Let me (Tyler) start by saying this was an insane trip and Matt Bainsmith wins the prize for most adventurous-awesomest person I know.
Mexican Hat, UT
For Matt’s Bachelor party he decided he wanted to follow his newfound passion of Packrafting, which for those of you that don’t know, is backpacking with a tiny raft and then hiking half the route and rafting the other half… Sounded crazy to me too. The river of his choice to packraft was the San Juan in the South Eastern corner of Utah by a city called Mexican Hat (yes that is a real city name), this whole trip sounds made up at this point. We (Tyler, Matt, Tad, and Brian) did a hike starting around Goose Neck State Park (bottom right star is the start), down to the San Juan river, then floated the river to grand gulch, then got out and hiked out of grand gulch via Collins Springs (top star marks the end). It was a great trip, and we all had a good time, though it was up there on the difficulty scale.
The Packrafting Route
So we did 2 Kings Peak trips recently. The 2nd happens to be the highest peak in Utah at 13,528 ft. It’s in the Uintas Range, a personal favorite of mine, and we had a great, quick 2 day weekend trip to the top. We did the trip with Matt, Dani, Cole, and Ava and it was a great group to put some long miles in with.
The river along the hike
We started the trip on Friday, The 4th of July, and hiked about 8 miles deep into the Uintas to find a camp spot for the night. We left Salt Lake City early that morning and drove a quick few hours to the Henry’s Fork Trailhead. The hiking was easy with little elevation change and a lot of water. The weather was interesting and became quite stormy as we neared King’s Peak. We found a pretty awesome campsite off the trail and next to a stream and set up camp for the night. We spent the better half of the afternoon hiding from the intermittent rainstorms, which we hear are quite common in the area, and had a great relaxing afternoon and dinner.