Canyoneering Route Description

Benign Canyon - 3A II(III)
Dirty Devil Area, Utah.

Quick Facts

09-11-16, 6 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 4.25 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 4 to 5 hours
Distance - 2.3 miles Total, 0.5 miles Technical
Rappels - 3 Rappels, Longest Rappel 60 feet.
Elevation Range - 4970 - 4380 Feet
Shuttle Required - No Vehicle - High Clearance, 4WD if bad road conditions Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 60 feet and 40 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  Sandtrap optional but recommended to make anchoring faster and easier and reduce the amount of webbing needed.  Although unlikely needed, it is a good idea to have a couple pot shots good to have along as one of the potholes may require it if it scours out deeply.

General Comments

Bloodhound Canyon offers a short fun run while visiting an area that doesn't get much traffic.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the junction of highway 95 and highway 24 in Hanksville Utah, drive 10.2 miles south on highway 95 to an un-named dirt road on the left (extAngelTrlRd).  The road has a BLM sign saying it goes out to the Angel Trail.  Turn left (east) on the Angel Trail road and ignore smaller dirt roads that branch off.  

2.4 miles from the highway will be a Y in the road (ex0100-0101DD).   Turn right at this Y and continue toward  turn right at this Y stay on the road labeled 0101 going southeast.

Drive 3.5 miles to a junction for roads 0102 and 0103 (ex0103DD) and turn left onto road 0103 going north.  Continue north ignoring a couple faint side roads.

In about 1 mile road 0103 veers more east (0103DDRough) and goes up a hill over rough slickrock for about 450 feet before the dirt roads become smooth easy travel again. High clearance needed and 4wd might be helpful.

After the rough spot and slickrock hill, continue north east about 1.8 miles where the road crosses over a wash and goes around a sweeping left bend.  Just past this bend is where you park for doing Benign Canyon (pkBenign).  Park in the right (east) side of the road in a small pull out.

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is needed.  This is done as a loop route.

Maps

GPS coordinate information listed at the bottom.  For information about waypoint naming and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Map Link Icon
Click the links for maps of the route.
Map of the drive into the route.
Map of the entire route.
Map of the technical section.

Details

The Approach:
From the parking spot (pkBenign) walk northwest away from the road through open desert. As you walk the open desert, the forming wash to your right (north) is the upper drainage for Benign Canyon. Travel is easier if you stay up in the rolling desert up out of the forming wash and drop into the wash farther down.

About 0.35 miles from the road drop into the wash (Benign01) and scramble down a short rock shelf then continue walking down the wash.

About 900 feet farther is a slickrock trough (yBenignTp) with a minor pothole to walk down as the canyon makes a sharp left bend. 

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
From start of Benign Canyon (yBenignTp) go about 150 feet to a short slot (Benign02) with some galumphing and a stem style downclimb of about 10 feet just before the first rappel.  Shortly down canyon is rap 1.

Rap 1 (dBenignR1) is anchored using a deadman or sandtrap about 15 feet back from the drop and uses about 50 feet of rope. The canyon then opens up to wide easy walking.

About 300 feet farther is a couple of small potholes (Benign03) to bypass walking around on the RDC side.

About 230 feet farther is a long downclimb (Benign04) with a steep semi steep portion about 40 feet long that looks like a rappel but is featured and way easier than it looks. When it gets steep, sitting down on your butt then spreading out makes this downclimb pretty easy. If your eyes deceive you try providing a meat anchor and a handline for the first person to go check it out. Just after this rap is a short slot with a 3 foot wide pothole to galumph over.

About 250 feet farther is a large sand-filled pothole (Benign05) with a short drop just after to scramble down through or bypass up and around on the side.

About 300 feet farther, just down canyon of a confluence is a deep pothole (Benign06) that can be traversed along a ledge on the RDC side with some effort or completely bypassed up and around on the LDC side.

About 180 feet farther is a pothole (Benign07) that can be over 10 feet deep that may require a partner assist to get out of. It is possible to step out with your foot on the LDC side and do a dynamic move to kind of leap around this pothole. Be sure you can get past this pothole before committing the entire group down into it.

About 125 feet farther is 3 downclimbs (Benign08) of 4, 8 and 8 feet with the last one needing a partner assist or good downclimbing skills using features.

