Slot Canyons of the American Southwest - The San Rafael Swell

Slot canyon hikes in san rafael swell,

Continue hiking to the face of the reef, enjoy a snack and get ready to do it all in reverse.

Swell Menu

If you use one of the primitive campsites be warned that the area is popular with the off-road and ATV crowd so plan to share. Both offer challenging narrows hiking; to the north, the San Rafael River flows into the Swell from Castle Dome and soon enters a deep layered canyon, seen most easily from the Wedge Overlook, a viewpoint that offers panoramic vistas of rocks and ravines - a kind of mini Canyonlands.

Seger's Hole, the squeeze--San Rafael Swell slot canyon--Dave Day 2013

Take the road heading west through the reef for 2. Upon reaching the "Behind the Reef Road" follow it south for 4.

There are also numerous primitive campsites near the trailhead. Hike down the canyon as far as you wish. The arch is located at the exit of the second narrows section.

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Navigation for this route is easy. Spring and Fall are the preferred seasons to attempt this adventure. Around the edges of the Swell is a ring of upturned eroded strata - the San Rafael Reef, where most of the slot canyons are located. Often hiked as part of a loop with adjacent Little Wild Horse Canyon.

The reef is steepest and widest on the east side, so here the canyons are deeper. As with the Black Boxes, hiking involves wading in the river most of the time and at least one overnight stay is required to see all of blackjack skulls canyon. The Crack Canyon road is located in the bottom of a wash and is easy to locate if you have correctly noted your mileage.

The "Behind the Reef Road" is not signed but is a well maintained road that is easy to identify.

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Improved campgrounds with modern toilets and hot showers are located nearby in Goblin Valley State Park. I have found the subway section to be very photogenic, so pack your camera. Crack Canyon is a zestful canyoneering adventure. The Crack Canyon road is an unmaintained 4x4 track, which Leads 0. A foot rope is suggested for possible use as a handline for the less experienced and to lower packs.

Follow Highway 24 south for 24 miles to mile maker and the signed turn-off to Goblin Valley State Park. Than walk the short distance down the track to the Crack Canyon Trailhead.

Group size is not a problem in this canyon. The Slide marks the beginning of the second section of narrows. South of I is the lesser known Muddy Creekwhich also has a deep dark section of over slot canyon hikes in san rafael swell miles 'The Chute'.

Follow the Goblin Valley road west for 5.

Related Sections

As you pass through the reef you might wish to take a moment and admire the Temple Mountain Pictographs. Crack Canyon requires no technical experience.

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I really don't have a clue how to describe the location better, so the best I can do is provide GPS coordinates and pin point it on the map and turn you loose. This canyon has a high flash flood dangercheck the local weather report before entering this canyon.

Cracked Window is a skylight type arch with about an 8-foot opening in the sandstone. You can easily reach the base or the top of the arch with some interesting route finding and moderate scrambling.

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The arch is not easily seen form the canyon floor and is located high on the west side canyon wall. The narrows are very deep and dark with towering vertical walls and a nice sand and gravel floor.

Since this is a desert environment a minimum of 2 liters of water is suggested for each person. These obstacles should not be a major problem for a healthy adult.

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Crack Canyon is often combined with Chute Canyon to form a loop hike. A good variety of rock textures en route. The canyon is normally dry but can contain knee deep wading and mud after a storm. The surrounding rock is unusually varied in texture and color. The canyon contains three enjoyable sections of narrows and can be completed by experienced hikers.

Summers are very hot in the San Rafael Swell and not recommended for hiking this canyon. The Slide is not nearly as difficult as it first appears and is relatively easy to climb up and down.

After exiting the subway you will continue down canyon until you reach the most difficult obstacle in the canyon, which we call "The Slide". This arch is nothing spectacular as arches go, but it is something to spice up an already gratifying slot canyon.