Boulder Mail Trail

Cross another trail off the list! The Boulder Mail Trail has a lame sounding name, but it’s a cool hike through a sweet area of high desert slickrock. It starts out with a quick drive across a dirt airstrip to get to the trailhead, and then on the actual trail, you’re walking on sand, glorious sand! For the most part if you’re not walking on slickrock, you’re walking on sand. During the more scenic parts of the trip, especially around the Death Hollow crossing the area looks a lot like stuff from the Zion backcountry, only without some of the red sandstone hues – and the crowds near the trailheads.

After the initial stretch of sand, the first views of the awesome slickrock unfold as you drop down into Sand Creek following the cairns. Sand Creek had a good flow, and the water looked good. On the climb out of Sand Creek you encounter the first stretch of the old telephone cable that was last used in 1955, still hung through the trees along the route.

Then there was more sand.

Then around the corner was Death Hollow. It’s got some amazing views. We passed two day hikers who went as far as the bottom of Death Hollow and went back at that point. The descent is moderately steep, and the second longest drop of the hike. At the bottom, the creek was flowing at about 3x the rate of Sand Creek. There’s a great camping spot right there at the bottom, shaded with tall pines and the creek curving around the bend. The creek is dammed up there making a nice pool to cool down in. There’s supposed to be poison ivy down there, but nothing had grown enough so far this spring to pose any threat. Near the exit, there’s another nice campsite on a sand bench. The climb out is fairly steep. Near the top I made a 3 ft cairn man while I had some down time.

Then there was more sand.

Then we hit Mamie Creek, it’s less dramatic in scenic views, but still pretty nice. We spent the night just off trail, close to the bottom on the sandstone. Water isn’t flowing there, but there are some pools & potholes with great looking water and nasty looking water right along the route.

Then there was more sand.

Then another climb, and a significant stretch of sandstone as the route headed more eastward and climbs even further up, close to the starting elevation. Near the top of that climb I made another cairn man, right before another stretch of sand!

Finally Escalante comes into view, and the trail makes its last descent down slickrock. Halfway down there’s a brief climb up a short hill after which you drop all the way to the valley floor, then follow Pine Creek through a short canyon where it joins up with the Escalante River, and you exit the mouth of that canyon and head back to the trailhead.

The trip was way cooler than the trip report, I’m just tired and wanted to get this written up.

View photos from this trip

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