We spent five days backpacking in Utah's San Rafael Swell. First, we hiked a loop through the Little Grand Canyon of the San Rafael River, up Virgin Springs Canyon to Sid's Mountain, camped in Saddle Horse Canyon, and returned along Salt Wash and the San Rafael. The hike offered views of two pictograph panels, an old cabin, and great sandstone canyon walls. It was very wet, and water was available not only at the big spring in Virgin Springs Canyon, but also in numerous potholes and small seasonal springs. The San Rafael River itself was extremely muddy - we had to wade through it six times - and would have been a possible water source only in dire emergency.
We spent a night camping along Mexican Mountain road and then went on a two day hike down Eardley Canyon. The canyon offered much variety: narrows, slickrock, pools. We camped at a rincon, an abandoned meander, in the shadow of a large freestanding monolith.
Although it was Memorial Day weekend, we encountered only two other parties!
Check out the album for pictures.