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Shinob Canyon - Na-Gah Fork

  • The Hype

    Set among soaring Wingate walls under a sky-scape of white capped Navajo sandstone domes, the three east forks of Shinob provide some of the best scenery in the park. Most forks can easily be done in a half day, providing the opportunity to combine canyons and hikes, and tailor the day’s adventure. Each fork has a distinctly different flavor with opportunity for the canyoneer to practice a variety of skill sets. Do the northernmost fork, Na-gah, for some down-climbing challenges, and surprises around every corner…

    Getting There

    Access Road
    Access is via the paved scenic drive, and the gravel/dirt Grand Wash road. The Grand Wash road is accessible to passenger cars under most conditions. The park may close this road when flash floods are threatening.

    To get there, turn onto the scenic drive at the visitor center. Head south for approximately 3.4 miles to the Grand Wash turnoff. Drive East on the Grand Wash road for approximately 1.3 miles to the parking area for Grand Wash and Cassidy Arch. There is an outhouse at the trailhead.

    From the Trailhead
    Look past the Cassidy Arch trailhead sign and note a drainage pouring into Grand Wash across the way. This is Bear Canyon. Your goal is to cross Bear Canyon from the north and climb to a nice ledge system on the south side of Grand Wash, which will take you around the heads of the three forks of Shinob, and up Fern’s Nipple if you wish to combine your canyon with a rewarding peak hike. From the trailhead start hiking up Grand Wash, taking not of the slanting ledge systems to your right (East). The first step is to get on a mid-to-high level ledge. The route is well cairned. At the first opportunity cross Bear Canyon and follow the cairned route through a series of ledges. When you arrive at a relatively very wide pink and white sandstone ledge layer begin contouring along this ledge to the south, admiring the view of Cassidy Arch (and canyon) to the NW as you go. The first canyon system you encounter is Na-gah canyon. Find your way into the canyon bottom and you will soon encounter the first rap. Several of the early drops in the canyon are by-passable, but please tread lightly if you choose to find a way around these early raps. If you choose to rappel, please set your anchor to avoid rope pull grooves. See the conditions update from May 3, 2015 for information on one particular bypass.

    The Canyon - Rating: 3B II/III   Longest Rap: 150'   # of Raps: 3-7

    Skills required
    The canyon has several downclimbs that may prove challenging for beginner canyoneers or timid downclimbers. Groups should be able to sequence and problem solve these downclimbs. Hand lines and captures are usually options.

    Additional Risk
    Retrievable anchors are options on a few of the early raps, and are advised on one rap where the best anchor (a large tree) is far back from the drop.

    Water
    Knee to thigh deep water is normal at the bottom of the first mandatory rappel (this could be drop number 4 if everything is rappelled). This could be deeper if the canyon gets scoured. The next section of canyon is cold but is unlikely to hold water deeper than knee to thigh deep, and is usually dry. Extra warm layers are advised, but wetsuit is not except in the coldest, wettest conditions.

    Anchor Conditions
    Capitol Reef’s rules regarding anchors are as follows:
    • Installation of new bolts is prohibited.
    • Replacing existing unsafe bolts is allowed.
    • The use of power drills is prohibited.
    • Where necessary to leave or replace webbing the webbing should closely match the color of the surrounding rock.
    There are a mix of bolts and natural anchors in this canyon. The canyon may have originally been bolted a long time ago. Please do not place new bolts in this canyon, as it could compromise future access to the canyons in Capitol Reef. In the places in the canyon where there are no bolts there are plenty of natural anchor possibilities, including good opportunities to practice retrievable techniques.

    Gear Recommendations
    Gear for rappels up to 150 ft, helmet, harness, rappel device, slings, 50 feet of webbing, and 3-4 rapides. Body armor is not necessary, but may be appreciated by beginner down climbers. Pack size is not a concern either. Bring extra layers in all but the warmest weather.

    Flash Flood Danger
    Low. If flash floods are expected in the area the road to the Grand Wash trailhead may be closed and/or impassable.

    The Exit

    After rappelling into the main fork of Shinob canyon head north toward the Grand Wash road, then turn right (East) on the road. The trailhead is approximately ¼ mile.

