Canyoneering Route Description

Bown Eye Canyon - 3A(B) III
Escalante National Monument, Utah.

Quick Facts

2018-05-05, 7 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 7.1 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 7 - 9 hours
Distance - 8.1 miles Total, 0.3 miles Technical
Rappels - 5 Rappels, Longest Rappel 80 feet.  Longest vertical drop is less but one rap can use 80 feet of rope travel.
Elevation Range - 5475 - 6380 Feet
Shuttle Required - No Vehicle - Passenger, if bad road conditions High Clearance Permit Required - No

Bown Bottom Slot - non-technical
If adding a trip down Bown Bottom Slot add the below time and mileages
Added Time - 1 hour
Added Distance - 0.8 miles

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 80 feet and 50 feet of 1 inch webbing just in case.  Sandtrap is recommended for one of the rappels but a rock anchor could be built.  Wet suits generally not needed but may be worth it in cold weather for the occasional dunk.

General Comments

The Big Bown Bench Canyons are located on to of, well, Big Bown Bench. To gain access to the canyons you will need to get up onto Big Bown Bench where you can then navigate to the head of whichever fork you choose. After completing the the technical portion of the canyon you will still be on the mesa and will need to route find back to the approach ravine to get back down off of Big Bown Bench.

On a solo hike to scout approach to the Big Bown Canyons I was able to get the heads of the slots, walk through Bown Bottom Slot, pear into the bottom of Bown Eye Canyon and walk up the lower portion of Bown Star which had a super pretty subway at the bottom. Judging from what I saw in person and from what I could see on Google Earth I thought the double forked slot would be the best of the bunch so I called it Bown Star. The slot just to the south that dumps into Bown Star also caught my eye so I called it Bown Eye. The non-technical slot farther down the wash was dubbed Bown Bottom.

The Big Bown Bench Canyons offer a few upper technical forks with about 0.7 miles of wash below leading down to a lower non-technical but pretty slot called Bown Bottom Slot.  One can easily descend any of the upper forks and exit right after or continue down to and through Bown Bottom Slot.  Due to forgiving terrain above it is also possible to escape in places and circle around to redo portions of canyon or mix and match forks in a number of ways.  With so may possible options the description may appear to bounce around a bit.  If you take the time to look at the maps and familiarize yourself with the layout of them, the descriptions / route choics will make a lot more sense.

The ravine used to get up onto Big Bown Bench is also used to exit down from Big Bown Bench. Scrambling up the ravine is straight forward and easy. Once at the top of the ravine, you will scramble up steep slick rock for about 200 feet to reach rolling desert on the mesa top. The steep section has many ledges and is well featured making the scramble overall easy with multiple ways to scramble up. This same section can be difficult to route find and scramble down in the dark, so returning before sunset is a good idea.

A GPS is highly recommended. The terrain across the mesa is pretty forgiving of route finding choices but has few landmarks that are helpful. The GPS is highly recommended for returning to the approach / exit ravine. There are no obvious landmarks to guide you back to the top of the ravine and most of the area along the edge of the mesa looks the same. If you do not have anything guiding you back to the top of the approach / exit ravine, you could find your self wandering around for a long time looking for the way down.

The A(B) water rating is because portions of Bown Eye have the potential to hold wast-ish deep water if recent rains have filled it. A few spots could hold chest or swim depth water if recently rained on. Most of the canyon appears to either not get a lot of water or drains rapidly making the water exposure minimal. The last couple hundred feet of canyon however does appear to hold water well and will likley have waist to chest deep water in a few spots. During cold days a wet suit may be helpful for those occasional spots of water. In moderate to warmer times of the year a fast dunk here and there can be very welcome and refreshing to prepare you for the hike out. It is difficult to say if it would be worth hauling the weight of a wet suit on this route except in cold weather.

After Canyon Exit Options:
Exit option one, is to exit the wash shortly down stream of Bown Star or Bown Eye Canyons and travel a short distance up Bown Winkle Canyon where you can then scramble up out of Bown Winkle to the rim and route find across the mesa back to the approach ravine.

