Canyoneering Route Description

East Scorpion Canyon 4B III R
Escalante National Monument, Utah

Quick Facts

10-08-12, 6 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 7 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 6 to 8
Distance - 7.3 miles Total, 0.8 miles Technical
Rappels - 3 Rappels, Longest Rappel 35 feet.  (but have a 55 foot rope)
Elevation Range - 4400 - 4750 Feet
Shuttle Required - No Vehicle - Passenger - High Clearance if bad road conditions Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 50 feet and 50 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  Longest rap is 35 feet but depending on anchor configuration a 55 foot rope is suggested.  A couple potshots and sandtrap, see general comments.  Wet suits may be useful in cool weather and full conditions.  In very warm weather most can get away with no wet suit but be prepared for a few cold moments through potholes.

General Comments

Warning:
Do not confuse East Scorpion Canyon with SOS also called West Scorpion Canyon.  Be sure to navigate to the correct location.  SOS is one of the most difficult X slots in Escalante while East Scorpion is relatively easy in comparison.  Accedentally dropping into SOS instead of East Scorpion could have grim consequences.

East Scorpion is a fun adventure with some stemming, light pothole work and a little advanced anchoring.  The technical portion of the canyon is not long and makes a good practice canyon.

While the canyon rated a B for water content a wet suit is not mandatory at all times.  In hot weather East Scorpion can be done with no wetsuits but you will get wet crossing some potholes so be prepared for some cold moments.  In moderate to cool temps a wet suit is recommended.

The R rating is due to stemming up to 15 feet above the deck in places.  There are section where you will have to stem up so be comfortable in that environment before heading into East Scorpion.

Getting out of potholes could be done with partner assists on my first visit.  However the potholes were sand filled and conditions could change so have a couple potshots on hand just in case.  There are two large potholes just before the final rap that tall people can stem over and assist others through.  If no one in the group can get over these potholes you will need potshots.

Entering the canyon for us was done by going down the RDC side from the rim to avoid a deep pothole.  Entry required sending people down on a meat anchor then those below did a partner capture for the last man in.  Teamwork gets the entry done easily.  I am calling this side canyon entry rap 1.

The first in canyon rap (rap 2) we used a sandtrap for the anchor.  Before committing your entire party to the canyon send someone down to rap 2, which is only a few feet down canyon to evaluate anchor options.  Having someone on the rim to farm rocks can be useful if you find no good anchor options.

The longest rap is 35 feet but if the anchor is not extended it may require up to 55 feet.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the city of Escalante drive about 4 miles southeast on Hwy 12 to the turn off for Hole-In-The-Rock road on the right (extHoleInRock). The condition of the dirt Hole in the Rock road varies a lot with recent rains and road maintenance.  High clearance may be needed in extreme cases but most of the time passenger cars will be fine for the first 30 or 40 miles on Hole in the Rock road. replica watches

Travel about 29.7 miles southeast on Hole-In-The-Rock road to the turn off for Red Well (exRedwell).

Turn left on the road to Red Well and drive 1.1 miles to the Red Well Trailhead (tRedWell). 

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is needed.  This is done as an out and back 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 approach to bottom of canyon.
Map of the rim walk to top and technical section.

Details

The Approach:
(tRedWell) Red Well trailhead and parking area for a few cars.
FOR East Scorpion and SOS canyons, Walk north going around the left (west) side of the hill and walk north down a slickrock ridge then down a sandy slope into Big Hollow Wash.

(RedDryFrk11)Crossing over the head of a short slot in Big Hollow Wash.
FOR continuing to East Scorpion, cross Big Hollow Wash and walk north east up through wide open desert.
FOR continuing to SOS Canyon, cross Big Hollow Wash and walk north west up through wide open desert.
FOR exiting back up to the Red Well TH, route find south back up to the Red Well trailhead.

(RedDryFrk12) Route to East Scorpion crosses over a wide sandy wash.
FOR continuing to East Scorpion, continue northeast across rolling desert for about 0.4 miles to the head of a large ravine running northeast down into Dry Fork with a lone cedar tree near its head.
FOR exiting back up to Red Well TH, walk south through open desert to Big Hollow Wash.

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(RedDryFrk13) Head of a large ravine dropping northish down into Dry Fork.
FOR continuing to East Scorpion, walk northeast down the right (east) side of the ravine down into Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch. As the ravine widens out near the bottom, find your way down in the ravine and continue north down into Dry Fork.
FOR exiting back up to the Red Well TH, walk southwest through open rolling desert.

