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Thread: Anyone been to Buckskin Gulch lately in 2018?

  1. #1

    Anyone been to Buckskin Gulch lately in 2018?

    I have a permit for the end of June. I've been there before so I know the layout. I'm interested in knowing how much/deep the water is in the cesspool section. Also, how is the spring flow near the confluence? Last year when I did it we didn't get over crotch deep in the deepest sections of water and the spring formed a pretty decent small stream of clear water (2 inch deep, two feet wide) flowing past the bench camping area. I know this will change if there are storms but what do people see now?
    - Mike Dege (aka tuffshed)

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  3. #2
    FWIW- The famous cesspool disappeared 10 years ago. That doesn't mean the canyon doesn't hold water but the cesspool was a massive sand dam that was deep and backed water up for a long ways. I haven't seen anything like the old cesspool for at least 10 years since a massive flash flood cleaned the canyon.

    And yeah, I know that didn't answer your question about water depth in the slot. I don't have current conditions. The spring just above the campsite is always flowing about as you described, or at least it has been in the 30 plus times I've done Buckskin.

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  5. #3
    Thanks Iceaxe, I've only done it once last year and I was surprised at how relatively easy it was given the horror stories I've heard from those that did it when the cesspool was there. Also good to know was that the spring water has been available as described. I was pleasantly surprised that the water was so good and that it wasn't necessary to settle the water, although sterilization was required especially since there was a good deal of horse shit in the spring water. Are horses allowed up Buckskin?
    - Mike Dege (aka tuffshed)

  6. #4
    Yes, horses are allowed in Paria and Buckskin. Once I hiked around the corner in Paria and there was a horse stuck up to it's belly in quicksand. There were about 10 guys with horses and shovels trying to dig the stranded horse out. I figured they had enough help and so I kept walking. I always wondered how it turned out because horses often break a leg when get caught in deep quicksand.

    The cesspool used to be really nasty because the water would never drain or dry out so the water was putrid. Since then there can be some stagnant water, but noting like the unflushed toilet of days gone by.

    I've always been able to pump water at the spring, sometimes the flow is more then others, but it's reliable. Toss a couple coffee filters in your pack, if the spring is slow you can use them to help stop your pump from clogging. I've also dug a hole in the stream flow, which catches water and makes it easy to pump the next morning after settling out all night.

    Post pics of your trip when you return, I love Buckskin Gulch

  7. #5
    tuffshed, I went through Buckskin from Wire Pass to Whitehouse TH with an overnight at the confluence on 5/15. I left a condition update with the nice lady at the Paria ranger station as it was far different and much milder than the reports I received before my departure. There were still a lot of pools to wade through. Most were calf to knee high, a couple were waist high, and at least two were chest high ( neck high if you stepped in the wrong spot ). I'm 5'9. The deep log jam / debris cesspool that has been reported as very troublesome to wade, was nothing but a shin deep pool with a few branches to step over or around. No big deal. All I've described is before Middle Exit. After Middle Exit I don't recall any pools at all.

    The Rabbit Hole is open, though I used the moki steps to get down after sliding my pack and tripod through the hole,... because why not. After that, it was mostly dry with a couple walks through shallow spring flow.

    Hope this helps. Enjoy. I certainly did. The canyon changed a lot since the last time i was through 9 years ago, but it's still friggin awesome.

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