Category Archives: Slot Canyon

Grotto Canyon and Horse Heaven Arch

On Sunday, Dad and I hiked Steve Allen’s Grotto Canyon loop trail in the Northern San Rafael Reef. The Tidwell Draw road out to the trailhead was in rough shape. It was the worst I have seen it in. I had to use four wheel drive a couple times to get through washouts. But we finally got to the trailhead at 11:30. The trail starts out kind of unremarkable.

After a short distance it gets better and the canyon deepens.

Once it narrows up there was a pothole we couldn’t make it past so we had to backtrack and climb out of the canyon.

After climbing back in it narrows up again nicely. We stemmed over two pools but was stopped by a third but the end was within sight.

The narrows end at a large dryfall so we backtracked and climbed out. We then hiked past the dryfall and climbed back in the canyon.

Just after dropping in there was a leaning rock barely balancing on a small rock.

We headed up canyon for a short way, then climbed out and hiked North over to an old cowboy cabin.

After the cabin, we continued North into another canyon to see Horse Heaven Arch.

After seeing the arch we backtracked and headed down canyon. This canyon had a lot of potholes full of water.

There is one big dryfall but it is easily bypassed.

This canyon took us back to the trailhead and finished our loop. It took us 5 hours and was a bit over 5 miles long. The weather was perfect plus we had the area all to ourselves. Good day.

Photo Gallery: Grotto Canyon

GPS Tracklog: Google Earth KMZ


Crack Canyon

Sunday was planned to hike Crack Canyon. We left a little after 8 and headed for Temple Mountain. We passed many camps on our way down. Last time I hiked Crack Canyon, we parked near the main road and road walked in but today I drove the Taco all the way in. There was a small camp and another car at the trailhead. We only ran into 4 other people in the canyon.

Starting in

Cool Subway Section

The next section of narrows had a few obstacles to downclimb. They seemed a whole lot easier this go around.

Obstacle that stopped me last time

The next section of narrows was my favorite. They were deep and narrow but too short.

After the third section of narrows we should have turned around but we kept on going. The canyon widened and had a few sections of mini narrows. After getting to a junction we turned around and headed back.

The hike out seemed to get hotter and longer until we reached the narrows again.

Back at the truck there was a cooler with some ice cold Mountain Dew waiting for me. It was nice.

What a great hike. Enough challenge to keep the crowds at bay but not too hard to require ropes.

Photo Gallery
GPS Tracklog (Google Earth .KMZ Format)


Farnsworth Canyon

The weather was perfect Saturday for a hike. I decided to hike Farnsworth Canyon and then find a bunch of geocaches that was put out recently. The drive out was nice and I was hiking by Noon.

It doesn’t take long before this canyon narrows up for a while.

It doesn’t stay narrow for long and widens up for the rest of the way.

It was nice hiking through this part. There were lot of rocks with holes and weathered rocks. I knew there were Indian writtings in here but I didn’t know where, so I just kept my eyes open and eventually spotted them.

I walked further up canyon and came to the first drill hole and then a fallen down miner’s shack.

At the end of the canyon was another drill hole. There was some core samples nearby and an old Pepsi can. This is where I turned around and headed back.

The hike out was nice because the sun was getting low and the canyon wasn’t in direct sunlight. I spent a lot of time taking pictures and just enjoying the solitude. I even found a rock with what I think could be a dinosaur fossil but I am not sure.


Getting back to the truck there was a cold Mountain Dew waiting for me and then it was on to find 30 geocaches. I was able to find 27 on the way back home. The geocaches were all near Old Dead Junipers and place about every quarter mile. It was getting old and was happy when I finally found the last one. It was a good day and it was nice to get out.

Link to more photos- Picasa Web Albums

Link to KML file- Fanrswoth Canyon


Devils Canyon

With the threat of a big windstorm looming, I decided to do just a day hike in Devils Canyon. The road down into Devils Canyon is a rough road but there is one spot in the road that stopped me from going any further. It is small ledge that looks like I would of bottomed out on. So I parked nearby and began my hike from there.

