A Hidden Gem
Bluejohn is a great canyon and an excellent intro to the Roost. There are many forks of Bluejohn, and this is maybe the best combination put together by my friend Ram 15 years ago. This loop descends the cool narrows of the East Fork and ascends the Main Fork, through a spectacular tall narrows section, and then up a steeper section with chockstones and short drops. None of the climbing problems are particularly exposed, and all can be belayed once one person is up.
Rumors of bolting-up required in the East Fork are highly exagerated. After the second rappel in the East Fork, a short drop is passed by "sequencing" people down (rappeling off a braced canyoneer), then carefully spotting the last person down. Soloing this drop would be difficult.
From time to time, there is a long and incredibly cold pool just after the third rappel. Always bring a dry bag and be prepared to swim on this route.
The name Bluejohn Canyon is now infamous for a single, lonely, unlucky descent, told in the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place; and Hollywooded up in the movie "127 Hours". To me, the route Aron Ralston chose is a long, unspectacular slog with brief sections of mildly technical narrows - perfect for a long slow distance solo training run on a beautiful spring day. Many say Aron was reckless - I say he was spectacularly unlucky, and I am oh so glad, 123 hours later, he came up with a brilliant idea. The movie is good - go see it. Re-creating the events out in the wild, however, is not recommended.
Many non-canyoneers are excited to visit the spot of Aron's near-demise. Necro-tourism? It really does not look like much, and is far from the best spot in the canyon, let alone in the area. The jog out to the Blue Pool (160 miles each way) is a bit far for most day-hikers. Even Aron's mildly-technical route is not suitable for people without rappelling and downclimbing experience, and really is a poor route for beginners anyway.
Getting into the sport? There are plenty of professional guides available to show you a canyon or two. If you have some training, browse around our site. There are much better canyons for introducing yourself to the sport than Aron's route - including the East/Main Bluejohn loop detailed here.