    Red Tape

    Permits
    A permit is not required for canyoneering in Capitol Reef at this time.

    Group size limit
    Groups are limited to 6 people on backcountry routes (including canyoneering routes) in Capitol Reef, with the exception of Cassidy Canyon, Old School Canyon, and The Wives, which are limited to 12 people.

    Entrance Fee
    The Scenic drive is the only area of Capitol Reef where an entry fee or park pass is required. Passes can be attained at the visitor center or at a self-pay kiosk at the start of the scenic drive. Fees are good for seven days and are as follows:
    • Individual on foot or bicycle: $7.00 (the fee was increased on June 1, 2015)
    • Motorcycle or private vehicle: $10.00 (the fee was increased on June 1, 2015)
    • Capitol Reef National Park Annual Pass: $30.00, available at the visitor center
    • Federal Interagency Annual Pass: $80.00, available at the visitor center
    http://www.americancanyoneers.org/access-capitol-reef/
  • Access Road
    Access is via the paved scenic drive, and the gravel/dirt Grand Wash road. The Grand Wash road is accessible to passenger cars under most conditions. The park may close this road when flash floods are threatening.

    To get there, turn onto the scenic drive at the visitor center. Head south for approximately 3.4 miles to the Grand Wash turnoff. Drive East on the Grand Wash road for approximately 1.3 miles to the parking area for Grand Wash and Cassidy Arch. There is an outhouse at the trailhead.

    From the Trailhead
    Look past the Cassidy Arch trailhead sign and note a drainage pouring into Grand Wash across the way. This is Bear Canyon. Your goal is to cross Bear Canyon from the north and climb to a nice ledge system on the south side of Grand Wash, which will take you around the heads of the three forks of Shinob, and up Fern’s Nipple if you wish to combine your canyon with a rewarding peak hike. From the trailhead start hiking up Grand Wash, taking not of the slanting ledge systems to your right (East). The first step is to get on a mid-to-high level ledge. The route is well cairned. At the first opportunity cross Bear Canyon and follow the cairned route through a series of ledges. When you arrive at a relatively very wide pink and white sandstone ledge layer begin contouring along this ledge to the south, admiring the view of Cassidy Arch (and canyon) to the NW as you go. The first canyon system you encounter is Na-gah canyon. Find your way into the canyon bottom and you will soon encounter the first rap. Several of the early drops in the canyon are by-passable, but please tread lightly if you choose to find a way around these early raps. If you choose to rappel, please set your anchor to avoid rope pull grooves. See the conditions update from May 3, 2015 for information on one particular bypass.
  • Skills required
    The canyon has several downclimbs that may prove challenging for beginner canyoneers or timid downclimbers. Groups should be able to sequence and problem solve these downclimbs. Hand lines and captures are usually options.

    Additional Risk
    Retrievable anchors are options on a few of the early raps, and are advised on one rap where the best anchor (a large tree) is far back from the drop.

    Water
    Knee to thigh deep water is normal at the bottom of the first mandatory rappel (this could be drop number 4 if everything is rappelled). This could be deeper if the canyon gets scoured. The next section of canyon is cold but is unlikely to hold water deeper than knee to thigh deep, and is usually dry. Extra warm layers are advised, but wetsuit is not except in the coldest, wettest conditions.

    Anchor Conditions
    Capitol Reef’s rules regarding anchors are as follows:
    • Installation of new bolts is prohibited.
    • Replacing existing unsafe bolts is allowed.
    • The use of power drills is prohibited.
    • Where necessary to leave or replace webbing the webbing should closely match the color of the surrounding rock.
    There are a mix of bolts and natural anchors in this canyon. The canyon may have originally been bolted a long time ago. Please do not place new bolts in this canyon, as it could compromise future access to the canyons in Capitol Reef. In the places in the canyon where there are no bolts there are plenty of natural anchor possibilities, including good opportunities to practice retrievable techniques.

    Gear Recommendations
    Gear for rappels up to 150 ft, helmet, harness, rappel device, slings, 50 feet of webbing, and 3-4 rapides. Body armor is not necessary, but may be appreciated by beginner down climbers. Pack size is not a concern either. Bring extra layers in all but the warmest weather.

