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Buckskin Gulch Backpack, Day 3
Wednesday, September 28
Today was the third and final day of our Buckskin Gulch backpack. Unlike the previous two days, we had a fairly stringent schedule to adhere to: Arn's wife Gosia was scheduled to meet us at the White House trailhead at some point around noon, and we did not want to alarm her unnecessarily by being late. As well, we had some fairly complicated logistics to do in order to transfer the rental car from Gosia to Kyle (Kyle was leaving us today, heading back home to Vancouver, and would be using Gosia's rental car to get to his flight in Las Vegas).
Orion in Pre-dawn Sky
Headlamps Away...
Up the Paria
So, unlike the previous days, we were up well before sunrise, and were treated to a canyon wall-framed view of the constellation of Orion in the sky above. It was still pre-dawn by the time we had packed up and started out from camp, so we used our headlamps for the first half-hour of hiking.

We hiked a few minutes down Buckskin Gulch to the Paria River confluence, then turned left, heading upstream towards the White House trailhead.

The river's water flow seemed to be about half of what it was the afternoon before; this seemed strange, since we could think of no current natural conditions that would cause this (no recent rainfall and no snowmelt in the high country at this time of year).
Muddy Paria
Splashing up the Paria
Splashing up the Paria
Hiking up the Paria was a grand experience, much like in Buckskin Gulch. The feeling was different, though, with the murmuring and splashing of flowing water and with walls that were generally farther apart. A bit less tomb-like, I suppose.
Starting to open up
Lighter, lower, wider
Arn hikes the Paria
An hour of hiking upstream saw the walls of the Paria Canyon start to widen and become less steep. Soon the rays of the early morning sun were managing to reach the canyon floor.
courtesy AHyndman
Hiker Silhouettes
Kyle on Paria
Pockmarked Wall
The canyon walls steadily retreated and lowered. We marched briskly, not stopping often or for very long. We were on a schedule today!
Widening Paria
Hiking Upriver
Past Muddy Rapids
Now much broader and with flat benches beginning to form on either side of the watercourse, Paria Canyon was still scenic, but in a much different manner than the narrows from which we had come.

When we crossed underneath a couple of sets of high-power transmission lines, we knew we were close. I recalled seeing them off in the distance from our White House campground stay three days before. Sure enough, another few bends brought us to a much wider and lower-walled area, and we could see the two brown dots of the outhouses at the trailhead.
Under the wires
Distinctive Domes
Bench Crossings
courtesy JInnes
White House Trailhead in sight
Arriving White House TH
Andrew finishes Backpack
Arrival time at the Whitehouse Trailhead was at 10:30am. We'd made excellent time, managing to journey the 12km (7.5 miles) from our campsite at the Buckskin-Pariah confluence to the trailhead in three hours and 45 minutes.
White House Trailhead
Trek to the Station
Walking the White House Road
We had managed to arrive a little bit ahead of the appointed meetup time with Gosia. After taking a break and freshening up a bit, we decided that the best course of action was to walk the 3km up the White House road to the Ranger Station. Doing so would further reduce the amount of time spent doing the car swap, and allow Arn, Gosia, Jenn and I to move on to our next outdoor destination more quickly. And, if she happened to arrive while we were walking up the road, we would meet her driving down it.
courtesy JInnes
Contact Station in sight
Contact Station in sight
Well-earned Beer
The forced march along the gravel road back to highway 89 wasn't the most fun sort of hiking, but we went as fast as possible, and in forty minutes we were done. Gosia had still not arrived, so we made our way up to the ranger station to stay in the shade -- and to update the rangers on the real current conditions in Buckskin Gulch (which was slightly muddy and with only a few pools, all less than knee deep).

Gosia arrived in a black Chevrolet HHR rental car shortly after noon. She had brought a treat for weary hikers: a six-pack of Corona beer!

While Jenn, Arn and Kyle enjoyed their cool treats, Gosia and I hopped into her rental car and drove back to the Buckskin Gulch trailhead, where I retrieved our own rental vehicle. We then drove in convoy back to the Paria Ranger Station.
Interactive Trackmap, Day 3 of Buckskin Gulch Backpack - click map to view
Hike Data - Buckskin Gulch, Day 3
Start Time: 5:46a.m.
End Time: 9:32a.m.
Duration: 3h45m
Distance: 11.96 km (7.43 mi)
Average Speed: 3.2 km/hr (2.0 mph)
Start Elevation: 4488ft (1368m) *
Max Elevation: 4608ft (1405m) *
Min Elevation: 4233ft (1290m) *
End Elevation: 4310ft (1314m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 120ft (37m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 375ft (114m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
Walk, White House Trailhead to Ranger Station
Start Time: 9:57a.m.
End Time: 10:38a.m.
Duration: 0h40m
Distance: 3.29 km (2.05 mi)
Average Speed: 4.9 km/hr (3.1 mph)
Start Elevation: 4295ft (1309m) *
Max Elevation: 4400ft (1341m) *
Min Elevation: 4273ft (1302m) *
End Elevation: 4400ft (1341m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 108ft (33m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 1ft (0m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
Below is a video sequence containing a detailed account of our three-day backpack through Buckskin Gulch. Also includes (on day 1 of the backpack) some clips of our visit to 'Ed Maiers Secret'. Click directly on the image below to start the video.

Video, Buckskin Gulch Backpack - Click on video above to start

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[ Return to "2011 Vacation Burnup Trip" Home page | Introduction | To the Sierra Nevada | Attempt on University Peak | Drive through Death Valley | Spring Mountains Drive | Rimrock Hoodoos | The Nautilus | Buckskin Gulch Backpack, Day 1 | Ed Maiers Secret | Buckskin Gulch Backpack, Day 2 | Buckskin Gulch Backpack, Day 3 | Peekaboo & Spooky Slots | J.E.M. Trail Mountain Biking | Angel's Landing | Virgin River Narrows | Las Vegas Loungings | Video Clip Index | GPS Data ]

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