Fall Hiking, Part II – Benign Canyon

Fall hiking is best suited for quick canyon jaunts – especially in our my case (I like to snap lots of photos). So, after getting back much earlier than anticipated from Angel Slot – we chowed down with nothing but nature and friends at our side.

Oh, we also drank lots… you may think that bag is filled with chips…. but you’d be mistaken!

It was filled with chips! And now… empty beer cans.

Well, anyway… with early snacking, we did not finish the cobbler we planned on for dessert (s’mores were more desirable in their chocolate-y goodness and smaller portions).

No fear! That’s why there’s always tomorrow… BREAKFAST!

Here it is – Zac cooking at 8.56am.

And us chowing it down at 9.19am. YUM. Tapioca, quinoa, oatmeal – that’s got to be a healthy breakfast. For a recipe, check out Lisa’s newbie site: Cobbler Dutch Oven Recipe for Camping.

Well, on with it.

Benign Canyon is not the most talked about hike, I’ve found. However, Dave Pimental has a good guide. A GPS is very helpful as everything starts to look the same and nothing seems like a canyon until you walk closer.

Start off on Highway 95 – south from Hanksville and turn onto Angel Trail as with Angel Slot. Drive another 2.4 miles past this point and turn southeast (right) at the fork. Head another 3.4 miles before turning northeast (left). It may be difficult for cars without 4WD to pass this point.

We had Jake and Jess park off to the side as far up as they could bumble up and hop in the monster Sportsmobile.

It’s monstrous terrain.

Drive up another 3 miles and park off to the side of the road.

We parked here but backtracked just a tiny bit to a point that looks like this:

Hike into the mindless desert about half a mile. You’ll want to GPS the coordinates from Dave’s guide. It looks like this on the way…

And before you know it…

WARNING – bring plenty of anchoring supplies. We were caught about in this canyon making quite a few new anchors as they seem to get washed away fairly often. Either that or this route just doesn’t get traveled frequently enough…

It’s a great fun obstacle-filled canyon. There are a few short rappels, gorgeous scenery and wondrous rock will surround you.

At some points, it’s also possible to walk across the top – rather than triumphing through the natural gauntlet.

The first anchor. We dare not uncover it to see how it was anchored… aside from a strong tug.

But it was okay….

The rappel lowered us into a bowl where we continued through the canyon.

Then onward to more holes!

And a missing anchor…

Yes, I am very thankful for two strong, capable, tall and very gentlemanly guys.

I think Lisa was too…

Securing the rocks they mustered up with webbing…

Then the rope…

And away we gooooo….

So, really… from the top it looked much more intimidating…

It almost looks like a slide from the bottom, eh? But at least, we went down safely.

On with the canyon!

So, Jessica and I chose to walk around this obstacle…

Lisa gracefully landed in the pothole. At least it was sunny…

Onward and you’ll find this funky ledge – where Lisa is awkwardly positioned and Jessica is studying her descent.

There’s a decent keeper pothole right after it.

As you sort of slide down the chimney that leads into it….

We, of under 5’5″ nature, could not muster to pull ourselves out it.

Yay, Zac!

And yay, Jake!

Next, downclimbing.

A bit of walking…

And bring on the next rappel…

Lisa is our tester – she’s light.

If she makes it okay, then we can go… with caution, of course.

Here comes the crapshoot.

Notice how Jake’s shoes are already muddied?

And notice how that ground Jake is stepping on is already wet?

And notice that wet spot behind Zac on that back wall above the mud? Yeah, I fell into this lovely puddle of ekk. I had a good bump on my head for a few days post-trip.

Anyway… I wobbled to our next rappel with the others.

Shortly, thereafter…

The slide… It shoots you down fast.

Then one last rappel before the hike out.

Here’s what it looks like from the bottom…

To get out of the canyon, bushwhack to the left and hug that wall.

As you see the out, you’ll climb out of the canyon and back on top of it.

Follow your GPS back to your starting coordinates of where you left the car. That’s probably the best direction I can give you… as I just followed Zac who followed the GPS.

You’ll cross this trench, maybe.

Then maybe a while later, you’ll see the car!

Hallelujah!

And… CELEBRATE*.

*also used to relieve the pain of my hugeeee blister!

I have since recovered.

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