Exit option two, is to continue down the main wash below Bown Star for about 0.7 miles to the top of a lower slot called Bown Bottom Slot. Then play through the non-technical Bown Bottom Slot after which you can exit up from the end of the slot up to the mesa then route find your way back to the exit ravine.

Bown Bottom Slot is about 0.7 miles down stream of the upper forks (Bown Star right and left forks and Bown Eye). Bown Bottom is a scenic non-technical slot about 0.3 mile long. The start of the slot has three drops of about 4 to 6 feet each and the remainder is a narrow walk-through slot with a couple long scenic narrow sections worth checking out.

Note:
Also in Bown Bottom Slot is a stick stuck between the walls that you will need to duck under. Please leave this stick in place as it is interesting for others to see. The stick has found its place between the walls where it rocks back and forth easily with wind or water flow but does not dislodge. The RDC side has even drilled a hole in the wall from its motion. Please leave it here for others to muse over later. Give it a push and watch it rock back and forth. Oddly satisfying.

General Canyon Thoughts:
The upper portions of Bown Eye Canyon is a series of open and closed sections with rappels and downclimbs pretty evenly spread along the way. The lower section has a deep narrow slot that is very scenic and fun to play through as it winds its way down but only lasts for about 100 feet. The winding a twisting walls in this short slot sometimes feel like a tightly curved playground slide with a few shallow potholes to play through. The final portion of the canyon will likely have a couple of chest deep wades with short easy downclimbs.

Route Suggestion:
After making a few trips to the area I would recommend combining routes to see all the good bits in the system while making for a reasonable length day. The route I would recommend would be to go down the Left Fork of Bown Star Canyon, hike down the wash about 600 feet to where you can scramble up steep slick rock on the LDC (south) side to a wide slick rock bench running east up the south side of Bown Eye Canyon.  After walking the bench, walk down into Bown Eye and descend.  Then follow the exit route out of the area back to the cars.

If for some reason you feel you wanted more out of the day, you could then walk down to and through Bown Bottom Slot then exiting after.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the town of Boulder Utah turn off of highway 12 onto the Burr Trail Road.  Follow the Burr Trail Road east for about 18.4 miles to an exit to a dirt road on the right (south) which is the Wolverine Loop Road (extWolverine1). 

Turn right (south) onto the Wolverine Loop Road and follow it south about 5.6 miles to the a large junction (ExHorseCyn) where the Horse Canyon road branches off to the right (west). 

From the junction of Horse Canyon Road (ExHorseCyn), stay left and continue on the Wolverine Loop road.  About 4.6 miles from the junction is a turn off (extWolverineTH) on the right (west) to a short spur road for the Wolverine Creek Trailhead.

From the Wolverine Creek Turn off (extWolverineTH) stay straight / left on the Wolverine Loop Road and drive about 2.7 miles to the turn off on right (exLilDeathHlw) for the Little Death Hollow Trailhead.  Turn right (south) and drive about 200 feet to the Little Death Hollow Trailhead (tLilDeathHlw) and park.  There is room for a quite a few cars here.

Note:
The hike in is down a drainage sometimes referred to as Little Death Hollow but on maps is usually labeled as Death Hollow.  To avoid confusion it is good to be aware that this is a different drainage from the Death Hollow about 17 miles west of here near the town of Escalante.

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 of this route description.

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

Map Link Icon
Click the links for maps of the route.
Map of the entire route and system.
Map of a zoomed in portion of the approach.
Map of the routes on the mesa.
Map of the Canyon.
Map of Bown Bottom Slot and exit from.

Details

The Approach:

From the trailhead (tLilDeathHlw) walk southwest down the huge wide open wash following trails.   About 1 mile to a large boulder on the left side of the trail (jHolyCow-Apr).

Continue on the trail about 800 feet after passing the large boulder to a spot with no distinct landmark (jBigBownApr).  This spot is after the trail crosses over the wash twice as it a sharp bend in the wash.

To continue the Big Bown Bench approach, leave the trail and hike south across easy terrain for 0.3 miles to the Big Bown approach ravine.

Example Pic. View to the approach / exit ravine for Big Bown Bench, viewed from the Little Death Hollow trail.

