times that I have done big trips through the East Fork were in early May. As Cliff noted, the spring runoff for the East Fork ends a lot earlier than the North Fork, so you should be good. Levels this year are pretty average.
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > Another option is to simply hike in from Checkerboard Mesa, enter the Barracks at the Powell Plaque and explore upstream, camp one night, then hike back out. You don't need a permit, but if you park near Checkerboard Mesa, you might want to check in with the backcountry desk so they don't put an obnoxious "you are overdue" sticker on your windshield. (Ask me how I know that... :) ) And of course, please let us know how your hike goes; I love talking Barracks! -Joe
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me!
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him into the barracks. I dont think he is up for the full hike unfortunately, nor do we have time.
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > I have been thinking about entering via the poverty trail find a campsite near there, set up camp and explore for a day and a half. I just have a couple questions I hope you or someone can help me with
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > 1. Any suitable camping spots near where poverty trail drops into the East Fork?
                          > > > > > > > > 2. How far past the poverty wash cross over do you suggest one drive in a HC 4x4?
                          > > > > > > > > 3. Anyone ever hike East Fork toward the end of may? How were the biting flying insects
                          > > > > > > > > 4. How difficult or close will I be to the "goodies" from poverty trail?
                          > > > > > > > > Any other suggestions, tips, etc?
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > Matt
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • Matt
                          Tom, if you are volunteering to take us to do the technical route just say so! ;) Seriously I have used your website quite a bit for driving directions and
                          Message 12 of 13 , May 19, 2013
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                            Tom, if you are volunteering to take us to do the technical route just say so! ;) Seriously I have used your website quite a bit for driving directions and such so thanks!

