Orderville Canyon

>> Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review Pending


Goblin Valley State Park

>> Friday, July 23, 2010

Grade A-

Equipment: water and good shoes
Time: 2 or 3 hours each day, one can take as much time as one wants
Date: 7-9-2010 to 7-10-2010
Conditions: Very hot and very dry except for the evening, which was very pleasant, and for a very brief rain shower (also very pleasant). Bring water!
Experience Level: Beginner

Goblin Valley: What a weird and fun place to visit! We did a family camping trip and a bunch of hiking around and playing with the kids. The terrain looks like an alien planet, maybe Mars. Huge red rock formations that are smooth and balled up on top of each other like mud pies. (In fact it was used in the hilarious movie "Galaxy Quest" to film a scene in an alien planet.)

The fee to enter the park is only $7 and you can run around and go everywhere, climbing on, around and through the incredible rocks. April commented that it was like a huge playground for kids and grown-ups! We saw a scout troop playing Kick the Can, and another playing Capture the Flag.

We did not do any formal hikes, but instead roamed organically through the landscape, climbing on and over whatever we felt like. We spent a few hours the evening before and then a few more hours the next day. We highly recommend it, especially for a family trip. Both the kids and the parents had a blast!



Lodge Update

>> Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Last fall we wrote you a thrilling tale of Lodge Canyon that no doubt convinced many of you that it is worth a trip. At that time we were awed by the autumn colors, this time we were blown away by the blossoms along the trail and covering the hanging gardens. We have one further update before you head out. Lodge is still wonderful with its steep walls, but this year you'll encounter a few more obstacles as you wander up the wash. As far as we can deduce, an avalanche tore through the canyon this winter and left quite a bit of debris on the canyon floor. Watch your step as you go; plenty of fallen trees and rocks now lie in your path--but don't let them stop you! The hanging gardens at the end of this trip are well worth the effort!

PS-The false set of bolts at rap 4 were not removed, remember to cut off early and head to the east. Follow our instructions in our earlier post or consult Tom.



Canyoneering Season Resumes!

>> Saturday, May 15, 2010

..and we are thrilled about the prospects. We are starting our summer with a lovely trip down to Zion National Park over Memorial Day. We will be repeating Lodge Canyon because we liked it so much, and trying a new canyon, Telephone Canyon. Stay tuned for our reviews of this latest trip. Since the last canyoneering trip, Dave and April got married! Look at what canyoneering can lead to...


Lodge (Employee) Canyon

>> Sunday, October 18, 2009

Grade A
Equipment: two 60 meter ropes, helmets for everyone, extra webbing, ascenders (just in case)
Time: 5 hours (for a group of 4 experienced canyoneerers)
Date: 10-17-09
Conditions: Dry and warm
Experience Level: Experienced
Tom's Canyoneering Advice

Our latest adventure sounded a bit risky at the beginning. We consulted our trusty reconnaissance man, Tom, and learned that this canyon has a reputation for getting the rope stuck, deaths from falling rocks, and a tricky spot on rappel 4 where a wrong turn could lead to being suspended 100' in the air with no more rope from which to rappel. In addition, Tom gave this a low ranking and suggested doing other canyons in lieu of this canyon for "experienced" canyoneerers. Now, I'm no Tom, but I consider myself an experienced canyoneerer. The true selling point for our motley crew? It is October. Most of the canyons in Zion involve water. Water in October, even in southern Utah, can be exceptionally chilly. The wet Pinecreek Canyon or the dry Lodge Canyon? We went with Lodge, but we were extra careful in our preparations to prevent the possible tragedies Tom warned us of...

Read full review with photos


Keyhole Canyon

Grade B
Equipment: one 60 meter rope, harnesses for everyone, wetsuits, and drinking water
Time: 2 hours for 5 people
Date: 9-19-09
Conditions: Wet, cold standing water at the base of most rappels
Experience Level: great for beginners, fun for all
Tom's Description

This was a great little canyon to explore. It took us about 2 hours to complete, including the hike to the first rappel. The canyon was narrow and tall (a slot canyon). The red rock walls beautifully reflected the light of the sun. There was a lot of standing water that was very cold, so we were very glad to be wearing our wetsuits, but the rappels were short and easy. It was a great little canyon to take along a first timer.

Some of the drop-downs did not require a rappel, but instead some kindly souls had previously left lengths of webbing or rope to grab a hold of in order to let yourself down. (See my picture above.)

It is short enough to complete it and still have time for some others in the same day. We hiked Angel's landing in the morning and did this canyon later in the day. Another nice feature is that it is a loop, beginning and ending at the same place, so you finish right at your parked vehicle. I'd definitely do it again.



Angel's Landing

Grade: A
Equipment: Water and Lunch for the top
Time: 3-5 hours
Date: 9-19-09
Conditions: Beautiful Fall day - mid 70's
Experience: Beginner
Distance: 5 miles round trip

This was the first of three diverse hikes on Saturday. Combining this hike with a slot canyon allows for two unique perspectives on Zion, my favorite place on earth. . .


About This Blog

WE THE PEOPLE of the Outdoor Lovers of Utah . . . okay, that is just silly. But we really do love the outdoors, especially the many scenic wonders of Utah. We decided to start this blog to document our adventures around the beautiful Zion's National Park and the other amazing places that Utah has to offer. You can follow our exploits for fun or to get ideas for your own adventures. Because we're all connected to education we'll use grades to evaluate the spectacular locations we visit. Happy recreating, and try not to go SPLAT at the bottom.


Brains... started it all; outfitter and guide of our many adventures.


Scout...the first one in and the last one out.


Brawn...master rope coiler and pack mule extraordinaire.


Mama Bear...always prepared with whatever the rest of us forget.


Wheel Man...provider of accommodations and transportation.


Reconnaissance...author of Tom's Canyoneering, our trusted source of information (present only in paperback and spirit).

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