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Stage 7 : Butler Wash - Beef Basin

National Geographic
NatGeo MAB S07 merge1.png
Sat MAB S07 merge1.png

Note that if the Salt Creek alternative discussed in Stage 6 is taken, then the route described below will not be taken.


The cross-country route from Butler Wash (S07P05) across the WSA towards the northern edge of Beef Basin is not particularly straightforward, despite it appearing relatively benign on a Topo map. The problem is that much if the area comprises long, shallow, snaking drainages which one needs to drop into, and climb out of, on a very regular basis to make any forward progress. Trying to avoid any particular drainage just seems to result in having to cross another one soon after. Attempting to avoid these completely by taking a route across the nearby higher sandstone buttes is also problematic, since there are several large pour-offs that can’t easily be navigated. Even after traversing this area, it is still necessary to ascend a set of steep sandstone cliffs in order to reach the northern section of Beef Basin. 


In summary, I wouldn’t recommend taking the cross-country route across Butler Wash WSA to enter Beef Basin from the north.


It would therefore probably be easier to take the traditional Hayduke Trail route, which follows Butler Wash south, before entering Beef Basin in its North-East section (The maps above show the cross-country route in red, and the wash route in blue).

The information below contains locations for the cross-country route, and also for the preferred alternative wash route. 

(I haven’t taken the wash route, but the coordinates supplied are taken from the pictured Topo map in the Hayduke Trail guidebook)

Upon entering Beef Basin the going is very straightforward along good dirt roads. The troughs at Stanley Spring are an excellent source of water (S07P30).

Total Ascent
Total Descent
Min Elevation
Max Elevation
16.2 miles
Useful Locations

S07P05          N38° 03.228' W109° 50.520'       Leave Butler Wash

S07P10          N38° 02.282' W109° 51.788'       Gaining height across WSA

S07P15          N38° 00.708' W109° 52.099'       Start cliff ascent

S07P20          N38° 00.607' W109° 52.322'       Steep chutes ascent

S07P25          N38° 00.443' W109° 52.248'       Arrival at Beef Basin

S07P30          N37° 57.556' W109° 53.082'       Stanley Spring

Hayduke Trail Alternative

      N38° 03.207' W109° 50.257'

      N38° 02.618' W109° 50.257'

      N38° 02.320' W109° 50.469'

      N38° 02.051' W109° 50.337'

      N38° 01.738' W109° 50.134'

      N38° 01.296' W109° 50.546'

      N38° 00.842' W109° 50.746'

      N38° 00.432' W109° 50.824'

      N38° 00.272' W109° 51.290'

      N38° 00.217' W109° 51.600'

Water Availability
Stanley Spring
Water/Food Cache
Elevation Profile
S07 Elev v1.png

Needles Castle


Beef Basin


Tower Ruin in Beef Basin


Stanley Spring


Possible water source

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