From the bottom of the steep dirt and rock slopes up to the ravine (BigBown01) travel is easiest up the ridge rather than directly up under the ravine. Once at the cliff band it is easy to traverse over and into the ravine.

Once at the bottom of the ravine (BigBown02) scramble up over boulders into the ravine.

About 100 feet into the ravine is a large house size boulder (BigBown03) blocking the ravine.  Walk under the boulder into a chamber in the boulder debris and continue scrambling up the ravine into a vegetated section. Follow up the left (southeast) side of the ravine as it splits a little farther up.  Scramble about 400 feet up to the top of the ravine (BigBown04).

Note:
When scrambling up under the huge boulders you will scramble over a large rock with old steps carved in it. It appears this rock has fallen from above and was once part of a route with carved steps that has since fallen into the ravine.

At the top of the ravine (BigBown04) turn left (south) and scramble up the steep slickrock for about 200 feet to get up onto rolling desert on the mesa top. This section is steep but ledges and features where you can choose one a few ways to scramble up through it. This section would be difficult to route find your way back down in the dark so returning before sunset is a good idea.

Once above the steep slickrock (BigBown05) continue south about 400 feet up various dirt and rock ledges to where the terrain becomes gently sloped.

As the terrain transitions from steep dirt and rock ledges to more gentle terrain (BigBown06) turn left (east) and follow roughly along the top of the wide sandy ridge. The ridge is very wide and may not feel like a ridge.

About 0.5 miles farther is very wide sandy saddle (BigBown07sdl) just after passing a minor peak. Continue east about 0.3 miles to the next wide saddle.

At the next wide saddle (BigBown08sdl) continue east across the saddle the contour right (south) following the natural line along the base of slopes under a cliff band.

About 0.25 miles farther the route starts around a point (BigBown09) but still on ledges contours around steep slopes. Route find east about 400 feet slowly working your way down to a weakness where you can scramble down minor ledges.

From the weakness (BigBown10) scramble southeast down minor ledges and walk about 750 feet down into the left fork of Bown Star Canyon (yBownStarLFTp).

Navigation / Route Description Choice:
If you choose to go down the Left Fork of Bown Star Canyon, you would walk southwest from here down the left fork.

To continue to the Right Fork of Bown Star Canyon scramble up the slope on the southeast side for about 400 feet up to the crest of a ridge.

From the crest of the ridge (BigBown11) route find southeast about 650 feet down slopes and minor ledges down into the Right Fork of Bown Star (yBownStarRFTp).

Navigation / Route Description Choice:
If you choose to go down the Right Fork of Bown Star Canyon, you would walk southwest from here down the left fork.

To continuing to Bown Eye Canyon, scramble up the slope on the southeast side for about 500 feet to the top out on a ridge (BigBown12).

Continue south about 600 feet down the slope into the wash below scrambling down a few minor ledges.

Once down in the wash above Bown Eye Canyon (jBownEye) turn right and walk southwest down the dirt wash with the occasional slick rock section.

About 0.27 miles down the wash is a shelf (BownEye01) of about 15 feet in the Bown Eye drainage that is easily bypassed on the RDC side scrambling down a steep dirt slope. Continue down canyon with the occasional minor drop for about 950 feet to a large drop down rolling slick rock (yBownEyeTp). 

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
From the large bulbous drop down rolling sloped slickrock (yBownEyeTp) scramble down the sloped slick rock drop and walk about 100 feet over to rap 1.

Note:
If approaching from the bottom via the ledge along the LDC (south) side you can easily walk / scramble down to the canyon here.

Rap 1 (dBownEyeR1) anchored from a tree on the RDC side about 10 feet back and drops about 30 feet.

About 80 feet down canyon is an easy stem style downclimb (BownEye02) of about 8 feet into a short slot. Continuing down canyon is mostly easy walking with a few spots to galumph though.

Almost 200 feet down canyon is a downclimb (BownEye03) of about 8 feet that is easily done with partner assist.

Shortly down canyon is a downclimb (BownEye04) of about 8 feet that is easily done with partner assist. Optionally this drop can be bypassed by carefully traversing the RDC side along steep slick rock. The bypass is spicy but works well for those not wanting to get wet if there happens to be water at the bottom of the drop.  Shortly down canyon is rap 2.