(RedDryFrk14) Fence across the wash.
FOR continuing to East Scorpion, walk short distance down into Dry Fork then turn left and walk northwest up the wide sandy Dry Fork.
___Note: The large drainage coming in from the opposite side of Dry Fork is the bottom of East Scorpion. The large drainage on the other side of Dry Fork is the bottom of East Scorpion.
FOR exiting back up to Red Well TH, walk a short distance southwest up the ravine then route find up onto the left (east) side and walk the rim up to the top of the ravine.

(jEastScorpApr) Sloped weakness in the canyon wall allowing a scramble up out of Dry Fork going up to the north.
FOR continuing to East Scorpion, scramble up the slickrock to the north and route find north roughly following up along the west rim of East Scorpion for a long way in easy to navigate rolling slickrock.

(EastScorp01 ) Spot on the rim where you have a good view down to the final rappel of East Scorpion. Continue north along the rim for about 0.6 miles to where you can see a confluence down in East Scorpion.

(EastScorpion02) A view down to a shallow confluence in upper East Scorpion. Continue north along the rim for about 1000 feet to where you can see a series of potholes below open wash.

(EastScorpionR1) Rap 1 (25 feet rope travel) anchored using a pack drag and partner assist to drop down into canyon from the west side to avoid a 15 foot deep keeper just up canyon. To drop in from the west rim, one person can provide meat anchor for everyone to rappel down into the canyon then the last person can use a pack-drag anchor to have a controlled slide / downclimb in as the people below assist by capturing them taking weight off of the pack above. Optionally you could walk down into the wash up canyon then cross the 15 foot deep keeper to enter the canyon.
___Note: I this rap in from the west rim rappel 1 but is not actually in the canyon. Some may not consider this a rappel thus varying thier rap count.

(EastScorpionTp ) Top of East Scorpion Canyon just below a 15 foot deep keeper. Up canyon of here are a few shallow potholes then wide open wash.
Continue down canyon with a short bit of galumphing to rap 2.

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
(EastScorpionTp ) Top of East Scorpion Canyon just below a 15 foot deep keeper. Up canyon of here are a few shallow potholes then wide open wash.
Continue down canyon with a short bit of galumphing to rap 2.

(EastScorpionR2) Rap 2 (25 feet rope travel) anchored from a sandtrap in a pothole and drops about 20 feet down to another pothole that can be stemmed over by tall people while short people will need to rap into the pothole which could be a swimmer if full. A potshot should be on hand but likely will not be needed.

After rap 2 is a large pothole that can be carefully bypassed along the slope RDC side then the canyon a skinny V-Slot. Travel down canyon is a mix of galumphing and easy stemming up to about 15 feet off the deck.

(EastScorpionConf) Confluence of the short upper forks of East Scorpion. Down canyon travel is a mix of walking and mostly easy galumphing.

(EastScorpion03) Canyon widens out to a huge patio like with 6 or 7 potholes to walk around.

(EastScorion04) Shelf in the canyon to bypass RDC or LDC along wide ledges.

(EastScorpion05 ) Top end of a 300 foot long slot with 3 large potholes. The first 2 potholes are easy to drop into but could be swimmers and moderately difficult to get out of depending on conditions. The 3rd pothole is about 8 feet deep requiring partner assist to get into and out of. A potshot could be helpful in some conditions.

(EastScorpion06 ) Canyon opens up to easy walking for a little over 500 feet.

Canyon begins to slot up again and starts with a 15 foot controlled slide / downclimb followed by easy galumphing for about 150 feet. The rest of the slot down to the final rap involves stemming and bridging up to 15 feet off the deck and going down into and up out of a few silos. Short people will need to drop down and back up more often.

(EastScorpion07 ) At the lower end of this slot are two large potholes that tall people can stem over while shorter people will need to drop in and go through. A potshot will be needed here if no one in your group can stem over. After the large pothole is the final rap.

(EastScorpionR3) Rap 3 (60 feet rope travel) anchored from a choke stone about 20 feet back and drops about 35 feet to a pool in wide open canyon. Extending the webbing to the top of the drop is good practice to avoid rope grooving and make for an easier pull to retrieve your rope.

