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UT: Robber's Roost Happy Canyon - October 2014

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Bill, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Last weekend I finally made it to Happy Canyon. 30 miles of 4x4 roads, 11 miles round trip hiking, all for a stroll in one of the most amazing slots I've ever seen.

    We started down the Poison Springs Canyon road after dark and took the narrow 12020 trail to a great campsite high above the dirty. This road was very rough and not suitable for anything bigger than my Tacoma. We never had to use 4wd but there was some deep ruts and tight spots with big time penalty points for going off road. Friday morning we were up for a cloudless sunrise and drove the last bit or road before we started hiking. The trail is an old mining road with amazing views all around and 1.5 hours after leaving the truck we were headed down the steep ridge towards Happy. Crossing the Dirty Devil was a muddy mess but thanks to trekking poles I only sunk up to my knees in quicksand and kept both shoes. We spent the next few hours strolling up and down Happy Canyon shooting photos.

    Sunset over Gilson Butte near Goblin Valley.
    IMG_8773.
    Camp high above the Dirty
    IMG_8808. IMG_8813. IMG_8818. IMG_8819. IMG_8821. IMG_8824. IMG_8834. IMG_8835. IMG_8843. IMG_8853. IMG_8868. IMG_8875. IMG_8884. IMG_8886. IMG_8895. IMG_8904. IMG_8910. IMG_8919. IMG_8927.



    After we got our fill of slot shots we made the hike back to the truck and started driving out. We stopped to shoot a few photos of some large boulders that had been covered with "art"........what exactly is wrong with people who do this? I looked at the various for pieces for a creepytings signature but none was found.

    Driving out of Poison Springs.
    IMG_8786.

    9'x7' mural
    20141024_150519.

    20141024_150546.


    hat night we made it out to the San Rafael Desert just before sunset and had a little fun around the campfire as we listened to the world series. IMG_8951.

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    darhawk, MTN_DUDE, April and 10 others like this.
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Awesome photos as usual, Bill. Thanks for sharing.

    Tom
    Bill likes this.
  3. Kevin

    Kevin

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    Wow, great pictures!
  4. Sam G

    Sam G

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    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    Great photos! I like the one of the truck plowing though the puddle. Thanks for the TR.
  5. peakbaggers

    peakbaggers "Beaten paths are for beaten men."

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    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO
    This one is high on our list for a Photo trip in the colder/off season. Nice photos. The camera & the lighting seem to give the sandstone a "silky" kind of appearance. Thanks for the road report. We have a T-100 which I think sizes about like the newer Tacoma's, so maybe we can make it in by this route.
    Bill likes this.
  6. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    The T100 should be fine, just make sure you have good shovel and some recovery gear. Getting stuck out there would require a very very long walk to get cell service in order to get help.
  7. VillainousTurtle

    VillainousTurtle

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    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    When I was down there 3 weeks ago, we noticed some painted rocks too, but didn't see those ones. Wonder if it's new?

    Man that area is awesome. So remote and lonely, which is one of its many fine qualities. There weren't even any footprints in the mud when we went.

    Great pictures.
    Bill likes this.
  8. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    Beautiful shots and LOVE that sunset
    Bill and Kuenn like this.
  9. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Nice photos, and I like your route. When we did it, we walked up the Muddy from the Poison Spring crossing. Thankless slog with lots of quicksand, some of it waist deep ...

    Gordon
  10. Erik B.

    Erik B. Thirsty for canyon...

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    Location:
    Bellingham, Wa
    Funny coincidence, I saw some sweet photos on instagram by a random photographer I follow. Turns out that guy is you. .... same photos. Nice shots.
    Bill, Ram and Tyler like this.
  11. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    Location:
    Colorado
    Nice photos, yes, but holy &*^%$ I can't believe that graffiti.. :mad:
    Bill likes this.
  12. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    Thanks @hank moon, I shot that one while standing on highway 24 with a 400mm. @Udink was camping near Temple Wash and took a panorama of the same sunset from a different angle. My shot is framed up at 45degree angle through his. The narrow dark cloud over wild horse butte in his shot is the same cloud that I captured over Gilson butte.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
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  13. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    Pretty sweet canyon eh? I think its shallow enough to have some decent light in the winter as well.
  14. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    I've heard this one has some of the best scenery anywhere. The pics confirm. Thanks for the report.
    Bill likes this.
  15. mr.atwood

    mr.atwood

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    Thanks for sharing! Wow!
  16. Ram

    Ram

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    Wonderful work there. thanks
  17. Blake Merrell

    Blake Merrell Lovin' Utah's Backcountry

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    Location:
    Spanish Fork, Ut
    Oh my goodnesss! I can't get enough of those pictures! One day I'll learn to capture moments like this on "film". Love the TR!
  18. RossK

    RossK

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    Great pics Bill, especially like the ones with your fellow hiker. I recently went down but didn't have the advantage of a companion for scale as he stayed up at the end of the road (took over 2 1/2 hours to do the 15 miles in a Tacoma for us).
    Mind you, sunset & sunrise over the Dirty Devil was as good as Happy Canyon. Can't believe I never spotted that mural
    Bill likes this.
  19. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    Location:
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    I have a 2013 Tacoma with a lot of upgrades and I've had a wide range of experiences on Poison Springs and the 12020 roads. A two years ago, we went down a few days after a flash flood and it took about 4 hours to get the Happy TH. The dirty crossing was also hip deep and Happy had flowing water, fun trip.

    In April 2017, the 12020 road was in the best shape I have ever seen.

    Those murals were still there during my last trip in April but they had faded. Unfortunately, there were some new ones as well.
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