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President's Day Weekend in Capitol Reef National Park

  • Feb 15, 2014 · 6:00 AM
  • This location is no longer available

        Too much mud on Robbers Roost Roads

                       Moving the weekend to 

                       Capitol Reef National Park 

We are changing location to Capitol Reef Natl Park. Robbers Roost roads are sand and clay and impassable now. See you early morning - well 9:30 AM - Saturday in the Capitol Reef campground. Look for Carl Bush's gray Honda Element. He is going down Friday.

Google Maps says just over 3 hours from GJ


Canyoneering &/or hiking, dirt road mtn biking

- Robbers Roost area -

~ 15 miles north of Hanksville, UT

President's Day 3-day weekend (Friday night?) Saturday - Monday (or as much of it as you want)

Come for one day, 2 days or the whole weekend.

I expect we will have a dozen or so canyoneers for this gathering. 

Hikers are equally welcome as there are many hikes near by, others a short drive away that can be accessed from our location.

Canyoneering participation this weekend will be open to those who have done canyons with WSA before, or have been through a 'course''; or, come with an experienced 'mentor' who will be your personal guide.

<<Disclaimer: This event may be rescheduled or may be moved to, oh maybe the Moab area, depending on weather, previous rains or snow melt that might put more water in canyons than we want to wade through in February, make unpaved roads dangerous or unpassable, etc. All this is to say, be flexible and be prepared to change if need be - regardless of what we do, it'll be fun if the weather is anything short of a snow or rain storm.>>

More options abound so this should be a great time for anyone to get out of town into the semi-wilds or wilds of scenic eastern Utah.

Here is a broad general description of the area taken from Tom's Canyoneering web site:

Fuggetaboutit. There ain't any (facilities or services). Fill up on gas in Green River or Hanksville, and carry everything you need, including water. The roads are surprisingly good, though some areas experience blowing soft sand from time to time that makes 4WD useful. Severe washboarding sometimes makes the roads unpleasant, and there are sharp rocks in places that are hard on tires, so be sure your spare is pumped up.

Bad weather and dirt roads don't mix. Rain can make the roads impassable - plan accordingly. It's a long walk to Hanksville.

Cell service can be obtained atop the ridge between the Green River and Dirty Devil River drainages. You're hooking into a tower over in Moab, so if you can see the lights of the Moab airport, you might get service.

Check out the Robber's Roost history at this link.

Here is a partial list of things to do in the Roost area.

Some more beta for technical canyoneers.

Heaps more interesting information on everything about the area on Summit Post web site.


Depart Fruita at 6 AM Saturday to meet in CRNP campground at 9:30 AM Saturday

From Grand Junction figure on 3-3.5 hours drive time. I do not expect a large crowd of people other than our meetup groups from SLC and WSA. However, you never know. I suggest that as soon as you arrive you set up a tent and make sure we claim a consolidated site for all who arrive.


Take I-70 11 miles west from Green River, UT. Turn south on UT Hwy. 24. At Hanksville UT Hwy 24 bends west and takes right to the national park. We get on I-70 in Fruita and one left and one right turn later, we are in CRNP.


• Car camping luxuries like 2 sleeping bags, large propane stove and lantern, camp table (all the stuff you would bring on a multi-day river trip except the PFDs and spare oar), luxury tent, Winnebago (optional but desirable)

• Group gear and firewood (propane stove and large pot in the event we cook as a group), coffee pot, dutch oven. Since we will camp at an established campground, all the campground amenities are there - indoor plumbing, picnic tables.

• Hiking gear - trekking poles (optional), sturdy shoes or light hiking boots

• First aid kit (can be small and personal or a group size kit; let us know what you have)

• GPS, binoculars, camera

• Personal hygiene items (paper and plastic bags to carry used paper out)

Canyoneering gear (see list at bottom of page; this is a 'must have' list)


No entry fees unless you opt to do something in Goblin Valley State Park.

RSVP: In your RSVP please mention

• do you want/ plan to be a hiker, canyoneer, biker, etc.

• want to be part of group dinner(s)/ potluck and if so what you want to contribute

• what group gear you have that can be part of a shared kitchen (tables, large stove, etc.)

• each person must be a WSA member to RSVP (no +1 for canyoneering events)


Depending on the crowd/ crew/gang we may try to do some group cooking: coffee and tea water in the A.M., shared dinner or potluck for one or both nights.


Not allowed in the national park.


Doug Van Etten[masked]

Canyons we choose to do this weekend will be dictated by the previous experience and skill of the group who want to canyoneer.

