Boulder Mail Trail Backpacking Trip

Boulder Mail Trail

St. George, UT
4.9 (19 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Breathtaking Canyons
  • Cascades & Desert Oases
  • Iconic Views
  • Desert Solitude
  • Natural Bridges & Slickrock
  • Escalante River
  • Guides Choice Trip

Description

The Boulder Mail Trail offers the opportunity to traverse Utah’s finest canyon country. This wilderness route is a rewarding adventure across a sea of slickrock formations, high plateau Ponderosa Forests and deep shady canyons with spring-fed creeks. It is a trip not to be missed and will be one you’ll think back on again and again!

The Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument is one of the most beautiful regions in Utah with it’s unique, undulating terrain and brilliant sandstone features. The route takes us across a stunning plateau that was historically used to transport mail and supplies between the towns of Boulder and Escalante. It crosses three major canyon systems and many smaller tributaries that feed into Death Hollow and eventually into the Escalante River.

Each canyon along the Boulder Mail trail has a unique and interesting character. Sand Creek is a high elevation drainage that seems lost in time with the massive feature of Slickrock Saddle rising high above in the distance. Death Hollow is a deep, wet canyon full of water and a lush riparian environment. Mamie Creek is a large drainage of Navajo Sandstone featuring one of the most interesting Natural Bridges in the state of Utah as well as deep water pockets and excellent swimming holes!

4 Days
$1270 Per Person
5 Days
$1485 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 4-5 Days
Distance: 24+MI / 38+KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 4

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
25-35 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
5-7.5 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
1400 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
2000 feet
Quality of Trails:
Mostly off trail
Additional:
Most of this trip is off trail, which includes slickrock hiking, creek hiking and sandy wash hiking.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. regularly exercise vigorously
  3. be comfortable hiking, biking, running, or swimming for several hours without many breaks

SOLITUDE LEVEL 4

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Utah backpacking trip a solitude Level 4. You can expect to see a couple of other groups per day.

Learn More about our Rating System
TRAVEL TO ST. GEORGE

This Utah trip originates in St. George, Utah where you’ll meet your guide and group. St. George has a small airport served by Delta Connection and United Express. From the St. George Airport one can take a taxi into town or some hotels offer a complimentary airport shuttle. The more popular method of travel though is to fly into Las Vegas, NV and take a shuttle (www.stgshuttle.com) to St. George. This is often your cheapest option. It is a 2-hour drive from Las Vegas to St. George on good roads.

UTAH SALES TAX

Utah is the only state we are based in that charges sales tax to outfitters and guides. The sales tax is based on the St. George, UT municipality rates, which are adjusted occasionally but are in the 6-7% range. For all of our hiking and backpacking tours that originate from our St. George, Utah base (Utah trips and Death Valley trips), the sales tax will be applied automatically to your payments. Feel free to call us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions!

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
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Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Shuttle from St. George: 4 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 300 feet

On this guided Utah backpacking adventure will depart Saint George, Utah early this morning for the remote town of Escalante which is truly the heart of Utah’s Canyon Country. After reaching Escalante we will shuttle up to the Boulder-Mail Trailhead and have lunch while preparing for our cross country hike. The overland route from Boulder to Escalante features a sea of endless slick rock sandstone, deep twisting side canyons, spring-fed creeks, and towering Ponderosa Pines typical of Utah’s high canyons. Our hike today is 5.4 miles to a primitive camp overlooking Death Hollow – easily one of the most impressive canyons in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The camp features a beautiful sandstone amphitheater and large natural water pockets teeming with Utah’s unique aquatic life forms such as Fairy Shrimp. Huge panoramic views a hearty dinner and endless desert star gazing are the order of the evening!

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1400 feet

Today we will wake up with the rising sun, pack our gear and prepare for the descent into Death Hollow. Death Hollow is large, deep and full of water – it gets its name from mules falling into the canyon as they attempted the mail route from Boulder to Escalante. As we descend deeper into Death Hollow we’ll be trekking through ankle-deep water. This canyon is filled with huge Ponderosa Pines and natural springs pouring out of the ancient Navajo Sandstone walls. Our destination this evening is Mamie Creek – a large tributary of Death Hollow which we will reach later in the evening to setup camp against a massive rock wall overlooking the canyon.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 6.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 400 feet

This morning we’ll leave our camp setup while we explore downstream to see one of the most unique and interesting features in the region – the Mamie Creek Natural Bridge. The bridge is situated above a massive valley where Mamie Creek pours into Death Hollow. Today is all about exploration – and because we’ll be hiking most of our miles today with light day packs, today is also all about fun! After exploring the bridge we’ll head back upstream to our campsite, where we’ll pack up and continue on just a couple of miles down trail to Antone Flat.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1400 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2000 feet
  • Shuttle to St. George: 4 hours

Today we will pack up early for the 7.5 mile trek across Antone Flats – which features a kaleidoscope of intricate Navajo slickrock formations, canyons and high altitude Ponderosa forests. The hike ends with a massive view into the Escalante River Valley and a steep descent off of the high plateau we’ve been traversing – the old mail route from Boulder to Escalante that bypasses the nearly impassable Escalante River Canyon! We rendezvous with our shuttle pickup around 2:00pm and then depart for St. George, which we should reach between 6pm and 7pm in the evening!

5-Day Variation

The 5-day variation of this trip allows us to finish with a 14-mile traverse of the Escalante River, which runs through a breathtaking, signature Utah canyon. We skip our layover on Day 3 and instead continue on so we can spend two full days along the Escalante River.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Utah hiking guide
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in St. George, Utah to the trailhead and back
  • National park entrance fees
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite communication device
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

What Gear to Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

What Clothes to Bring

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

You will rendezvous with the guide and group in St. George, Utah for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip starts to specify the orientation location. The guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Utah Tours your guide can meet you at your hotel in St. George or Cedar City, Utah at an agreed upon time.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day no later than 7 PM.

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite communication device. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on backpacking trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in Southern Utah

Weather in Southern Utah
Southern Utah is a high desert. The weather is very moderate: occasional dustings of snow in the winter that melt rapidly, and summer temperatures in the low 90s (°F) that often cool down with thunderstorms. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). The ideal time to be in the Canyon Country is Spring and Fall. Read below for average high and low temperatures in Utah’s Canyon Country:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month
High
Low
Dec-Feb
43°
18°
March
55°
27°
April
64°
33°
May
73°
40°
Jun-Aug
88°
55°
September
79°
45°
October
67°
35°
November
53°
25°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Backcountry Sleeping

TENT CAMPING

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 4.9 (19 reviews)
Gayle G.
5.0

Amazing Meals and the Best Guides!

3 months ago

I eat better on these trips than I do at home! The meals are amazing. Such care and creativity. Wildland’s guides are the best !!

John H.
5.0

Trip of a Lifetime!

1 year ago

My daughter and I had a fantastic trip with a great guide, a wonderful route in Utah's canyon lands, first-class equipment, and a smoothly run operation. I recommend Wildland Trekking without reservation- you will have the trip of a lifetime!

Katy H.
5.0

Lovely Experience

1 year ago

Great trip! Wonderfully knowledgeable guide. A lovely experience! Thank's for a fun trip Josh & Wildland!

See More Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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