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UT: Cedar Mesa Long Canyon

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Mountaineer, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

    What a wonderful, fun place. Narrows, down climbs, ledges, drop at the head of each narrow or rap into it later?...big drop challenges, multiple side adventures, exploration galore.


    However, Long canyon is definitely a full day and more. It takes a lot of setup, and from the top down a shuttle is required. All in all plan a day and a half, unless you can bribe a friend to drop you off.


    Elizabeth and I had this one on our radar for several years, and finally got the courage to get up at 3 am this last weekend, September 2017.


    Two days before we descended, hence our postponing the trip a couple of days, heavy rain hit the area. White canyon was flowing heavily for two days. Even by Saturday night when we exited there was flow. Finally by Sunday it stopped. Make sure you go at least 24 hours or more after any heavy rainstorms upstream. You can get in big trouble even on a blue sky day in White. This is a big drainage area, and it moves a lot of water. After about 20 swimmers, we lost count. Glad we had our wetsuits. Moreover, being full of water just added to the fun this day.

    A few miles down the road from the Sundance Trail is the approximate location to start. Once on your feet, dodge lots of trees, climb up a few shelves, and then figure out how to get down the first layer. The head is huge and sits high up. However, after another 30 minutes of searching you can find one possible place to down climb in. A step or two on a tricky traverse, gets you to a ledge that just touches dirt to the next layer. From there, some more hiking takes you to the south fork where another 100' drop is encountered.


    From there, every section, mile after mile, is different and surprising. I couldn't believe how unique each section was. Fantastic.

    What I also loved about the day was the remoteness and discovery. Not your typical inspect and toss 'n' go. You have to hunt, figure things out, and rig anchors when absolutely required. Lots of options, rather than just going to your webbing.

    Get up early. It is about a 90 minute drive, another hour or so to get into the canyon, then 10 hours of hiking and scrambling. Add at least another couple of hours if Long is full of water. Oh, and you need to drive back to get your shuttle.

    All well worth it.

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    Erin, Ram, darhawk and 11 others like this.
  2. Southern Canyoneer

    Southern Canyoneer Desert Hiker

    Awesome TR and congrats!
    Mountaineer likes this.
  3. Canyonero


    Looks pretty!
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