Canyoneering Gear (all this is required for every person if you are doing any rappeling canyons with WSA):

• Helmet (no helmet = no technical canyons with this group. Bike helmet is OK)

• Climbing/ rappelling harness (only for canyons with rappels)

• Rappelling/ descending device (ATC or Guide ATC preferred; Piranha, ATS. Can be Figure 8 or other)

• 2-4  locking carabiners (some small and some larger.Prefer you have more than 4 lockers); 2 non-locking biners

• 2 4' long 1" webbing slings &/or safety tether of some kind

• Wear old rough texture or knit clothing so if it gets torn up you can just throw it away

• Gloves 2 pair; 1 leather or fake leather for rappelng, 1 pair of  otton back sticky rubber finger and palm $6 gloves from Home Depot for all-day use in abrasive canyon sandstone.

• Sturdy low top or mid-height running or approach shoes or very light hiking boots

• Some kind of pack to carry your gear and your load of group gear in (nothing hanging outside the pack; it needs to be compact and easy to get through tight slots)

• Water bottle or hydration bladder and lunch/ snacks

• First aid kit (optional but a small personal 1st aid kit is strongly suggested; or a group kit if that is your preference. Announce before we start the day if you have a group kit.)

Possibles bag 


• add an 8' long 1" webbing sling or 2 of these Assorted lengths of sewn slings may be best

• add a few 18"-36" 5mm accessory cords

• add a few more locking &/or non-locking carabiners

• daisy chain (48 or 60" long; ~$15 at climbing supply shops for safety leash and for dangling pack from waist in narrow slots to get pack out of the way.). Or Chain Reactor, Purcell Prussik

• pain meds if you need anything like Ibuprofen before during or after an outing


• Look over the many canyoneering &/or hiking resources here

• Climb Utah's Canyoneering Primer

• Technical Canyoneering Gear from Climb UT

*** Acknowledgement of Risk ***

There will be a few 'hidden questions' (organizer can see responses but others cannot) for you to answer when you RSVP. Read the one re: A of R and you must type there "I Accept" or you will not be considered a meetup participant for this event.

By RSVPing YES and participating in this activity you acknowledge that you have read the statements below and agree to abide by them while participating in this or any Western Slope Adventurers activity. Only those persons who have read this information and agree to its terms shall be viewed as participants in this or any WSA activity.

Hiking, backpacking, road or mountain biking, water sports, skiing, snowshoeing, climbing, rappelling, canyoneering and other adventure sports are fun, but are not without risk. You are responsible for your own safety and staying within your own comfort limits. All Western Slope Adventurers events are unguided events. By participating in a WSA event, you acknowledge that you have a personal duty and responsibility for your own safety.

Western Slope Adventurers MeetUps are organized to provide a venue for outdoor enthusiasts to meet and have fun while sharing in experiences and adventures.

Neither the WSA MeetUp nor any event organizer assess the personal, technical and/or safety skills of participants; nor do they assess any event location to determine current conditions.

By your participation, you acknowledge that you have a personal duty and responsibility to (a) assess your own skills, honestly and accurately, to determine your suitability as a participant for each event, (b) seek adequate information to assess the difficulty of each event to determine if it is within your fitness and skill level, (c) seek adequate information about the current conditions in each area and the weather to assess potential risks to you by participating, and (d) evaluate other prospective event participants and to use your own judgment to determine their suitability for the event and how their participation may affect you.

All participants are encouraged and expected to:

honestly assess your skills to ensure each activity is within your ability

assess your prospective fellow event participants

accept responsibility for your own safety and comfort

do your share of any teamwork involved

share your ideas for situation assessment before and during an event

speak up if you're having a problem

speak up if you question what's going on or something that is being done, no matter who's doing it

have all of the clothing, equipment and any other special items needed for the activity

inform the event organizer or other designated participant if you are using medication (prescribed or otherwise) or have any medical condition that may affect your full participation in the event

on any biking, canyoneering; or, river event that is class II difficulty or higher, wear a helmet, no exceptions

have fun

Join or login to comment.

  • Bob

    Loved Cassidy Arch and the hike to Wives 3, and the free firewood.

    February 20, 2014

  • Stacie B.

    What a FUN weekend in some beautiful canyons. I only wish I had more time to explore the area more.

    February 18, 2014

    • Laney H.

      Oh man, I could have left you the beta!

      February 18, 2014

    • Doug Van E.

      Is that #1 or #2; the one you had the pothole anchor in or the other one?

      February 18, 2014

  • Ralph

    First time to Capitol Reef. An enjoyable weekend with great canyons and a good group of people. The Cassidy Arch route was especially interesting.

    February 18, 2014

  • Laney H.

    WOW is all I can say! Cassidy Arch was spectacular with a surprise at the end. Wife 3 canyon, with the 200 foot rappel got everyone's attention! We had a great group of folks, great weather and super fun.

    February 18, 2014

  • Doug Van E.