About 175 feet farther is a downclimbing section (Benign09) with a couple easy potholes of 6 to 8 feet scramble through then down a sloped trough of about 25 feet before the canyon opens up wide for about 250 feet.  About 800 feet farther is rap 2.

Rap 2 (dBenignR2) anchored using a deadman or sandtrap about 40 feet back from the drop then drops about 15 feet into a pothole with the actual vertical part only about 8 feet. The pothole below can get over 10 feet deep and will likely require partner assist to get out of or a potshot if a partner cant get you out. Tall people can bridge over this pothole but will need to clean the rock up first.  A little over 100 feet down canyon is rap 3.

Rap 3 (dBenignR3) anchored about 40 feet back from a deadman or right at the top using a sandtrap then drops about 15 feet.

Shortly down canyon is a partner assistable downclimb (Benign10) of about 12 feet that is awkward to get into a featured slope on the RDC side. Send the first person down on rope and partner assist the last person down. Since getting into the crack at the top is awkward the last person can also use a pack drag in combination with partner assist from below to make this drop easier.

Shortly down canyon downclimb a 30 foot slightly sloped crack (yBenignBt) that is very secure and easy to downclimb as you wedge your butt in the crack.

The Exit:
After the final downclimb (yBenignBt), the canyon widens out and begins to get very thickly vegetated. On the way down canyon toward Beaver Wash, stay all the way to the LDC (south) wall until you get to a steep sand slope then go up that sand slope to avoid heavy bush whacking.

Claw your way up this steep sand slope (Benign11) to the top of a wide sand ledge running south up Beaver Wash. Walk south along this sand ledge to avoid the dense vegetation down in Beaver Wash. One section of the sand ledge has washed out forcing you to traverse a steeply sloped portion of slickrock or drop down into then out of more sand to continue along the sand ledge.

About 500 feet farther walk east up the slickrock up away from Beaver Wash, keeping a shallow small pothole filled drainage on your right and a taller sandstone peak on your left and contour up toward the head of the shallow drainage.

Note: You can go left around the other side of the sandstone peak but it will lead you to a steep and exposed traverse that some people may not like.

Once at near the top of the shallow drainage (Benign13), wrap around to the saddle on the east side of the sandstone peak.

From the saddle (Benign14) continue east about 0.22 miles with steep slickrock on your right (south) and Benign Canyon down on your left (north). A few hundred feet after passing by the confluence seen down in Benign Canyon, begin to veer right (south) and look for a weakness near a white pinnacle like feature to scramble up to the next level.

Scramble up the weakness (Benign15) near a white pinnacle to go up to the next level. Then traverse left (north) up over and into a drainage.

Once up in the drainage (Benign16), scramble up the north side up into open desert. Once up in rolling desert, route find your way about 0.6 miles southeast back to your vehicle parked on the road (pkBenign).

Note / Navigation aid:
The vehicles and road will not be visible for a while. As a land mark note a taller hill off in the distance with a prominent ramp dropping down on its right side. Aim directly for the ramp portion of the hill as you walk the rolling desert. 

GPS Waypoint Information

GPX Files Available for DOWNLOAD.
Downloadable GPX files for many of the canyons listed here are now available at the BG-Gear Store.  In addition to the waypoints, the GPX files also offer routes and tracks for the canyon.  Over time more GPX files will be added.

If you want to avoid manually adding waypoints into your GPS or mapping software, want the additional routes and tracks or simply want to support the efforts put into BluuGnome, head over to the BG-Gear Store and grab the files that interest you.

Elevations are approximate.  Waypoints with no elevation data will display NaN in place of the elevation.

For information about my waypoint naming convention and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Notes for GPS information:
BEFORE
entering coordinates from this website, please ensure your system (GPS or mapping software) is set to the same datum used here.  Waypoint coordinates are listed with WGS84 datum and in Lat/Lon hddd.ddddd° format.  Entering coordinate information with inconsistent datum's can result in the waypoints being off by hundreds of feet.  It is important to keep this in mind when entering waypoints from any source.

