Fall Hiking – Dirty Devil, Angel Slot Canyon: Take Two

October – a great time for hiking the Dirty Devil, as we established last year in at Angel Cove and Angel Slot. Well, start the day off first with some breakfast.

Pack your things and off you go!

As I mentioned before, Angel Slot has got to be one of my favorite canyoneering routes so far. It’s short, sweet, fun and exciting. You’re off in the middle of nowhere, about eight miles on a dirt road and smack-dab in the middle of insane canyons. Stick to the roads if you are driving at night as you could be wandering off a cliff at anytime!

To arrive at Angel Slot, head towards Hanksville, Utah. Once you get into this tiny town, head South on the 95. Hang a left (going east) onto the marked turn-off, Angel Point Trail.

Continue about 2.4 miles and you’ll hit a fork – stay left and continue another 5.8 miles where you’ll turn off onto a dirt road to your right. This dirt road is seemingly like a dirt-plowing roller coaster from the backseat – hard to see the ups and downs until you hit them so stay safe. The road dead-ends at the trail head.

For more direction, Climb-Utah also has specific GPS coordinates on how to get there. And so does BluuGnome.

After the guest register, walk on through and be in awe of the canyon great views. Then, simply enough, follow the trail down to start your adventure.

Keep going until you get the bottom and what will appear to be a fork in the road. Although you may want to lean straight ahead, look towards your right and follow that path. What is straight ahead is actually the way you will come back up.

As you follow the the path, the side walls start to rise – makes for fun photos!

Soon, you’ll hit the first rappel!

It’s a longggg way down. Setup on the anchor that’s attached to a large boulder. Although the ledge seems awkward, you’ll be able to find easy footing with someone watching along the side and guiding you.

It’s about 70-feet down but a fairly straight-forward down. Look how awesome the walls are on this thing!

This was Jessica’s first ever rappel! See – not that hard, right?

Yep. That is what we just came down…. So awesome. And yes, it was a very sunny day.

Continue hiking along the obvious paths. You’ll hit a few down-climbs along the way.

Like this sucker –

Okay, it probably doesn’t look as bad from a bit further away and looking back at it. I am afraid of heights. It looks scary when you are looking down at it and all that surrounds you are hard, sharp rocks…

Shortly thereafter, the second rappel!

Again, the footing off the ledge may seem tricky, but it’s not too bad if you either take a peek first or have someone guide you.

There’s a like hole-like platform about 15-20 feet down where you can somewhat rest too. Or untangle the rope should it get all fumbled up on that spot, as ours did. Good job, Lisa! That spot has you continue your rappel over a small lip – it’s a bit weird, but not too bad to get over for first-timers (probably easy for seasoned vets… uhm, no, that’s not me – the heights thing, remember? I don’t think I can ever be a seasoned vet…).

After this rappel, keep heading out down through the canyon. The canyon starts to narrow and there’s a funky down-climb that approaches before you get “in” that section.

Push your weight against the walls and maneuver your way down into the narrow space of the canyon.

Keep walking on, admire your surroundings and you’ll approach a few more down-climbing obstacles.

Wedge in.

And slide on down!

Everything Jake did seemed easy. Ugh, that looks-like-parkour genuis.

The next little rappel we came upon wasn’t the strongest anchor.

Seeing that it was in this narrow canyon that probably gets washed out every year with stuff, I think all there was to do was pile more rocks on it!

It brings you into this really dark part of the canyon… yay for Lisa on preparedness. I most definitely suggest bringing a headlamp with you if it was as dark as it was when we were there.

Without flash.

With flash.

With slow flash. So pretty!

Then, a few more obstacles…

It was wet and muddy there… hence, the jump. Otherwise, I think it’s just a easy drop.

This narrow section of the canyon is my favorite in terms of scenery. I love being surrounded by the gorgeous lines of canyon walls. But… not…. too….. surrounded. Yeah, I’m a little claustrophobic too. Uh, why do I like canyoneering?

It widens up after this bit…

And out into the desert you go!

As you continue on, you’ll see a narrow teeny-canyon path to an overhang rappel.

Last time we got here, we skipped it. This time was no different as the anchor was still iffy. So… lunch.

Then… back to camp.

Go backwards and head towards the direction of camp. You’ll follow the dirt path that led you to the overhang rappel area, then take a right turn off.

Remember how I said this was one of my favorite routes? Well, I don’t think that when we have to go back to the car.

Head up this path – see Lisa there?

You’ll want to keep going up.

We eventually hit this view. Then took to the right and kept moving… yes, that’s right, UP.

As you look ahead, you’ll see a red streak in the rock. Follow the route that best heads towards these streaks.

Then keep going up!

Run out of water yet? Well, after you’ve climbed up that red streak section, you’ll hit familiar ground.

Hike through this desert land and after just a little bit, you’ll be able to see the Dirty Devil river on your right.

And…. then you’ll eventually hit a trail.

This will lead you back to that fork in the road at the bottom of the initial trail you started on.

You’ll soon see the end when you meet this familiar hill.

Chips were called for back at camp. Time to unwind. But, wait… what’s really in that bag?

Yes, not only did we finish that bag of chips (and another one), but we finished all that beer too. Hiking uphill is exhausting.

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