Rap 2 (dBownEyeR2) anchored from a tree about 15 feet back and drops about 12 feet. The upper portion of the rappel is down a narrow slot that can be downclimbed with the lower portion being vertical and under cut about 6 feet. With team work this rappel could be downclimbed with aggressive partner assist. At the bottom of this rap is an arch at the canyon floor to crawl under giving way to easy walking.   Rap 3 is a little over 100 feet down canyon.

Note:
You can easily escape the canyon here on the RDC (north) side.

Rap 3 (dBownEyeR3) anchored from a tree about 25 feet back and drops over two stages using about 80 feet of rope from anchor to the bottom. The first stage drops about 10 feet and could be downclimbed with partner assist into a narrow section leading over to the second stage that drops vertically about 15 feet into an open area.  A little over 100 feet down canyon is rap 4.

Rap 4 (dBownEyeR4) anchored using a Sandtrap and drops about 15 feet and overhung. Shortly after this rap is a downclimb of about 6 feet into a very short slot which then opens up to wide easy walking vegetated wash.  Rap 5 is about 250 feet down canyon.

Rap 5 (dBownEyeR5) anchored from a tree about 10 feet back and drops about 40 feet down a vertical wall into what feels like deeper canyon than the other raps felt like.

About 130 feet down canyon is the upper end of (BownEye05) a deep narrow slot about 100 feet long with winding and twisting walls that give the in the belly of the beast feel. Starting into the slot requires a galumph down canyon to go over a large log where you then stem down about 15 feet to the bottom of the slot. This slot is very fun as it winds down through the sandstone with winding a twisting walls that sometimes feel like a tightly curved playground slide with a few shallow potholes to play through.

From the exit of the narrow slot (BownEye06) continue down canyon has a couple easy downclimbs of about 5 feet into pools that can hold chest deep water.

Near the end of the canyon (yBownEye-Bt) is a easy downclimb of about 10 feet and is the last mandatory drop in the canyon. There are two other drops just after this that are easily bypassed on the LDC side where you then walk down to the wash and to the end of this drainage where it meets Bown Star Canyon (yBownStarBt).

Exit Option 1 - From just after Bown Star and Bown Eye Canyons:
From the bottom of Bown Star Canyon (yBownStarBt) follow the wash about 0.3 miles to where the bottom of Bown Winkle joins in from RDC (north).

Note:
About 600 feet down the wash after the confluence of Bown Star and Bown Eye canyons is where you can look for a way to scramble up onto the LDC side to a wide slick rock bench.  That bench can be walked up along the south side of Bown Eye Canyon where you can walk into the head.  This route makes it possible to quickly access and go down Bown Eye Canyon after getting to teh bottom of Bown Star Canyon.  This combo makes a for a great length day and sees the best portions of the system.

From the bottom of Bown Winkle (yBownWinkleBt) turn right and walk north up the bottom of Bown Winkle.

About 200 feet up canyon is a drop (BownWrinkle22) of about 30 feet over a series of potholes that is easily bypassed LDC/RUC.  Bypass the drop and continue up the wash.

About 450 feet up the wash is a very short narrow spot (BownWrinkle21) with a short easy scramble up or down.  Scramble up the short drop and walk up canyon about 120 feet to the next narrow section that is longer and tighter.

At the lower end of the next narrow section (BownWrinkle20E) scramble up the left (northwest - LUC/RDC) side route finding up a steep slickrock bowl.

Note:
If you were to try to continue up the wash past the exit point you would need to galumph about 8 feet off the deck to get through the 100 foot long narrow section.

Route finding about 250 feet up the slickrock bowl leads to a weakness (BigBown20) where you can scramble up to the gentler dirt slopes.

Once on the rim veer right and follow the wide ridge northeast about 0.5 miles to where you can cross a large drainage along a shelf (BigBown21).

After crossing the drainage route find northwest about 520 feet to a wide sandy saddle (BigBown07sdl).  This is the same saddle you were at on the approach.

At the saddle (BigBown07sdl) turn left and walk west about 0.5 miles to where you can start down (BigBown06) toward the exit ravine.

