Little Twist Wildfire Sparks Change of Plans in Utah

An unexpected wildfire led hiker Mike Crowley to change his route. The Little Twist Wildfire and Gaia GPS overlays for real-time wildfire updates.

Little Twist Wildfire Sparks Change of Plans in Utah
Prescribed Burn becomes the Little Twist Wildfire in the Fishlake National Forest - Photo: Mike Crowley

In the wilderness of Utah, it's crucial to be prepared for anything.

This week, Mike Crowley had barely left Beaver when he found himself retracing his steps and considering alternative routes. A prescribed burn in Fishlake National Forest expanded unexpectedly, becoming the Little Twist Wildfire.

Little Twist Wildfire is just north of the American Discovery Trail east of Beaver, Utah. Graphic: Hiking America on Gaia GPS


Segment 2 - Beaver to Circleville

This wildfire is located just north of the American Discovery Trail, east of Beaver, Utah.

Of the many reasons Hiking America relies on Gaia GPS for mapping its routes to the American Discovery Trail is the vast array of available overlays – even in the free version. The Wildfires (Current) and Wildfires (Satellite Detections) overlays from NASA (above) are updated daily, providing valuable visual information about conditions ahead.

Not affiliated with nor authorized by the American Discovery Trail Society®
From the Hiking America Class of 2024

Segment 1 - Nevada State Line to Beaver

For the first 90 miles of his Utah crossing, Mike found water still lacking. He checked on previously sketchy water sources and found they continue to be.

So, while he successfully crossed Nevada unsupported along the newly adjusted route, "between Garrison and Milford, Utah, water caches are a necessity" in this segment.

Water Cache Strategies:

  • Some hikers have rented a car for a day, bought a shovel and water jugs, and spent the day planting their liquid treasures along the route. There are numerous car and 4X4 rental agencies in Moab and Beaver. After returning the car, they hit the trail. Locations of previous hikers' successful caches and strategies for placing them are found in Hiking America Guides to Utah and Gaia GPS data.
  • For years, Bob Palin, the American Discovery Trail's Utah Coordinator, has been diligently providing water caches for ADT hikers. Typically setting up these caches in the spring, Bob offers this essential service for a nominal fee. Given the extensive driving involved—covering hundreds of miles—it's courteous and advisable to arrange these water drops with him several months in advance.

We have removed two previously identified 'Unreliable' water locations - Deadmans Wash and Lawson Cove Reservoir as successive hikers in differing times of the year have found them dry and empty...and not even damp. Perhaps they may temporarily flow following a heavy storm but would quickly dry up. So definitely not something you want to plan for.

Mike also found the Oasis-like hospitality of Wah Wah Ranch continues into a second generation. The family who owns the ranch has hosted many ADT hikers over the years. For Mike, they filled his water, gave him a good meal, and soft green grass on which to spend the night.

Indiana - South

Segment 3 - Boonville to Saint Meinrad

  • Matt Hengst identified a trailside bathroom and a church with dispersed camping potential. Contact information added.
Barge passing through a Lock on the Ohio River east of Evansville, IN - Photo: Matthew Hengst

Segment 2 - Evansville to Boonville

  • Shared a bathroom with water near an observation area along the Ohio River where you can watch the barges coming through (above).
  • Located electrical plugs at a converted church turned Event Center. And a nice place to take a break.

Segment 1 - Illinois State Line to Evansville

  • Updated camping notes for Mount Vernon. Matt reached out to the Riverside Park contact information left by Mike Crowley and Gin Szagola back in 2019. Unfortunately, they were denied this year.
  • Burdette Park, west of Evansville, does have water, a for-fee campground, and a baseball field that "hasn't been used in a while. Could have made a Stealth site out of it." But it was early in the afternoon for Matt and Jen.

Indiana - North

Segment 1 - Munster to Rochester

Leif Olson found an unlocked water hydrant on a long, lonely stretch of road between Rochester, Indiana, and Tippecanoe River State Park!

Good eye! Great find!

Hike Your Hike - John.