    Flash Flood Danger
    Low. If flash floods are expected in the area the road to the Grand Wash trailhead may be closed and/or impassable.
  • After rappelling into the main fork of Shinob canyon head north toward the Grand Wash road, then turn right (East) on the road. The trailhead is approximately ¼ mile.
  • Permits
    A permit is not required for canyoneering in Capitol Reef at this time.

    Group size limit
    Groups are limited to 6 people on backcountry routes (including canyoneering routes) in Capitol Reef, with the exception of Cassidy Canyon, Old School Canyon, and The Wives, which are limited to 12 people.

    Entrance Fee
    The Scenic drive is the only area of Capitol Reef where an entry fee or park pass is required. Passes can be attained at the visitor center or at a self-pay kiosk at the start of the scenic drive. Fees are good for seven days and are as follows:
    • Individual on foot or bicycle: $7.00 (the fee was increased on June 1, 2015)
    • Motorcycle or private vehicle: $10.00 (the fee was increased on June 1, 2015)
    • Capitol Reef National Park Annual Pass: $30.00, available at the visitor center
    • Federal Interagency Annual Pass: $80.00, available at the visitor center
    http://www.americancanyoneers.org/access-capitol-reef/
Kuenn likes this.

Condition Reports for Shinob Canyon - Na-Gah Fork

  1. Deagol
    May 29, 2014
    Deagol

    Difficulty:

    NA

    Skill Level:

    NA

    Water:

    NA

    Thermal:

    NA

    Group Size:

    NA

    Total Time:

    NA


    we descend this on 5/26/2014 and removed un-necessary anchors at a few of the initial drops. we down-climbed the cracks and found that bolts had been placed at the drops where there were no obvious natural anchors. There was one chockstone rap that could be down-climbed. the final big drop into the main canyon was bolted in what seemed like a good location. No deadmen were seen or needed.

    Posted May 29, 2014
  2. Nan
    May 3, 2015
    Nan

    Difficulty:

    NA

    Skill Level:

    NA

    Water:

    NA

    Thermal:

    NA

    Group Size:

    NA

    Total Time:

    NA


    Just got back from Capital Reef, and wanted to inform others of an alternate entry we used into Na-gah before the 1st rap.

    Just after the 20' down-climb under the twisted tree (as described on BluuGnome), there is a 15' crack down-climb with flaring walls at the bottom and a boulder landing. A hand line from a chockstone was suggested as an alternative to the down-climb, but it was loose and we didn't like the idea of a boulder "anchor" rolling and dislodging. So we started looking around. There is easy access just after the twisted tree down-climb to a RDC ledge leading to fairly flat slickrock above the slot. Proceeding past an initial tree (with lots of loose rock perched between the tree and slot) we found a stout pine with a clear rap into the canyon. We set up an anchor with rap ring, and left it for other's use as it was out of sight. It was an elegant, approximately 125', entry back into the slot with clean rope pull. The first rap anchors were visible both from the approach to our anchor and where we rapped into the slot.

    It's an option that does not miss much of the travel through the slot or damage the aesthetics or environment of the canyon. We also replaced nearly all webbing as it was stiff and seemed UV damaged, and also placed rap rings on the final rap.

    Posted May 3, 2015
      msmnificent likes this.
  3. Patrick Kane
    September 07, 2015
    Patrick Kane

    Difficulty:

    Easy

    Skill Level:

    Beginner

    Water:

    Deep (waist to chest)

    Thermal:

    None

    Group Size:

    7 people

    Total Time:

    1 hour 4 hours


    The route is fairly well marked with cairns as you go up the south side of Grand Wash, but they are tastefully discrete. The route finding gets a little tougher as you drop into the drainage, but there are plenty of solid anchors if you just wanted to rap into where the technical section starts.

    Posted Sep 24, 2015
The information provided here is intended for entertainment purposes only. The creator of this information and/or Canyon Collective are not liable for any harm or damage caused by this information. Conditions in the backcountry are constantly changing, only you are responsible for your safety and well being.