                            Matt

                            --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "TomJones" <ratagonia@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > You could also go down next to Rock Canyon and then use French for an exit, which would give you somewhat of a loop.
                            >
                            > Pretty good map and pics here:
                            >
                            > http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/rock-canyon/
                            >
                            > (if I say so myself).
                            >
                            > Tom
                            >
                            > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Matt,
                            > >
                            > > Just this past Sunday I took this EXACT route (i.e., drove Elephant Cove to Parunuweap WSA, camped and hiked into the Barracks via French Canyon). You definitely need a 4x4/AWD vehicle because the trails are sandy, but they are doable and conditions are quite good. Even a novice like me managed it.
                            > >
                            > > From the Elephant Cove trailhead at Coral Sands road (easy to see: there is a large wooden kiosk and several park benches), you drive north from the only road out. This is route 20; you'll see several signposts at junctions along the way. Take route 25 (right fork at junction) about 4.5 miles in. Take route 18 (sharp right turn up a slope) at 8.8 miles in. Stay on this road for about 3 miles and you'll see a parking/camping area on the left (I camped there two nights). There is another parking area about 0.2 miles further north.
                            > >
                            > > The entrance to French Canyon is about 3/4 mile northwest from the parking area. The entrance is on the east ridge into the canyon and is marked with several cairn. It is a steep scramble down: at least 80 feet. You then hike southwest to end up on top of the edge of the dryfall at the end of the canyon. The end of the canyon south of here is short and very lush; a nice side trip. Continue west to the other side of the canyon and you'll find trails that will take you down to the floor. A small stream of water (from a spring) starts about 200 yards north and you'll want to go ahead and change to water shoes there.
                            > >
                            > > I haven't taken the Checkerboard entry/exit myself, but saw it from the bottom. Looks a lot steeper than I imagined, but it is also more-direct than the French Canyon entry, which I found difficult to do coming back (solo); there are some tight spots in that final section and some loose rock. However, camping in the WSA was fantastic and scenic in its own right.
                            > >
                            > > (Thanks to Bo Beck for helping clarify some of this before I went)
                            > >
                            > > -Glenn
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Cliff" <kol84b@> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > The main problems would be navigation (there are several roads) and, as mentioned, deep sand. If you can read a map you shouldn't have any problems. However, I don't know what the winter has done to the roads. Occasionally it creates deep ruts. When it does, someone makes a bypass road around the bad spot but that may not have happened yet. Really, though, you shouldn't have a problem.
                            > > > You could camp right at the parking area or go down into the canyon and find a spot.
                            > > >
                            > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > The big concern is conditions along the long access road from Elephant Butte. I have hiked up French to explore, but I haven't driven the roads at all. Deep sands like on some of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes roads could ruin everything in the wrong vehicle. Hopefully Cliff is reading and can answer? He's the guru for that access route.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > One more question What are your thoughts on using your French Canyon as an entrance and exit? That seems to put me a bit more in the middle? Road Conditions (I have a limited jeep grand 4x4) Camping near there? etc? Last question I hope :)
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                            > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > The hike in from Checkerboard takes *roughly* 2-4 hours, so while you can find many good places to camp (including the initial shelves right above the river as Ben mentioned), camping here might not suit your needs for exploring up canyon. The route in is mostly a navigational challenge, but if you're good with the maps, route-finding, it's not bad. The only really steep part is right near the end. It can be intimidating, but it's all class 2-3 with nothing really tricky or exposed. I find it to be just fine, but my wife (less of a scrambler/climber) gets really nervous on it, even though she can still make it through with my encouragement. :)
                            > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > In Parunuweap between the entrance/exit and the boulder obstacle, there aren't really any idyllic places to camp (IMO), but there are several sandbars and spots where you could make due. Upstream from the boulder, the canyon is less Zion Narrows-ish so there are many places along the banks that should work.
                            > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > The checkerboard option sounds pretty good. I am not 100 percent sure how competent my backpacking compadre is and I was nervous about the drop in, how bad is it? I also read on your website that there isnt any camping in the lower barracks till above the boulder obstacle so are you suggesting hike in from checkerboard, get above the boulder to around poverty wash or rock canyon and camp there? Or camp before the drop into the barracks.
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > Hi Matt -- Funny, I just went through Poverty Trail on my Zion trip last week, so this is pretty fresh on my mind! If you have an HC 4x4, you should be in good shape for the initial Poverty Wash crossover. That initial descent is pretty steep; I took it in a 2WD SUV and going down was fine, but coming back up was difficult. I almost got stuck because the grade is steep and the road is mostly loose sand with rock shards. I had to back up and floor it and I barely got out. But 4WD, no problem! Once past the crossover, the going is really easy until that descent "road gets very difficult" hill. You'll know it when you reach it. I'd stop there unless you're on an ATV. At the top of each descent spot are good parking and camping areas.
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > The entrance isn't that close to the best part of the Barracks (which I'd say is down canyon from the boulder obstacle), but you could easily hike upstream to explore Mineral (nice and deep) or going downstream to explore up both Rock and Poverty would be good. But you'll have a long reverse hike to get back out. As for camping spots, you'll see lots of spots along the river in either direction. I've camped in lower Mineral as well and enjoyed it.
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > Late May should be good. Two times that I have done big trips through the East Fork were in early May. As Cliff noted, the spring runoff for the East Fork ends a lot earlier than the North Fork, so you should be good. Levels this year are pretty average.
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > Another option is to simply hike in from Checkerboard Mesa, enter the Barracks at the Powell Plaque and explore upstream, camp one night, then hike back out. You don't need a permit, but if you park near Checkerboard Mesa, you might want to check in with the backcountry desk so they don't put an obnoxious "you are overdue" sticker on your windshield. (Ask me how I know that... :) ) And of course, please let us know how your hike goes; I love talking Barracks! -Joe
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@> wrote:
                            > > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > > Hey Joe since you are the expert when it comes to the barracks I hope you can help me!
                            > > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > > I have a friend who is new to backpacking and I would like to take him into the barracks. I dont think he is up for the full hike unfortunately, nor do we have time.
                            > > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > > I have been thinking about entering via the poverty trail find a campsite near there, set up camp and explore for a day and a half. I just have a couple questions I hope you or someone can help me with
                            > > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > > 1. Any suitable camping spots near where poverty trail drops into the East Fork?
                            > > > > > > > > > 2. How far past the poverty wash cross over do you suggest one drive in a HC 4x4?
                            > > > > > > > > > 3. Anyone ever hike East Fork toward the end of may? How were the biting flying insects
                            > > > > > > > > > 4. How difficult or close will I be to the "goodies" from poverty trail?
                            > > > > > > > > > Any other suggestions, tips, etc?
                            > > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > > Matt
                            > > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > >
                            > > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > >
                            > >
                            >
                          • TomJones
                            Ha ha! No such luck. But, also detailed on that page is essentially a non-technical loop down NEXT to Rock and out French. T
                            Message 13 of 13 , May 20, 2013
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                              Ha ha! No such luck.

                              But, also detailed on that page is essentially a non-technical loop down NEXT to Rock and out French.

                              T

                              --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Matt" <matt_andersao@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Tom, if you are volunteering to take us to do the technical route just say so! ;) Seriously I have used your website quite a bit for driving directions and such so thanks!
                              >
                              > Matt
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