Heading West down canyon.

I decided to check out a few of the side canyons that looked promising. The first started out good but then widened up. The second was fairly narrow for most of it.

First canyon

Second canyon

After checking out the two side canyons I was going to turn around but decided to keep on pushing further to check out the narrows up ahead. Along the way I actually ran into some snow along one wall. It was just a little bit but it surprised me.

Finally I made it to the top of the narrows. There was about a 30 ft drop to start the narrows but the guide book said you could bypass this drop. I was tired by the time I got here and still had a 3 mile hike back in the soft sand. So I decided to turn around here.

The perfect resting chair.

After turning around the wind started to pick up and blow sand all over. It would die down for a minute and then pick back up. So I was glad with my decision to turn around.

It wasn’t long before I was back at the road .

This canyon is definitely worth an overnight or even two night trip. I will put this on my need to backpack list. There are a few more pictures on my picasa page.


Ding and Dang Canyon

This weekend, took a trip down by Goblin Valley. It had been a while since I was down in this area and couldn’t believe they had paved the road all the way to Little Wild Horse Canyon. That TH was crammed full of cars but we kept on driving. Our destination was a little further down the road. The trailhead for DIng and Dang had four other vehicles and one group was just getting done. We didn’t hike to far before we were at the split.

Ding Dang Split

We figured we would head up Ding and loop around into Dang and turn around if Dang was too much. We made it a ways into Ding before everyone else couldn’t go any further. I hiked a short ways further to were the canyon widens and turned around.

Ding Narrowing Up

Ding Canyon

Ding Canyon

After turning around we all hiked to Dang Canyon. We didn’t make it too far up Dang before running into some ice cold water. That is where turned around and left.

Almost to the Narrows

Dang Narrows

Dang Water

It was fun exploring but I would like to see more of Dang, just gives me an excuse to return another day.



Crawford Draw

The weather report for the weekend predicted rain, so on Saturday I stayed home until about 4 and then went ATV riding. I figured today would be the same, no rain. We left to hike Crawford Draw.

The Start of Crawford Draw

After looking in, we noticed a lot of water.

Crawford Draw

I hiked in the canyon for a short distance alone and then everyone joined me.

The Others Climbing In

We went a short way going around potholes until we ran into a long deep pool. So we backtracked and climbed out.

Climb Out

After climbing out, there were 3 pronghorn watching us. We started making noise and the antelope started making noises back. This was second time I have heard an antelope, the first was a couple years ago when one was stuck in a fence. We cut the fence and watched him run off.


We rim walked all the way to the Reid Nelson Draw. Along the way we found some small geodes. No pics of the rocks.

Reid Neilson Draw

Reid Neilson Draw

Green Pool

Summit 42 has taken an awesome picture of the small arch.
After meeting up with Reid Nelson Draw, we turned around and headed back home, vowing to return again.


Grotto Canyon

Today, the family hiked Grotto Canyon. It is a short slot canyon in the Tidwell Draw area. There is also a cabin near by but we didn’t hike to it.

The trail starts near the power lines and follows an ATV trail at first.

Start of hike to Grotto Canyon

It follows the wash for half mile until it splits at a purple slab of rock.

First Split... Go Left

Soon it turns to sandstone but I had to climb out because a small pothole was in the way.

Narrowing a little.

Grotto Canyon at another junction.

After getting back in the canyon, it splits again. After the split it starts narrowing up.

Grotto Canyon

Grotto Canyon

Soon there was some water to either wade or climb over. I chose to climb over because it was about knee deep and there was a slight breeze. Climbing over wasn’t too fun, I thought I was close to falling in at times.

Some Water

There are a couple of stones to climb over but the canyon ends too soon at a dryfall.

The Grotto

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