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Non-technical Canyonlands

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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Non-technical Canyonlands

Postby soad » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:53 pm

Howdy all! We will be making our first trip to Utah in July. We want to do some cool canyons but have absolutely no experience. Any suggestions on a good place to go where we can get an awesome experience without ropes/gear. We want to go beyond the "tourist" areas, but not get in over our heads. We are accomplished eastern hikers (many 35+ miles ultra marathons), but I have a feeling that means nothing out there :oops: . Any other tips/suggestions to the newbies would be appreciated.

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Re: Non-technical Canyonlands

Postby Jesse M » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:05 pm

The 'Needles' district of Canyonlands is great. I would suggest a backpack to the 'joint trails'. July will be very hot and dry.

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Re: Non-technical Canyonlands

Postby Carborundum » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:34 pm

Also, a bit more of a drive, but Horseshoe canyon has beautiful petroglyphs. July will be brutally hot though. Island in the sky has less hiking, but higher elevation to lose a couple degrees.
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Re: Non-technical Canyonlands

Postby thebeave7 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:42 pm

If you can get yourself out of Moab/Canyonlands and to the San Rafael Swell (about 1h West) there are several awesome slot canyons out there, two of which are must do's. The first is the Bell and Littlewild Horse loop, the second is the Ding and Dang loop. Both have a bit of scrambling in them, but Bell and Little Wild Horse have nothing worse than easy very short class 3. Ding and Dang require a little more climbing/stemming/scrambling, couple short class 4 downclimbs that are easily assisted, but its still not bad. Here are links to the descriptions.

Bell and Littlewild Horse
http://canyoneeringusa.com/utah/swell/little.htm
http://www.ericjlee.com/Photo/thumbnails.php?album=290&page=2

Ding and Dang
http://canyoneeringusa.com/utah/swell/dingdang.htm
http://www.ericjlee.com/Photo/thumbnails.php?album=196&page=3

In Canyonlands itself head down to the Needles district, with your ultrarunning fitness you can cover a lot of the great trails, and see virtually no people. As a technical trail run the Syncline Loop/Upheaval canyon out and back makes for a great 20miler in the Island in the sky district, or if you want to get a good flavor for the Northern portion of the park the Murphy/White Rim/Gooseberry loop makes for a fantastic 20-25mi run. You'll have to do a few miles of road running to connect the trailheads, but its worth it.
There are also tons of great trails just outside of Moab along the Colorado River (grab a TOPO and start running).

Syncline Loop/Upheaval: http://www.ericjlee.com/Photo/thumbnails.php?album=290&page=3
White Rim Rd: http://www.ericjlee.com/Photo/thumbnails.php?album=223&page=2

Eric
Me fail English? That's unpossible. http://www.ericjlee.com/Blogs

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Re: Non-technical Canyonlands

Postby jsdratm » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:45 pm

I was just out there for New Years and hiked Arches, Island in the Sky, and Needles. All three were awesome, but if you want to get away from tourists I would go for Needles, since the place was empty when I was there. I imagine it will be incredibly hot that time of year, so make sure you have plenty of water.

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Re: Non-technical Canyonlands

Postby Scott P » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:54 pm

We want to do some cool canyons but have absolutely no experience.


Let me fix that for you:

We want to do some searingly hot canyons but have absolutely no experience.
:mrgreen:

Anyway,

I wouldn't recommend Canyonlands in July. Trust me, it will be miserable (and not to mention dangerous). The wet canyons of Escalante and Zion National Park would be much better. The closest canyon to Canyonlands that I would recommend in summer are as follows:

Professor Creek, Mill Creek and maybe Negro Bill near Moab (waterfalls and swimming holes). Couthouse Wash (wading pools) might not be so bad either.

Dark Canyon between Black Steer and Lake Powell won't be so bad (lots of waterfalls/pools), except for the hike back out. It's rugged country though, so it may not be the best for you. Same with the waterfall and pool laced Gypsum Canyon.

Other than the above, I'd really avoid the Canyonlands area in July (unless you want to head up into the La Sal Mountains).

In Escalante and Zion National Park, you would have much more options. Some good summer choices area below.