Benign (1) - Drive to Trailhead
  1. extAngelTrlRd          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.23613   W -110.64761        Elev: 4,810 Feet
    Exit off highway 95 to an un-named road that leads to the Angel Point areas. The BLM has a sign saying this road leads to the Angel Trail.
  2. ex4462DD          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.23562   W -110.62087        Elev: 4,510 Feet
    Road goes off to the right (south) on the drive in.
  3. ex0100-0101DD          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.24243   W -110.61040        Elev: NaN Feet
    This is a Y in the road. To go to the Angel Cove area Turn left on the road labeled 0100 going northeast toward the Angel Trail and to the Angel Canyons. To go to Bloodhound, Benign and other Beaver Wash area canyons, turn right on the road labeled 0101 going southeast.
  4. ex4475DD          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.22720   W -110.58760        Elev: 4,844 Feet
    Very faint road labeled 4475 going off to the northeast.
  5. ex0103DD          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.21931   W -110.56522        Elev: 5,056 Feet
    Side road to the northeaast is BLM Road 0103 while the more well traveled BLM Road 0101 continues east. To go to Bloodhund and Benign Canyons turn left and drive Northeast on BLM Raod 0103.
  6. ex1031DD          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.22603   W -110.55662        Elev: 5,006 Feet
    Road to left (northwest) labeled 1031. To right (southeast) is a very faint road labeled 4477. To go to Bloodhound and Benign Canyons, continue northeast on BLM Raod 0103.
  7. pkBenign          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25385   W -110.54020        Elev: 4,970 Feet
    Park here on the east side of the road in a small pull out to begin Benign Canyon. This spot is just after the raod crosses over a wash and goes around a sweeping left bend. To begin Benign Canyon, walk northwest away from the road through open desert. As you walk the open desert, the forming wash to your right (north) is the upper drainage for Benign Canyon. Travel is easier if you stay up in the rolling desert up out of the forming wash and drop into the wash farther down.
Benign (2) - Approach and Canyon
  1. pkBenign          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25385   W -110.54020        Elev: 4,970 Feet
    Park here on the east side of the road in a small pull out to begin Benign Canyon. This spot is just after the raod crosses over a wash and goes around a sweeping left bend. To begin Benign Canyon, walk northwest away from the road through open desert. As you walk the open desert, the forming wash to your right (north) is the upper drainage for Benign Canyon. Travel is easier if you stay up in the rolling desert up out of the forming wash and drop into the wash farther down.
  2. Benign01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25736   W -110.54501        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop into the wash here and scramble down a short rock shelf then continue walking down the wash.
  3. yBenignTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25917   W -110.54690        Elev: 4,800 Feet
    Top of Benign Canyon. Slickrock trough with a minor pothole to walk down as the canyon makes a sharp left bend.
  4. Benign02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25902   W -110.54734        Elev: NaN Feet
    Short slot with some galumphing and a stem style downclimb of about 10 feet just before the first rappel.
  5. dBenignR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25890   W -110.54742        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 - Benign Canyon. Anchored using a deadman or sandtrap about 15 feet back from the drop and uses about 50 feet of rope. The canyon then opens up to wide easy walking.
  6. Benign03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25913   W -110.54817        Elev: NaN Feet
    Couple of small potholes to bypass walking around on the RDC side.
  7. Benign04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25944   W -110.54887        Elev: NaN Feet
    Long downclimb with a steep semi steep portion about 40 feet long that looks like a rappel but is featured and way easier than it looks. When it gets steep, sitting down on your butt then spreading out makes this downclimb pretty easy. If your eyes deceive you try providing a meat anchor and a handline for the first person to go check it out. Just after this rap is a short slot with a 3 foot wide pothole to galumph over.
  8. Benign05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25997   W -110.54940        Elev: NaN Feet
    Large sand-filled pothole with a short drop just after to scramble down through or bypass up and around on the side.
  9. Benign06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26035   W -110.55038        Elev: NaN Feet
    Just down canyon of a confluence is this deep pothole that can be traversed along a ledge on the RDC side with some effort or completely bypassed up and around on the LDC side.
  10. Benign07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26061   W -110.55091        Elev: NaN Feet
    Pothole that can be over 10 feet deep that may require a partner assist to get out of. It is possible to step out with your foot on the LDC side and do a dynamic move to kind of leap around this pothole. Be sure you can get past this pothole before committing the entire group down into it.
  11. Benign08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26082   W -110.55125        Elev: NaN Feet
    3 downclimbs of 4, 8 and 8 feet with the last one needing a partner assist or good downclimbing skills using features.