Walk about 425 feet down dirt slopes to the top of steep slickrock (BigBown05) leading down to the exit ravine.

Route find about 180 feet down to the top of the ravine (BigBown04).

Turn right and scramble down the ravine and reverse the approach hike back to the Little Death Hollow trailhead (tLilDeathHlw).

Continuing down to and through Bown Bottom Slot:
From the bottom of Bown Star Canyon (yBownStarBt) follow down the main wash for about 0.7 miles to the top of Bown Bottom Slot where it gets narrow / skinny.

At the top of Bown Bottom Slot (BownBottomTp) is a a drop of about 6 feet down into a sandy hole that can hold shallow water after recent rains. Just after this drop are two more drops of about 4 feet each. The remainder of this lower canyon is a narrow walk through slot with a couple of very pretty sections worth seeing. The first section of this slot has three large boulders wedged between the walls that you walk under.

About 500 feet down canyon is a pothole side drainage (BownBottom06) that drops in from LDC (east). If desired you can walk / scramble up the side of this drainage to have a look around the area. Down canyon of this side drainage is a very pretty narrow section about 300 feet long with winding sculpted walls.

About 850 feet down canyon is a drop (BownBottom07) of about 10 feet that is easily bypassed on the RDC side.

Shortly after the bypassed drop, Bown Bottom Slot ends where it widens out to wide wash (yBownBottomBt). 

The Exit - From the bottom of Bown Bottom Slot:
From the lower end of Bown Bottom Slot (yBownBottomBt) walk / scramble up the RDC (north) side.

About 200 feet up you may find rocks stacked (BownBottom08) that appear to be a cairn.  To continue the exit route find about 100 feet northwest up minor shelves up to open desert slopes going up to the northwest.

Once up open desert slopes (BownBottom09), route find northwest about 0.2 miles up onto a very wide gentle ridge.

Once up on top of the gentle ridge (BownBottom10), veer right (northeast) and follow up the wide ridge for about 800 feet to a minor peak along the ridge.

From the minor peak (BownBottom11), continue northeast along the wide ridge about 0.35 miles to another minor peak along the ridge.

From the next minor peak (BownBottom12), continue northeast along the wide ridge for about 850 feet to where you can veer left and travel northwest contouring around a drainage that is now wide and shallow.

As you contour around the wide shallow drainage (BownBottom13) continue northwest about 0.3 miles to contour around another drainage.

This next drainage you contour around (BownBottom14) a shelf in a drainage where travel is easy. Continue north to where you can start walking down dirt slopes toward the approach / exit ravine (BigBown06).

Walk about 425 feet down dirt slopes to the top of steep slickrock (BigBown05) leading down to the exit ravine.

Route find about 180 feet down to the top of the ravine (BigBown04).

Turn right and scramble down the ravine and reverse the approach hike back to the Little Death Hollow trailhead (tLilDeathHlw).

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.

