DISTANCE
21.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,096 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

wildlife

no shade

backpacking
1 month ago

21 mile loop through the slot canyon that is Little Death Hollow (10m), then to Escalante River (2.5m) for a refreshing overnighter splash for day 1. After lounging in the river and swimming, we headed back up through Wolverine Canyon (9m). If you have only one car, add 2.5 miles to walk the dirt road from Wolverine trailhead to the Little Death hollow trailhead.

We (my daughters: 9, 12, 17) cut our trip by one night because the springs on the map were all dried up! So we had to get to the cars before we ran out. So this trip ended up being a one nighter and we did more miles than expected due to the search for water.

Little Death Hollow is absolutely fun! The slot Canyon (3 feet wide width apart on either side) goes on for several miles. I was worried that we’d only see that kind of terrain for several hundred feet, but it runs a couple of miles. Absolutely worth the trip alone.

After that we headed down to the river since that was the source of water. I’m glad we did since it was the “only” water source. And an absolutely rejuvenating river, since it’s not a trickle, but enough to wade in and swim the deeper pools. It’s was clearer than I thought it’d be, enough to spot fish darting from cover to cover. Wear pants for that part, the deer flies will bite you all the way down. I was wearing pants, it’s no bother. I happen to have the zip on and was grateful. The other adult in my party only had shorts, and he was slapping as swatting every 3-5 steps. It sure helped us pick up the pace!

The trip back up the Wolverine Canyon is breathtaking too. You trade the soft curves of slot style canyons for Swiss cheese pock marks along the Canyon walls. While not qualifying as a slot, the pass weaves in and out of 5 foot to 30 feet widths. So you still get the maze feel of the slots.

My contours map showed two springs up above the canyon. While there’s trails there, the energy spent on climbing elevation was rewarded with old, abandoned, dried up, horse watering springs. So no water to show for the hard work. Perhaps it was the wrong time of year.

The actual hiking is moderate, probably due to the minimal elevations change and mostly gradually down hill, but the single water source and distances to get back to your car makes it a ‘hard’ rating, and why I give it a 4 star rating. My daughters seriously loved it!

I don’t see how people can go into Little Death hollow and back, as I think it’d prove difficult to climb over some of the obstacles, like a boulder in the slot or a mud puddle blocked by debris. Going down is fine, just not up. Some go above the slot, but then to me, what’s the point! if you’re not in the slot.