Last year we did Canyoneering and Wine Tasting, http://www.meetup.com/backpackers-128/events/13584792/, I spent the past year learning about beer and how to brew it, so this year we are going to do it with Beer Tasting.
Join us for some canyoneering fun in the North Wash area of Utah. This will be an “advanced-beginner / intermediate” canyoneering trip to Southern Utah, and is suitable for most outdoor adventurous people with a moderate to very good level of fitness, and preferably have some level of basic climbing & rappelling skills.
The meet up & camping site for this gathering for the weekend will be the Sandthrax campsite located just past mile marker 28 on Highway 95 south/east of Hanksville Utah. From Salt Lake, take I-15 South to exit 258/US Hwy 6 through Price down to I-70. It’s a good idea to detour a little to Green River to fill up on gas (just east of the Hwy 6 & I-70 junction), but then come back west on I-70 a few miles and take the UT-24 West exit and head to Hanksville. There’s a nice Chevron if you need to pick up any additional gas or last minute supplies. From Hanksville, just take a left & head East on HW[masked] miles (toward the Lake Powell Hite Marina & just past the turn off that would take you to the Bullfrog Marina, but again stay on HW 95 towards Hite) and look for a small dirt road on your left (north) that leads to a camping area. The camping area is not that big so we will be very easy to find and I will try to get there early to grab several spaces for tents.
This campsite is a primitive camping area with no services. Everything needs to be brought in & all trash taken with us when we leave. The nearest “real” restroom facilities and water will be located 3 miles down road at the Hog Springs Rest area. This camp spot is covered with trees for shade and offers an excellent start location for many canyons located in the North Wash, Traychete Creek, Lake Powell and Cedar Mesa Areas. There usual is no cell phone coverage once you leave Hanksville, so please make sure you know where we are meeting before you leave SLC. We are looking forward to a casual, but fun weekend and would like to create a very memorable Meetup by not only offering a great canyoneering adventure but also combining this with a beer tasting and meal event as well.
We will provide the beer and food (including preparation) for a fabulous Saturday evening dinner. The menu hasn’t been finalized yet... Is your mouth watering yet? We will also provide breakfast for Saturday & Sunday mornings with a selection of fresh fruits, juices, coffee, and eggs/bacon/pancake type options. Since everyone will likely arrive at various times on Friday night, your Friday dinner will be up to you, as well as snacks and lunch during the day (we recommend trail mix, granola bars, etc. for lunches in the canyons. Our plan is to charge a small fee ($30 to $35), just to cover the cost of the food & beer, but we will only be buying enough beer that the budget will allow, so we ask that everyone also bring a bottle or two of their choice to share & additionally help fill the gap (& the glasses!) for the weekend. If the fee poses a problem for anyone, just let me know and you can choose to bring your own food and not participate in the beer tasting portion of the event, but trust me, this is a bargain for what you’ll be getting.
The canyons are what I would describe as “advanced-beginner to intermediate”, and while they aren’t too difficult at all, there will be a few tight areas to squeeze through, some challenging up or down climbs over rocks, etc., and some rappelling involved. There will also be a moderately strenuous approach hike in the sun over beautiful sand stone/slick rock in the July sun/heat, so if you’re easily prone to heat stroke, you might want to stay in camp. ;-) However, once we’re in the canyons, things should be quite a bit cooler. You must be physically fit and have at least a little climbing/scrambling/rappelling ability to do these hikes and not be terribly claustrophobic or afraid of heights. Again, these are not that difficult at all, but are also not for your slow, Sunday hiker.
- Friday, Sept 23
- (I actually will be headed down Thursday night, we can still do a second canyon at 4pm if there is interest)
- Leave Salt Lake between 9am - 10am (it’s a 4 to 5 hour drive, so plan to arrive by 2 or 3pm if leaving at 10am)...or get there when you can.
- We will be planning on doing a shorter canyon Friday around 4pm. We will break into smaller groups with different start times/leaders if necessary, and for those who come down earlier, there will be the possibility of a longer canyon. - 7pm back in camp for dinner (on your own) and bring a bottle of beer to share around the campfire.
- Saturday, Sept 24
- 6:30am – 7:30am: Breakfast
- 8:00am: Leprechaun Canyon (right/east fork and/or possibly left/west fork depending on number of hikers); we will split into smaller groups with different start times or have the groups do two different canyons if necessary to make the hike more enjoyable).
- We should have enough leaders to potentially have one group do a more advanced canyon as well. - Time: approx. 4 hours to complete - We can also do a repeat of Lucky Charms (2 to 2.5 hour hike) later that afternoon for those who didn’t get to do it on Friday.
- Those that do no want to do another canyon can drive to Hite, Lake Powell for a nice relaxing float :)
- 7pm back in camp for dinner and beer tasting around the campfire.
- Sunday, Sept 25
- 6:30am – 7:30am: Breakfast
- 8:00am: Blarney Canyon (right/east fork and/or possibly left/west fork depending on number of hikers/groups); - Time: approx. 4 - 5 hours to complete
- 2:00pm-3:00pm: Pack up camp and head back to SLC
For a description on some of these canyons, check out the following links:
Camping Gear to bring
- Tent, sleeping bag/mat, pillow, campstove, lantern, flashlight, matches, table etc.
- Water (5 gallon jug for use at campsite and water bottles or camel back for hike)
- Firewood (everyone please bring at least a little firewood for the community campfire)
- Sunscreen / sunblock (bring plenty)
- Bug Spray
- Sun glasses
- Hat/sun protection
- Tarp or larger screened tent, if you have one
- Solar shower (if desired)
- T-Paper (camp shovel/trowel or portable toilet; there are no bathroom facilities here)
- Personal first aid kit & any other personal items (medications, toiletry, etc.)
- Dog leash, tether and supplies (if bringing). Some hikers have tethered their dogs on a runner between trees in the shaded areas with plenty of water. However, keep in mind that it can be very hot in July, even in the shade.
- Food: If you’re going to participate in our Beer & Meal offer, then you will only have to bring personal food for Friday night dinner & your lunches/snacks for the weekend.
- Camp chair for each person in your group
- Head lamp or flash light
- Musical instruments: if you play the guitars or some other kind of instrument, bring it along!
- Comfortable hiking shoes or boots (no sandals or flip flops) you don't mind getting wet; canyoneering shoes are preferred but not necessary.
- Small backpack narrow enough to fit through tight slots, but able to carry approx 64 oz of water
- Climbing Harness, rent one here: http://campusrec.utah.edu/programs/outdoor-recreation-program/equipment-rental/
- At least one locking carabiner
- Decent/rappel device (ATC, Figure-8, etc.)
- Helmet (though not needed on all canyons, these are nice to have; even if it’s just a biking helmet)
- Clothes you don’t mind getting a little worn or ripped; long sleeve shirt & pants are a nice option, though others may choose to hike in shorts & short sleeve shirt. Just be prepared to leave a little skin in the canyon if you do. ;-) Knee & elbow pads, while not needed, do come in handy for some. For some good advice on clothing, shoes, etc. go to: http://canyoneeringusa.com/utah/north/
- If you have extra climbing harnesses, static ropes, webbing/slings, carabiners, etc., please bring them along. I’ll post updates to this list as I think of them.
Carpooling: People are encouraged to carpool together to save gas & expense, so please post your needs on the message board and coordinate with others who are going.
Questions: Please feel free to send me a message through MeetUp or call me, Matt M., at[masked]-7447.