Bown Eye (1) - Approach to Bown Eye
  1. tLilDeathHlw          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.78402   W -111.18060        Elev: 5,550 Feet
    Trailhead for Little Death Hollow. Space for quite a few cars to park. The drainage down from here is sometimes referred to as Little Death Hollow but on maps is usually labeled as Death Hollow. To avoid confusion it is good to be aware that this is a different drainage from the Death Hollow about 17 miles west of here near the town of Escalante.
  2. jHolyCow-Apr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.77332   W -111.19234        Elev: 5,480 Feet
    A spot on the trail just past a very large boulder sitting next to the trail. From here you can get a visual on the approach route. Leave the trail here and hike about 900 feet west across the desert toward the rubble filled slope at the base of the cliff band. Looking west from here note a large light colored arch-like indention in the cliff band then note the saddle just to the left (south) of that. Just below that saddle is a ramp leading up the cliff side to a small patch of vegetation. Route find your way to that ramp. A large boulder filled ravine can be seen to the north from here and can optionally be used to approach Holy Cow but will add distance and time to the route as well as require scrambling some sketchy sections of steep slickrock.
  3. jBigBownApr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.77156   W -111.19418        Elev: 5,475 Feet
    Leave main trail here to follow the approach up to Big Bown Bench. This spot with no distinct landmark and is about 800 feet after passing the large boulder along the trail and is after the trail crosses over the wash twice as it a sharp bend in the wash. To continue the Big Bown Bench approach, leave the trail and hike south across easy terrain for 0.3 miles to the Big Bown approach ravine.
  4. BigBown01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76747   W -111.19225        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start up the steep dirt and rock slope up toward a ravine. Travel is easiest up the ridge rather than directly up under the ravine. Once at the cliff band it is easy to traverse over and into the ravine.
  5. BigBown02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76659   W -111.19285        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of the ravine to scramble up onto Big Bown Bench.
  6. BigBown03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76640   W -111.19319        Elev: NaN Feet
    Large house size boulder blocking the ravine. Walk under the boulder into a chamber in the boulder debris and continue scrambling up the ravine into a vegetated section. Follow up the left (southeast) side of the ravine as it splits a little farther up. Note: When scrambling up under the huge boulders you will scramble over a large rock with old steps carved in it. It appears this rock has fallen from above and was once part of a route with carved steps that has since fallen into the ravine.
  7. BigBown04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76562   W -111.19416        Elev: 5,940 Feet
    Top of the ravine. Turn left (south) and scramble up the steep slickrock for about 200 feet to get up onto rolling desert on the mesa top. This section is steep but ledges and features where you can choose one a few ways to scramble up through it. This section would be difficult to route find your way back down in the dark so returning before sunset is a good idea.
  8. BigBown05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76527   W -111.19383        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of the steep slickrock above the approach ravine. On approach continue south about 400 feet up various dirt and rock ledges to where the terrain becomes gently sloped. On exit, scramble down the slickrock ledges to the head of the ravine.
  9. BigBown06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76426   W -111.19311        Elev: NaN Feet
    Terrain transitions from steep dirt and rock ledges to more gentle terrain. On approach to the Big Bown Canyons turn left (east) and follow roughly along the top of the wide sandy ridge. The ridge is very wide and may not feel like a ridge. On exit, route find your way north down the slopes.
  10. BigBown07sdl          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76270   W -111.18352        Elev: 6,230 Feet
    Very wide sandy saddle. On Approach to Big Bown Canyons this is just after passing a minor peak. Continue east about 0.3 miles to the next wide saddle. On exit turn left and walk west about 0.5 miles to where you can start down toward the exit ravine.
  11. BigBown08sdl          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76200   W -111.17896        Elev: NaN Feet
    Wide saddle. Continue east across the saddle the contour right (south) following the natural line along the base of slopes under a cliff band.
  12. BigBown09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75964   W -111.17604        Elev: 6,290 Feet
    Route starts around a point but still on ledges contouring around steep slopes. Route find east about 400 feet slowly working your way down to a weakness where you can scramble down minor ledges.
  13. BigBown10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75979   W -111.17450        Elev: NaN Feet
    Scramble southeast down minor ledges and walk about 750 feet down into the left fork of Bown Star Canyon.
  14. yBownStarLFTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75878   W -111.17234        Elev: 6,170 Feet
    Approach route reaches the left fork of Bown Star Canyon. To go down the left fork, walk southwest down the wash. To continue to the right fork of Bown Star or to Bown Eye Canyon, scramble up the slope on the southeast side for about 400 feet up to the crest of a ridge. Note: If you drop into the wash about 500 feet up canyon of here you will find a couple easy to bypass short drops.
