I survived

The Maze (in Canyonlands NP) is always pitched as one of the most remote areas of the lower 48.  I wouldn't say it was as remote as all that, but once you climb down into it, it would take a long time for help to reach you.

We made it seem more remote by being cheap.  The road to the trailhead requires high-clearance 4WD, and my friend Paul's car is only 2WD.  So we drove as far as we safely could, and walked the rest of the way in.  This included a steep climb down the one gap through the Orange Cliffs, the exposed and hot North Trail Canyon, followed by a brisk six-mile walk along a 4WD road we should have been driving down, circling the increasingly ominous Elaterite Butte. By the time we did 14 miles and got to the Maze Overlook trailhead, it was too late to make the difficult and dangerous climb down, so we dry camped in a side draw.  Did I mention that we had to carry over a gallon of water each, since this is serious desert?

The rest was hairy climbs up and down, and long hikes either on canyon bottoms or on exposed ridges with incredible views. There were only three springs along our routes, so we were constrained on where we could stay.  A two-inch deep pool of water seeping from the earth is a magnificent sight when you've been hiking under dry cliffs all day. And the dripping cascade in Water Canyon was a miracle.

It was great.  Nothing is more enlivening than getting to the far side of a dangerous challenge, and we faced plenty of challenges for our old bones. Now I'm home and Mary is sifting incredibly fine sand out of everything. I thought I'd shaken it all out on the driveway, but it's impossible to get that stuff out.

Anyway, I recommend it, but only if you have a lot of easier canyon and desert hiking under your belt first. And travel with Paul, who makes an incredible camp green chili.