Escalante:

Death Hollow (coming in from the top is harder, so go in from the bottom if inexperienced) - nice slides and pools.

40-Mile/Willow Loop - wonderful pools and falls

Boulder Creek - nice swimming holes

The above are best for summer, but any of the well watered canyons would still be possible (i.e. Coyote Gulch, The Gulch, etc.).

Zion:

Zion Narrows-always great in early July, nice later on when flash flood danger is lot. Best in hot weather; the hotter the better.

Subway-from the bottom is easier than from the top

Oderville is a good one, but it does have some scrambling and one small drop that is best with a rope. You can hike it from the bottom.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Non-technical Canyonlands

Postby planet54 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:16 pm

Hot , did anyone mention HOT. It will be all about water and shade and the lack of both. Here are 2 suggestions that have water and shade ,but don't drink this water,bring your own.
First I would suggest The Chute of Muddy Creek in the San Rafael Swell west of Green River. It is a narrow canyon with ankle deep water and maybe some deeper holes. The walls are really high so shade is not a problem . It is a long 16 miles from one end to the other so you would need 2 cars or just hike in and return the same way. You need to factor in that you will be in the water and probably some mud so the distance will seem longer.

Second ,for a real challenge there is the Lower Black Box,also in the San Rafael Swell.I mention this hike because the only time that it should be attempted is when it is blazing hot outside.If hiking and swimming doesn't seem like a good mix for your group forget about it, there is no way to avoid it. A tough day.

You can find plenty of info about these hikes with a search. Stay 8)
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"Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an innertube;there are some things one would rather have done than do." Edward Abbey

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Re: Non-technical Canyonlands

Postby Upstate Hiker » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:33 pm

Scott P wrote:
We want to do some cool canyons but have absolutely no experience.


Let me fix that for you:

We want to do some searingly hot canyons but have absolutely no experience.
:mrgreen:

Anyway,

I wouldn't recommend Canyonlands in July. Trust me, it will be miserable (and not to mention dangerous). The wet canyons of Escalante and Zion National Park would be much better. The closest canyon to Canyonlands that I would recommend in summer are as follows:



I second the Escalante idea. I spent some time there in July, and we weren't uncomfortably hot during the day and were cool at night. Escalante has sections that are desolate, so go prepared. Bryce wasn't bad that time of year, either.

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Re: Non-technical Canyonlands

Postby Upstate Hiker » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:33 pm

Scott P wrote:
We want to do some cool canyons but have absolutely no experience.


Let me fix that for you:

We want to do some searingly hot canyons but have absolutely no experience.
:mrgreen:

Anyway,

I wouldn't recommend Canyonlands in July. Trust me, it will be miserable (and not to mention dangerous). The wet canyons of Escalante and Zion National Park would be much better. The closest canyon to Canyonlands that I would recommend in summer are as follows:



I second the Escalante idea. I spent some time there in July, and we weren't uncomfortably hot during the day and were cool at night. Escalante has sections that are desolate, so go prepared. Bryce wasn't bad that time of year, either.

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Re: Non-technical Canyonlands

Postby Upstate Hiker » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:33 pm

Scott P wrote:
We want to do some cool canyons but have absolutely no experience.


Let me fix that for you:

We want to do some searingly hot canyons but have absolutely no experience.
:mrgreen:

Anyway,

I wouldn't recommend Canyonlands in July. Trust me, it will be miserable (and not to mention dangerous). The wet canyons of Escalante and Zion National Park would be much better. The closest canyon to Canyonlands that I would recommend in summer are as follows:



I second the Escalante idea. I spent some time there in July, and we weren't uncomfortably hot during the day and were cool at night. Escalante has sections that are desolate, so go prepared. Bryce wasn't bad that time of year, either.

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Re: Non-technical Canyonlands

Postby soad » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:06 pm

Thanks guys for all the advice. I figured that July would not be optimum but you guys have me (rightfully) spooked. We could go in April, but we also want to do some Front Range 14ers while we are there (again, newbie....no snow fields for me......). I guess we will have to rework our plans and look into other areas of Utah that you guys suggested..... :-k

Thanks again!!

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