Death Hollow Trail

No death here, but this canyon is a drama queen. Extraordinary views, wading through pools, and poison ivy. Adventure.

*Recommended guides:
The Wildland Trekking Company →
Utah Slickrock Guides →

Escalante Trails

Trail Head: 37.882886, -111.48146
Trail Type: Hiking
Tread: Singletrack
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 14 mile roundtrip

Death Hollow is an amazingly scenic trek that stretches from just west of Boulder, Utah at the northern end of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, crosses McGath Point Bench and Slickrock Saddle Bench, and then drops into and follows the twisting, narrow depths of Death Hollow, until it empties into the Escalante River just north of Highway 12. The hollow is one of the most dramatic canyons in the area, boasting an extraordinarily deep gorge, a stroll across part of the Old Boulder Mail Trail Cross Country Route, a petroglyph panel, waterslides, and the general, untamed wilderness that has captivated countless people throughout history. This route will require wading, and in times of high water, possible swimming.

This trip requires a shuttle to pick hikers up at the end of the Death Hollow route. There are, however, a good number of viable route variants that can be used. For instance, many people do not stop when they reach the Escalante River, but turn East and head downstream until they reach the trailhead to Calf Creek (where Highway 12 curves up north toward Boulder). It is not unheard of to begin the trip at the Escalante river-Death Hollow confluence, and continue east up the Mail Trail, and then to Boulder, where hikers would need a shuttle back to their vehicles below Death Hollow. Alternatively, some hikers start the Death Hollow hike at its confluence with the Escalante River, and hike north until they get tired enough to turn around.

Junction of McGath Bench Road and Boulder Mail Trail

(37.882886, -111.48146)

The Boulder Landing Strip is off of Highway 12, on the McGath Bench Road, which intersects with the Old Boulder Mail Trail Cross Country Route. Visitors will leave their vehicles and begin the hike at the junction, on the northeast side of the McGath Point Bench.

Descent into Death Hollow

(37.845756, -111.516608)

Just over 3.5 miles west of the junction, the Mail Trail junctions with Death Hollow, having passed through Sand Creek, toured the beautiful heights of both McGath Bench and Slickrock Saddle Bench, and finally dropped into the craggy depths of Death Hollow. Only 1.6 miles south of the descent into the hollow from the east, the Mail Trail climbs back out on the west wall of Death Hollow, and continues on down to the town of Escalante.

Escalante River-Death Hollow Confluence

(37.781122, -111.505446)

Death Hollow is 6.6 miles long from the Mail Trail descent to the Escalante River, and full of narrow gorges, striking canyons, and plenty of isolation.

Death Hollow Parking Area

(37.764995, -111.499306)

One mile south of the Overlook, the trail terminates in the 1.7-mile long road coming from Highway 12. The road junctions with the highway 2 miles east of the town of Escalante.

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