Ryan "Tuna Helper" Weidert
I really enjoyed this scenic little alternate of ours. From Hwy 95 go cross-country to the little rock formation garden known as Little Egypt. It is certainly worth spending 15 minutes enjoying the whimsical shapes and forms of the red-and-white rocks not dissimilar to those at the more famous Goblin Valley SP. West of the main formation area is a particularly impressive hoodoo worth a visit. The escalator up to the top of the cliffs is a steep mudrock scree slope in the next major drainage north of the prominant hoodoo. Be cautious of your footing when scrambling up this slope (this section may not be passible after heavy rain). Once up you will rather abruptly hit a road. Here you have two good options: either climb up the two slightly awkward dryfalls in the drainage facing you then hike up to gain a remarkably flat old alluvial surface toward the large stock ponds (good views and more interesting) or follow the road left (south then west) towards the stock pond (easier). From here there are many converging roads so be sure you take the correct one, through the gap in the upturned rock layers. You will pass two neat cabins including an old homestead cabin that looks exceptionally old. From here just follow the road up the outwash surface past Eagle Bench Airstrip and up to the junction of the HDT. The narrow slot canyon of Crescent Creek is an excellent 1 hour detour if you have the time (there is a 50 ft high dam/waterfall at the top so unless you have rope the canyon is best enjoyed from the bottom up and then returning the way you came).
This route continues from the Arsenic alternate at Hwy 95 (4.3 road miles south of the HDT) and joins the HDT at Section 5 Mile 8.0 (Mile 197). The Arsenic route is 6.9 miles long and is 1.1 miles shorter than the HDT when combined with Little Egypt. Highly recommended.