(EastScorpionBt) Bottom of the technical portion of East Scorpion just after the final rappel. Continuing down canyon is a wide long sand slog a little over a mile long down canyon to Dry Fork.

The Exit:
(EastScorpionBt) Bottom of the technical portion of East Scorpion just after the final rappel. Continuing down canyon is a wide long sand slog a little over a mile long down canyon to Dry Fork.

(EastScorpion08 ) Bottom of a side slot that comes in from the LDC (east) side with some hanging potholes.

(EastScorpion09) Cottonwood trees start here on the walk down canyon.

(jEastScorpionBt ) Bottom of East Scorpion Canyon where it dumps into the Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch.
FOR exiting back up to Red Well TH, walk south across Dry Fork, and walk southwest up the ravine on the other side.

(RedDryFrk14) Fence across the wash.
FOR continuing to East Scorpion, walk short distance down into Dry Fork then turn left and walk northwest up the wide sandy Dry Fork. About 700 feet west up Dry Fork look for a sloped spot to scramble up.
___Note: The large drainage coming in from the opposite side of Dry Fork is the bottom of East Scorpion. The large drainage on the other side of Dry Fork is the bottom of East Scorpion.
FOR exiting back up to Red Well TH, walk a short distance southwest up the ravine then route find up onto the left (east) side and walk the rim up to the top of the ravine.

(RedDryFrk13) Head of a large ravine dropping northish down into Dry Fork.
FOR continuing to East Scorpion, walk northeast down the right (east) side of the ravine down into Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch. As the ravine widens out near the bottom, find your way down in the ravine and continue north down into Dry Fork.
FOR exiting back up to the Red Well TH, walk southwest through open rolling desert.

(RedDryFrk12) Route to East Scorpion crosses over a wide sandy wash.
FOR continuing to East Scorpion, continue northeast across rolling desert for about 0.4 miles to the head of a large ravine running northeast down into Dry Fork with a lone cedar tree near its head.
FOR exiting back up to Red Well TH, walk south through open desert to Big Hollow Wash.

(RedDryFrk11) Crossing over the head of a short slot in Big Hollow Wash.
FOR continuing to East Scorpion, cross Big Hollow Wash and walk north east up through wide open desert.
FOR continuing to SOS Canyon, cross Big Hollow Wash and walk north west up through wide open desert.
FOR exiting back up to the Red Well TH, route find south back up to the Red Well trailhead.

(tRedWell) Red Well trailhead and parking area for a few cars.
FOR East Scorpion and SOS canyons, Walk north going around the left (west) side of the hill and walk north down a slickrock ridge then down a sandy slope into Big Hollow Wash.

GPS Waypoint Information

Downloadable GPX files available at BG-Gear Store (easier than manual entry and a great way to support Bluugnome).
Waypoint naming convention and map symbol information can be found on the Glossary page.  Elevations are approximate.
BEFORE
manually entering coordinates set your system to WGS84 datum and Lat/Lon hddd.ddddd° coordinate format
Inconsistent datum's and coordinate formats will result in location errors.

