North Wash Trail Canyon with Costa Ricans, North Wash, UT


Johan and Hans from Costa Rica were in town, and I wanted to show them canyons as dissimilar to Costa Rica as possible. Despite the high heat at the end of May, I figured we would go to North Wash and get a few narrow-type canyons in.  On the drive over, we did Cassidy Arch Canyon. On day one we did Shenanigans. For this day, I thought Trail Canyon would be a good choice…  one hour approach close to camp, a bunch of slithering and climbing, a short exit. We got up early and headed off.

The gang, the approach terrain

The GANG today consisted of Ali White and Chase Mueller and myself, who were hosted by Johan in Costa Rica a few months before; Johan and Hans from Costa Rica; Ali Miller from Ohio, and Bob who we met at Sandthrax campsite the night before. (Note: times stated are the times the camera assigned…  the actual time was probably an hour later).  After an hour’s hike, we arrived at the pad-up spot and the start of the canyon, just as it was getting hot.

Gearing up, head of canyon, 7:59 am

Into the canyon, which starts with a long easy downclimb, leading finally to the first rappel.

Chase heading down the FIRST rappel

The second rappel soon followed. The anchor was jingus, so we quickly rebuilt it into ‘truck’ with the boulders that were there. Then…

Trail Canyon has a lot of sports action, mostly in the high-stemming category, though it is low high-stemming. Lots of narrow sections, and some of them are narrow enough that we go up. And across, then back down. There is one difficult climb-up, but with a little help from friends, it is not TOO hard.  So we did these things.

Narrow hard = traffic jam

On most occasions, there are two swim pools, both of which have a tenuous downclimb to get into them. Dry conditions meant there were still pools, but they were only waist deep. We threw some packs across, just in case, and slithered down into the chilly pools. Since we had been working hard, I thought the cold water felt good.

Ali-Tall, first swim, only waist deep.

Somewhere in here we had lunch. We passed the Jenny-escape place, and 15 minutes later the Tom-escape place. Then the final sequence of problems, and then the final slot. Skinny people go low, full-size people go high. I have been through the bottom once, with the help of a 3-helmet, helmet stand. Now I go high; everyone else went low. A few helmet stands were required. Teamwork ensued.

People in the final slot

And we are done. Out into the sunshine, back to the car, then back to camp, to head off to Robbers Roost and try to get Alcatraz in… but that is another story, that did not happen.


Trail Canyon 5-30-2018
Johan, Hans, Chase, Ali, Ali, Bob, Tom


6:52 AM At Truck, ready to start
7:59 Padding up at top of canyon
8:33 Chase on rappel, first rappel
8:58 At second rappel
9:22 Johan stemming up high
9:45 downclimb into first pool
(Lunch – 30 minutes)
11:00 capture at Wily Coyote pool
11:12 Looking down into final narrows
11:50 Back at Car