    Great group and weather. Cap Reef is always spectacular and the canyons - Cassidy Arch on Saturday Wives 3 & 6 on Sunday, were all just wonderful. Introduced 10 people - all but Carl Bush and me - to Cap Reef's classic canyon, Cassidy Arch, for their first time.

    February 18, 2014

  • Carl

    The shin-ob canyons may have some minor water. I know of a few random pools. But only the first person will get wet. The first person can guide the others around the water. It was this way in November when I was there. The wives are generally dry except one canyon which is known as wet. Cassidy is generally dry.

    February 11, 2014

  • Carl

    I just picked up a 300' rope. We can add the rarely done middle canyon of the Shin-ob fork to the list of possibilities. Last rap is 275' into a dark chamber. The far canyon Nighthawk is exactly 200' so a proper sized rope is needed. Got hung up short last fall by a mismarked rope.

    February 11, 2014

  • Three D.

    I'll have to pass on this..The outing sounds like something I would love to do but I just got out of a 5 day stay in the hospital and doctor said "NO..!" I need to keep it mellow for awhile so I don't miss any river stuff later. I have a chance to do the last part of the Grand Canyon in late March so am rehabbing for that.
    You all have fun and play safe..! 3D

    February 11, 2014

  • Doug Van E.

    We are changing location to Capitol Reef Natl Park. Robbers Roost roads are sand and clay and impassable now. See you early morning - well 8:30 AM - Saturday in the Capitol Reef campground. Look for Carl Bush's gray Honda Element. He is going down Friday.

    February 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have something Friday night and would like to meet on Saturday if it works Time wise to hike. If there is some sort of schedule and info on where you will be camping can you send it that would be great

    February 9, 2014

  • Carl

    Water Canyon is rated 3A III
    Alcatraz Canyon is rated 3A R III
    Larry Canyon is rated 3A III
    No Mans Canyon is rated 3A III This is a good route for intermediate or advanced canyoneers
    Not Mindbender is rated 3A III

    Reading Climb-Utah short descriptions and videos. Not looking at the map yet. I MAY have a guest who is a beginner. She has not committed yet. I would like to spice it up a little bit if possible. It is not on Backpackers yet.

    February 2, 2014

    • Doug Van E.

      I know that even thogh days will be mid 50's and nights at or just above freezing, I would like to stay dry. Blue John and Robbers Roost, north or south forks, should be good for that.

      February 8, 2014

    • Doug Van E.

      Bring LOTS of FIREWOOD and hot beverages, vamp chairs, all the ropes you own, lots of webbing and plenty of rappel links.

      February 8, 2014

  • Laney H.

    I have to leave on Saturday morning, as I have a radio show to do Friday night. If you'd like to car pool, I can be at Starvin Arvin's in Fruita at 6:00 Saturday morning. I know where the campsite is at the trailhead at Horseshoe Canyon, but I don't know where Alcatraz Canyon is so please give directions. Also, does Alcatraz Canyon have a toilet like Horseshoe? (More important for women, probably, than the proximity to the canyons.)

    February 7, 2014

  • Doug Van E.

    For those who want to go on this trip, let's please research this together as to what canyons we want to do. I have been looking at the zoomable map on the Canyon Collective web site and see that we had better NOT plan to CAMP at HORSESHOE. It is WAY TOO FAR from the meat of the Roost. So, I know there is good camping right at the top of Alcatraz Canyon; with that, Larry and Bull Pasture Canyons nearby.

    Or. . . I need to find on the map where Motel 6 is to see what access is like to carious locations from there. Does anyone have any canyon preferences and know of places between probably 6-12 of us can camp?

    February 2, 2014

    • Carl

      I think it is wide open desert. Just park and camp somewhere. No real idea of where to go.

      February 4, 2014

  • Doug Van E.

    A bunch of us just spent the day in Little Wild Horse, Bell and Wild Horse canyons. There was snow in some of the deeper recesses but if we stick to narrow canyons and the weather gets into the 50's as predicted, I think we will be almost snow-free.

    February 2, 2014

  • Doug Van E.

    Look at this long range weather forecast for Goblin Valley - closest weather station to the Roost that shows in a search -- highs in the low 50's with nights in the 20's. Just about perfect !!!!!

    February 2, 2014

  • Lyn B.

    I'll head out Friday after work, can stay through Monday. New 130' Bluewater CanyonLine rope to break in. I bought it New Years at a ART of Canyoneering class with Rich.

    February 2, 2014

  • Doug Van E.

    If you can come Friday night, great. If you want to do any or all of the weekend days, great. There can be as many options as there are participants.

    February 1, 2014

  • Doug Van E.

    Canyoneering participation this weekend will be open to those who have done canyons with WSA before, or have been through a 'course''; or, come with an experienced 'mentor' who will be your personal guide.

    February 1, 2014

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