Click to show / expand the list of waypoints below........
East Scorpion (1) - Drive to Trailhead
  1. extHoleInRock          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.72769   W -111.53143        Elev: NaN Feet
    Turn off to Hole-In-The-Rock road from Hwy 12.
  2. exHarrisWash          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.60644   W -111.42794        Elev: NaN Feet
    Turn off to Harris Wash Road to the east.
  3. extEgypt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.54114   W -111.36176        Elev: 5,279 Feet
    Turn off to the Egypt Road to the east (left on the drive in on Hole in the Rock road..
  4. extDryForkTH1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46638   W -111.22344        Elev: 4,890 Feet
    Turn off of Hole-In-The-Rock road toward Dry Fork trailhead. BLM road 252 This is about 25 miles down Hole in the Rock road.
  5. exRedwell          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.42104   W -111.16191        Elev: 4,581 Feet
    Exit to Red Well on BLM road 254.
  6. tRedWell          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43014   W -111.14609        Elev: 4,520 Feet
    Red Well trailhead and parking area for a few cars. FOR East Scorpion and SOS canyons, Walk north going around the left (west) side of the hill and walk north down a slickrock ridge then down a sandy slope into Big Hollow Wash.
East Scorpion (2) - Approach
  1. tRedWell          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43014   W -111.14609        Elev: 4,520 Feet
    Red Well trailhead and parking area for a few cars. FOR East Scorpion and SOS canyons, Walk north going around the left (west) side of the hill and walk north down a slickrock ridge then down a sandy slope into Big Hollow Wash.
  2. RedDryFrk11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43339   W -111.14574        Elev: NaN Feet
    Crossing over the head of a short slot in Big Hollow Wash. FOR continuing to East Scorpion, cross Big Hollow Wash and walk north east up through wide open desert. FOR continuing to SOS Canyon, cross Big Hollow Wash and walk north west up through wide open desert. FOR exiting back up to the Red Well TH, route find south back up to the Red Well trailhead.
  3. RedDryFrk12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43559   W -111.14474        Elev: 4,450 Feet
    Route to East Scorpion crosses over a wide sandy wash. FOR continuing to East Scorpion, continue northeast across rolling desert for about 0.4 miles to the head of a large ravine running northeast down into Dry Fork with a lone cedar tree near its head. FOR exiting back up to Red Well TH, walk south through open desert to Big Hollow Wash.
  4. RedDryFrk13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44047   W -111.14061        Elev: 4,500 Feet
    Head of a large ravine dropping northish down into Dry Fork. FOR continuing to East Scorpion, walk northeast down the right (east) side of the ravine down into Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch. As the ravine widens out near the bottom, find your way down in the ravine and continue north down into Dry Fork. FOR exiting back up to the Red Well TH, walk southwest through open rolling desert.
  5. RedDryFrk14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44377   W -111.13680        Elev: NaN Feet
    Fence across the wash. FOR continuing to East Scorpion, walk short distance down into Dry Fork then turn left and walk northwest up the wide sandy Dry Fork. About 700 feet west up Dry Fork look for a sloped spot to scramble up. ___Note: The large drainage coming in from the opposite side of Dry Fork is the bottom of East Scorpion. The large drainage on the other side of Dry Fork is the bottom of East Scorpion. FOR exiting back up to Red Well TH, walk a short distance southwest up the ravine then route find up onto the left (east) side and walk the rim up to the top of the ravine.
  6. jEastScorpionApr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44669   W -111.13862        Elev: 4,415 Feet
    Sloped weakness in the canyon wall allowing a scramble up out of Dry Fork going up to the north. FOR continuing to East Scorpion, scramble up the slickrock to the north and route find north roughly following up along the west rim of East Scorpion for a long way in easy to navigate rolling slickrock.
  7. EastScorpion01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46095   W -111.13319        Elev: 4,670 Feet
    Spot on the rim where you have a good view down to the final rappel of East Scorpion. Continue north along the rim for about 0.6 miles to where you can see a confluence down in East Scorpion.
  8. EastScorpionTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47062   W -111.12695        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of East Scorpion Canyon just below a 15 foot deep keeper. Up canyon of here are a few shallow potholes then wide open wash. Continue down canyon with a short bit of galumphing to rap 2.
East Scorpion (3) - The Canyon
  1. EastScorpionTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47062   W -111.12695        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of East Scorpion Canyon just below a 15 foot deep keeper. Up canyon of here are a few shallow potholes then wide open wash. Continue down canyon with a short bit of galumphing to rap 2.
  2. EastScorpionR2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47053   W -111.12699        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 (25 feet rope travel) anchored from a sandtrap in a pothole and drops about 20 feet down to another pothole that can be stemmed over by tall people while short people will need to rap into the pothole which could be a swimmer if full. A potshot should be on hand but likely will not be needed. After rap 2 is a large pothole that can be carefully bypassed along the slope RDC side then the canyon a skinny V-Slot. Travel down canyon is a mix of galumphing and easy stemming up to about 15 feet off the deck.
  3. EastScorpionConf          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46792   W -111.12731        Elev: 4,670 Feet
