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Backpacking Route

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Steve Kugath, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. Steve Kugath

    Steve Kugath

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    Hey Canyon Collective Friends,
    I hope everyone is getting out enjoying the beautiful spring! Hey I'm looking for a nice canyon backpacking trip starting somewhere between the Sandthrax campsite in the North to Natural Bridges in the South... in the past we have enjoyed various routes over in the Grand Gulch area but the prices for access are becoming more and more unreasonable...would rather travel for free. Ideally the trailhead would leave from Highway 95 or after a 3-4 mile drive in on a dirt road. Looking for 2-3 nights out in the field (15-30 miles max), could be a loop, out n back, up one canyon fork and back another. Ideally scenic and with a few places where water can be found, not wanting to carry harnesses or other canyoneering gear except for a 30 foot handline...so willing to do a bit of scrambling...ideally any big drops could be avoided. Looking possibly at a trip up marinus, following the NF East and returning via the SF. Excited for your recommendations...Thanks in advance for sharing your expertise!

    Steve Kugath
    Ram likes this.
  2. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    I suggest looking into Dark Canyon or Maidenwater/Trachyte.
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
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    Robber's Roost: How about down White Roost Horse trail, up RR canyons (camp, spend a day dayhiking), down RR, up river to the Chambers exit?

    requires 4WD vehicle. The car spot is only a few miles.

    Tom
    Scott Patterson likes this.
  4. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    All good suggestions above. The Roost does require a lot longer than your specified 3-4 miles on a dirt road though.

    Also, the other canyons (besides Maidenwater) along Highway 276 also have some good backpacking. You can also access the North Fork of Ticaboo from Fourmiles Canyon. Fourmile Canyon is a nice backpack. So is Swett Creek (side canyons to explore).

    If you do suck it up and drive the dirt roads to the Roost, there is lots of good backpacking there. The mentioned Robbers Roost Canyon is a good one. Also No-Mans and Larry have good backpacking routes.

    If you want to do a Roost area canyon with minimal dirt roads, you can drive out to Burr Point and do Twin Corral and/or Sams Mesa Box canyons from there.
  5. Anton Solovyev

    Anton Solovyev

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    In the area specified I liked most the country around Dark Canyon and to the north of it (ex: Fable Valley). I think the corner to the west of Colorado and north of Hite on both sides of Dirty Devil (Red Ledges, Blocks) is not very interesting for backpacking, quite desolate, no good water, just nothing there. The distances are also larger than requested.

    I think being in higher elevations north and east of Natural Bridges has better potential. I would also recommend to look for perennial streams. Having no access to good water is not fun.

    In other words, Bears Ears for the win! :) The Anasazi knew where to dwell.
  6. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    I think the corner to the west of Colorado and north of Hite on both sides of Dirty Devil (Red Ledges, Blocks) is not very interesting for backpacking, quite desolate, no good water, just nothing there. The distances are also larger than requested.

    I would also recommend to look for perennial streams. Having no access to good water is not fun.


    Apparently you don't know the area well. The Dirty Devil area is full of crystal clear streams and water. Robbers Roost Canyon, No Mans Canyon (which has several waterfalls), Larry Canyon, Twin Corral Box Canyon (small waterfalls), and Sams Mesa Box all have crystal clear streams in them and very good water. There is plenty of water in there.

    The Fable Valley area you mention is also good (Fable Valley itself has good ruins, but the scenery is only moderately interesting compared to Gypsum Canyon below Fable Valley), but it requires just as much or even more dirt roads than the other areas mentioned. That said, Gypsum Canyon (below Fable Valley) is one of the best non-slot canyons on the Colorado Plateau. It's similar to Lower Dark Canyon, but with bigger watefalls and less people.
  7. Anton Solovyev

    Anton Solovyev

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    Scott, I have not walked the Robbers Roost country. The drainages you mention are well north of the area specified. What I meant is south of Poison Spring, that area seemed like some of the least hospitable terrain out of anywhere.
  8. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Fable Valley is also outside the specified area (and way more than 3-4 miles a a dirt road), but I thought you were referring to the whole Dirty Devil. No problem; I misunderstood. For what it's worth, Gypsum Canyon, Dark Canyon, and Bowdie Canyon are some of my favorites.

    I still think that it's a great area for backpacking, but only in the cooler half of the year. For example, Fiddler Cove Canyon is actually a really good one.

    http://www.summitpost.org/fiddler-cove-canyon/457448

    Have you been to that one? If not, I think it's quite interesting. It has more rock towers in it than any other canyon I know of (minus huge systems such as the Grand).

    I wouldn't suggest it to the original poster though, since it involves dirt roads no matter which way you come in.

    Marinus is technical; both forks. There also usually isn't any water except for in the monster keeper pothole that is basically inaccessible.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  9. Anton Solovyev

    Anton Solovyev

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    I have seen some of Fiddlers Cove, from where there's an exit/entrance on the south rim (lots of towers in that area) to Dirty Devil. A few miles.

    I think I may be biased, since I like vegetation and trees, so I usually feel happier at higher elevations. You are right, the Dark Canyon area is also quite a bit out of the specified area.

    I need to go and check out those waterfalls you mention :)
  10. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Yes; certainly do so! I think Gypsum Canyon and Havasu are the two best canyons for waterfalls on the Colorado Plateau. The difference is that at Havasu, it's extremely crowded (though beautiful) and Gypsum Canyon sees very few visitors. I believe the big waterfall in Gypsum is probably the 3rd or 4th highest on the Colorado Plateau that flows nearly year round. The biggest waterfall in Gypsum can dry up in the afternoon during an extreme drought, but this is extremely rare. Even if it does, the other falls always flow (and are similar to the ones in Dark Canyon, only much higher). I even find the big waterfall in Gypsum to be even more impressive than the well known Calf Creek Falls, but it is harder to photograph since it's in a cavern-like canyon. I never counted, but I'm sure that there are well over a dozen impressive waterfalls in Gypsum Canyon.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
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