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Hiking and Backpacking Utah's Boulder Mail Trail

Trek the historic Mail Trail connecting Escalante and Boulder through some of Utah’s most incredible landscapes. Over five days, make your way through the valleys of the Grand Staircase — Escalante National Monument, following rivers, walking through high-altitude forests and camping under rock faces and by natural springs. Explore the rock formations carved into the stone over centuries and marvel in the kaleidoscopic colours of the sandstone that makes this area so spectacular.

5 days, from


per person


10 people max


Trip code: SKXT
Style: Basix
Theme: Walking & Trekking


Countries Visited:  United States Of America
Accommodation: Backcountry camping (4 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle
Included Meals:

  • 5 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 4 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 10

  • Make your way through one of Utah’s finest bits of canyon country, trekking across high plateaus, through deep canyons and past incredible sandstone formations.

  • Explore the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument – following the route historically taken by the fearless workers tasked with taking mail and supplies between Boulder and Escalante.

  • Cross three major canyon systems, Sand Creek, Slickrock and Death Hollow, getting into the rivers and streams that have flowed through this area for centuries.

  • Descend into Death Hollow, following the river through the canyon, past ponderosa pines and natural springs feeding into the Escalante River.

  • Look out over the expanses of this desert landscape, explore natural sandstone bridges and take a dip into natural swimming holes (if the weather is fine!).


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: St. George to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Welcome to Utah! Say good morning from Saint George bright and early as you’ll be heading off for the remote town of Escalante and into the heart of Utah’s canyon country. Keep an eye out for the twisting canyons, trickling streams and enormous ponderosa pines as you make your way. When you arrive, drive up to the Boulder-Mail Trailhead for lunch and prep for your cross-country hike. Your first hike of the trip takes you to a primitive camp overlooking Death Hollow. Here, you’ll find a sandstone amphitheatre, large natural water pockets and panoramic views. Settle in for the night, enjoying dinner and endless stargazing with your new travel buddies.

Day 2: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

As the sun rises, so do you. It’s time to pack up and get ready to descend into Death Hollow. Despite its name, Death Hollow is home to some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in the area. Large, deep and full of water, you’ll walk through alpine forests, along narrow sandstone passages and wade through the ankle-deep water of the Escalante River. Today, visit one of the most interesting features of the region – the Mamie Creek Natural Bridge. Created by millions of years of erosion, the seasonal Mamie Creek flows through the keyhole opening and pours into Death Hollow, creating a sandstone bridge above. Tonight, set up camp above Death Hollow on the Antone Flats.

Day 3: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Today, you’ll head up stream, following the valley along the Upper Escalante River Canyon Hike. This is your first of two full days spent exploring the banks of the Escalante River. Take in all this ancient land has to offer as natural rock formations carved out over centuries add to the otherworldliness of the region.

Day 4: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Today, continue your trek along the Escalante River. Notice the springs that trickle down the sandstone, feeding the river as you explore this unique area. As you head through the canyon, surrounded by the towering walls of sandstone, watch the changing colours of the rockfaces. Today’s hike is all about exploration.

Day 5: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to St. George

Pack up and head off on the final leg of your trek across the Boulder Mail Trail. Keep an eye out for the elaborate Navajo slickrock formations, deep canyons and high-altitude forests. At the end of the hike, stop for a moment to take in the view down into the Escalante River Valley, before the steep descent from the plateau along the Boulder to Escalante old mail route. Following lunch, catch up with your vehicle and head back to St. George, reaching the town in the early evening where you’ll say your goodbyes.