    Confluence of the short upper forks of East Scorpion. Down canyon travel is a mix of walking and mostly easy galumphing.
  4. EastScorpion03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46631   W -111.12803        Elev: NaN Feet
    Canyon widens out to a huge patio like with 6 or 7 potholes to walk around.
  5. EastScorion04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46581   W -111.12858        Elev: NaN Feet
    Shelf in the canyon to bypass RDC or LDC along wide ledges.
  6. EastScorpion05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46466   W -111.13028        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top end of a 300 foot long slot with 3 large potholes. The first 2 potholes are easy to drop into but could be swimmers and moderately difficult to get out of depending on conditions. The 3rd pothole is about 8 feet deep requiring partner assist to get into and out of. A potshot could be helpful in some conditions.
  7. EastScorpion06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46414   W -111.13102        Elev: NaN Feet
    Canyon opens up to easy walking for a little over 500 feet.
  8. EastScorpion07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46263   W -111.13069        Elev: NaN Feet
    Canyon begins to slot up again and starts with a 15 foot controlled slide / downclimb followed by easy galumphing for about 150 feet. The rest of the slot down to the final rap involves stemming and bridging up to 15 feet off the deck and going down into and up out of a few silos. Short people will need to drop down and back up more often. At the lower end of this slot are two large potholes that tall people can stem over while shorter people will need to drop in and go through. A potshot will be needed here if no one in your group can stem over. After the large pothole is the final rap.
  9. EastScorpionR3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46152   W -111.13180        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 3 (60 feet rope travel) anchored from a choke stone about 20 feet back and drops about 35 feet to a pool in wide open canyon. Extending the webbing to the top of the drop is good practice to avoid rope grooving and make for an easier pull to retrieve your rope.
  10. EastScorpionBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46103   W -111.13249        Elev: 4,500 Feet
    Bottom of the technical portion of East Scorpion just after the final rappel. Continuing down canyon is a wide long sand slog a little over a mile long down canyon to Dry Fork.
East Scorpion (4) - Exit
  1. EastScorpionBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46103   W -111.13249        Elev: 4,500 Feet
    Bottom of the technical portion of East Scorpion just after the final rappel. Continuing down canyon is a wide long sand slog a little over a mile long down canyon to Dry Fork.
  2. EastScorpion08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.45416   W -111.13348        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of a side slot that comes in from the LDC (east) side with some hanging potholes.
  3. EastScorpion09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.45288   W -111.13454        Elev: NaN Feet
    Cottonwood trees start here on the walk down canyon.
  4. jEastScorpionBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44544   W -111.13511        Elev: 4,405 Feet
    Bottom of East Scorpion Canyon where it dumps into the Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch. FOR exiting back up to Red Well TH, walk south across Dry Fork, and walk southwest up the ravine on the other side.
  5. RedDryFrk14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44377   W -111.13680        Elev: NaN Feet
    Fence across the wash. FOR continuing to East Scorpion, walk short distance down into Dry Fork then turn left and walk northwest up the wide sandy Dry Fork. About 700 feet west up Dry Fork look for a sloped spot to scramble up. ___Note: The large drainage coming in from the opposite side of Dry Fork is the bottom of East Scorpion. The large drainage on the other side of Dry Fork is the bottom of East Scorpion. FOR exiting back up to Red Well TH, walk a short distance southwest up the ravine then route find up onto the left (east) side and walk the rim up to the top of the ravine.
  6. RedDryFrk13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44047   W -111.14061        Elev: 4,500 Feet
    Head of a large ravine dropping northish down into Dry Fork. FOR continuing to East Scorpion, walk northeast down the right (east) side of the ravine down into Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch. As the ravine widens out near the bottom, find your way down in the ravine and continue north down into Dry Fork. FOR exiting back up to the Red Well TH, walk southwest through open rolling desert.
  7. RedDryFrk12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43559   W -111.14474        Elev: 4,450 Feet
    Route to East Scorpion crosses over a wide sandy wash. FOR continuing to East Scorpion, continue northeast across rolling desert for about 0.4 miles to the head of a large ravine running northeast down into Dry Fork with a lone cedar tree near its head. FOR exiting back up to Red Well TH, walk south through open desert to Big Hollow Wash.
  8. RedDryFrk11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43339   W -111.14574        Elev: NaN Feet
    Crossing over the head of a short slot in Big Hollow Wash. FOR continuing to East Scorpion, cross Big Hollow Wash and walk north east up through wide open desert. FOR continuing to SOS Canyon, cross Big Hollow Wash and walk north west up through wide open desert. FOR exiting back up to the Red Well TH, route find south back up to the Red Well trailhead.
  9. tRedWell          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43014   W -111.14609        Elev: 4,520 Feet
    Red Well trailhead and parking area for a few cars. FOR East Scorpion and SOS canyons, Walk north going around the left (west) side of the hill and walk north down a slickrock ridge then down a sandy slope into Big Hollow Wash.