Canyoneering is where you explore canyons using a variety of techniques like walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and/or swimming. Don't worry, we're doing non-technical, which means scrambling and easy climbing, but no ropes. If you're afraid of heights, this is not for you.
This will be a busy weekend in a short amount of time!!
Friday: Leave Denver whenever you want. Stay in Grand Junction (about 3.5-4 hours) or Green River, Utah (5.5-6 hours). Stay in a hotel, camp, lodging is on your own.
Saturday 8:45am: San Rafael Swell. 1 hour southwest of Green River, Utah. Hike the 8ish mile loop of Little Wildhorse/Bell canyons. This is not a cardio hike, this is a fun, laughing, take crazy pictures, adventure. Read about the hike here.
**Directions to trailhead: From Green River, Utah follow I-70 west for 11 miles to Exit #149 and Highway 24. Follow Highway 24 south for 24 miles to mile maker 136 and the signed turn-off to Goblin Valley State Park. Follow the signs to Goblin Valley State Park. The signed turn-off to Little Wild Horse Canyon is located 11 miles from Highway 24 and 2 miles before the Goblin Valley State Park fee station on the west side of the road. Follow the dirt road for 5.3 miles to the Little Wild Horse trailhead. The trailhead has parking, a vault toilet, trail register and information kiosk. The trailhead can usually be reached by passenger car in good weather.
Saturday afternoon/evening: We'll go over to Goblin Valley State Park in the same area. You HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS PLACE. The valley is filled with rock formations/hoodoos. We'll explore and play in the formations. Hopefully we'll get to Matt's cave.
Saturday night: Lodging on your own. Free car camp on BLM land (remote spot or dirt group parking lot), pay camp at Goblin Valley State Park or hotel in Green River or Hanksville. (Hanksville is smaller, but closer. I typically stay in Green River.)
Sunday 830am, THERE'S MORE! Same area. Now it's time for the Ding/Dang canyons loop. Figure 7 miles-ish. This is where things get really tricky. Everyone should be able to do Ding. BUT not everyone can do Dang. You will need chimney-ing and some non-rope climbing skills for Dang. Some some of us will hike Dang, others will go up Ding and back down Ding. Don't worry, going up and down Ding is worth the trip. Sunday, meet at the Little Wild Horse/Bell canyon TH again to carpool or walk to the TH.
Sunday afternoon, 3pm-ish, drive home.
Cost: $25 donation to the organizer for weekend. This does not go into my meetup fund, this goes to me for my expenses. One day with a guide is $100+ so this is really cheap for 2 days. You're on your own for accommodations and food. If you want to carpool or buddy up for hotels/camping, please leave a note on your RSVP or post a note on the meetup site. A 4-wheel drive is helpful in the sand to get to Ding/Dang. Passengers cars can drive to Wildhorse/Bell.
**IMPORTANT NOTE** Do not make uncancelable reservations. If it is raining, we will cancel. These canyons are dangerous in rain.
Wanna do more? Ask me where to stop to see dinosaur tracks and petroglyphs along the way or other canyons to see in the San Rafael Swell and/or Moab.
Want to see pictures? Check out the 2010 trip. Check out the 2011 trip.
Got questions? Email me: [masked]
Denver Hiking Examiner
read my trip reports here
Hiking is risky. Every year people are hurt and killed because they go beyond their abilities, get lost, or bring the wrong gear. I spend hours researching hikes and rely on various sources, but I can't vouch for their accuracy. I am not a professional guide, you are responsible for yourself. By signing up for this hike you acknowledge that you are solely responsible for your own safety and will do the necessary research to understand the conditions of this hike and the gear you require.