  12. Benign09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26115   W -110.55166        Elev: NaN Feet
    Downclimbing section with a couple easy potholes of 6 to 8 feet scramble through then down a sloped trough of about 25 feet before the canyon opens up wide for about 250 feet.
  13. dBenignR2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26230   W -110.55405        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 - Benign Canyon. Anchored using a deadman or sandtrap about 40 feet back from the drop then drops about 15 feet into a pothole with the actual vertical part only about 8 feet. The pothole below can get over 10 feet deep and will likely require partner assist to get out of or a potshot if a partner cant get you out. Tall people can bridge over this pothole but will need to clean the rock up first.
  14. dBenignR3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26245   W -110.55450        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 3 - Benign Canyon. Anchored about 40 feet back from a deadman or right at the top using a sandtrap then drops about 15 feet.
  15. Benign10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26242   W -110.55465        Elev: NaN Feet
    Partner assistable downclimb of about 12 feet that is awkward to get into a featured slope on the RDC side. Send the first person down on rope and partner assist the last person down. Since getting into the crack at the top is awkward the last person can also use a pack drag in combination with partner assist from below to make this drop easier.
  16. yBenignBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26231   W -110.55476        Elev: 4,420 Feet
    Bottom of Benign Canyon. Downclimb a 30 foot slightly sloped crack that is very secure and easy to downclimb as you wedge your butt in the crack. After this downclimb the canyon widens out and begins to get very thickly vegetated. On the way down canyon toward Beaver Wash, stay all the way to the LDC (south) wall until you get to a steep sand slope then go up that sand slope to avoid heavy bush whacking.
Benign (3) - Exit
  1. yBenignBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26231   W -110.55476        Elev: 4,420 Feet
    Bottom of Benign Canyon. Downclimb a 30 foot slightly sloped crack that is very secure and easy to downclimb as you wedge your butt in the crack. After this downclimb the canyon widens out and begins to get very thickly vegetated. On the way down canyon toward Beaver Wash, stay all the way to the LDC (south) wall until you get to a steep sand slope then go up that sand slope to avoid heavy bush whacking.
  2. Benign11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26194   W -110.55569        Elev: 4,380 Feet
    Claw your way up this steep sand slope to the top of a wide sand ledge running south up Beaver Wash. Walk south along this sand ledge to avoid the dense vegetation down in Beaver Wash. One section of the sand ledge has washed out forcing you to traverse a steeply sloped portion of slickrock or drop down into then out of more sand to continue along the sand ledge.
  3. Benign12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26064   W -110.55547        Elev: NaN Feet
    Walk east up the slickrock up away from Beaver Wash, keeping a shallow small pothole filled drainage on your right and a taller sandstone peak on your left and contour up toward the head of the shallow drainage. Note: You can go left around the other side of the sandstone peak but it will lead you to a steep and exposed traverse that some people may not like.
  4. Benign13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26006   W -110.55337        Elev: NaN Feet
    Once at near the top of the shallow drainage, wrap around to the saddle on the east side of the sandstone peak.
  5. Benign14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26033   W -110.55240        Elev: NaN Feet
    From this saddle continue east about 0.22 miles with steep slickrock on your right (south) and Benign Canyon down on your left (north). A few hundred feet after passing by the confluence seen down in Benign Canyon, begin to veer right (south) and look for a weakness near a white pinnacle like feature to scramble up to the next level.
  6. Benign15          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25854   W -110.54916        Elev: NaN Feet
    Scramble up the weakness here near a white pinnacle to go up to the next level. Then traverse left (north) up over and into a drainage.
  7. Benign16          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25847   W -110.54863        Elev: NaN Feet
    Once up in the drainage, scramble up the north side up into open desert. Once up in rolling desert, route find your way about 0.6 miles southeast back to your vehicle parked on the road. The vehicles and road will not be visible for a while. As a land mark note a taller hill off in the distance with a prominent ramp dropping down on its right side. Aim directly for the ramp portion of the hill as you walk the rolling desert.
  8. pkBenign          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.25385   W -110.54020        Elev: 4,970 Feet
    Park here on the east side of the road in a small pull out to begin Benign Canyon. This spot is just after the raod crosses over a wash and goes around a sweeping left bend. To begin Benign Canyon, walk northwest away from the road through open desert. As you walk the open desert, the forming wash to your right (north) is the upper drainage for Benign Canyon. Travel is easier if you stay up in the rolling desert up out of the forming wash and drop into the wash farther down.