  15. BigBown11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75805   W -111.17118        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top out on a ridge between the heads of right and left forks of Bown Star Canyon. To continue to the left fork of Bown Star, route find southeast about 650 feet down slopes and minor ledges down into the Right Fork of Bown Star.
  16. yBownStarRFTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75708   W -111.16940        Elev: 6,170 Feet
    Approach route reaches the right fork of Bown Star Canyon. A drop in the wash here is bypassed on the RDC side down steep slopes. To go down the right fork, walk southwest down the wash. To continue to Bown Eye Canyon, scramble up the slope on the southeast side for about 500 feet to the top out on a ridge. Note: If you drop into the wash about 250 feet up canyon of here you will find a couple easy to bypass short drops.
  17. BigBown12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75578   W -111.16910        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top out on a ridge between Right Fork of Bown Star and Bown Eye Canyons. Continue south about 600 feet down the slope into the wash below scrambling down a few minor ledges.
  18. jBownEye          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75430   W -111.16852        Elev: NaN Feet
    Route gets to Bown Eye Canyon. Turn right and walk southwest down the dirt wash with the occasional slick rock section.
  19. BownEye01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75178   W -111.17206        Elev: NaN Feet
    Shelf of about 15 feet in the Bown Eye drainage that is easily bypassed on the RDC side scrambling down a steep dirt slope. Continue down canyon with the occasional minor drop for about 950 feet to a large drop down rolling slick rock.
  20. yBownEyeTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75118   W -111.17486        Elev: 6,040 Feet
    Top of Bown Eye Canyon. Large bulbous drop down rolling slick rock. Scramble down the sloped slick rock drop and walk about 100 feet over to rap 1. Note: If approaching from the bottom via the ledge along the LDC (south) side you can easily walk / scramble down to the canyon here.
Bown Eye (2) - The Canyon
  1. yBownEyeTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75118   W -111.17486        Elev: 6,040 Feet
    Top of Bown Eye Canyon. Large bulbous drop down rolling slick rock. Scramble down the sloped slick rock drop and walk about 100 feet over to rap 1. Note: If approaching from the bottom via the ledge along the LDC (south) side you can easily walk / scramble down to the canyon here.
  2. dBownEyeR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75120   W -111.17523        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap1 - Bown Eye Canyon. Anchored from a tree on the RDC side about 10 feet back and drops about 30 feet.
  3. BownEye02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75127   W -111.17549        Elev: NaN Feet
    Easy stem style downclimb of about 8 feet into a short slot. Continuing down canyon is mostly easy walking with a few spots to galumph though.
  4. BownEye03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75144   W -111.17607        Elev: NaN Feet
    Downclimb of about 8 feet that is easily done with partner assist.
  5. BownEye04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75149   W -111.17627        Elev: NaN Feet
    Downclimb of about 8 feet that is easily done with partner assist. Optionally this drop can be bypassed by carefully traversing the RDC side along steep slick rock. The bypass is spicy but works well for those not wanting to get wet if there happens to be water at the bottom of the drop.
  6. dBownEyeR2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75153   W -111.17658        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap2 - Bown Eye Canyon. Anchored from a tree about 15 feet back and drops about 12 feet. The upper portion of the rappel is down a narrow slot that can be downclimbed with the lower portion being vertical and under cut about 6 feet. With team work this rappel could be downclimbed with aggressive partner assist. At the bottom of this rap is an arch at the canyon floor to crawl under giving way to easy walking. Note: you can easily escape the canyon here on the RDC (north) side.
  7. dBownEyeR3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75152   W -111.17703        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap3 - Bown Eye Canyon. Anchored from a tree about 25 feet back and drops over two stages using about 80 feet of rope from anchor to the bottom. The first stage drops about 10 feet and could be downclimbed with partner assist into a narrow section leading over to the second stage that drops vertically about 15 feet into an open area.
  8. dBownEyeR4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75163   W -111.17746        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 4 - Bown Eye Canyon. Anchored using a sandtrap and drops about 15 feet and overhung. Shortly after this rap is a downclimb of about 6 feet into a very short slot which then opens up to wide easy walking vegetated wash.
  9. dBownEyeR5          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75202   W -111.17813        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 5 - Bown Eye Canyon. Anchored from a tree about 10 feet back and drops about 40 feet down a vertical wall into what feels like deeper canyon than the other raps felt like.
  10. BownEye05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75210   W -111.17856        Elev: NaN Feet
    Upper end of a deep narrow slot about 100 feet long with winding and twisting walls that give the in the belly of the beast feel. Starting into the slot requires a galumph down canyon to go over a large log where you then stem down about 15 feet to the bottom of the slot. This slot is very fun as it winds down through the sandstone with winding a twisting walls that sometimes feel like a tightly curved playground slide with a few shallow potholes to play through.
  11. BownEye06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75217   W -111.17886        Elev: NaN Feet
    End of the deep slot. Continuing down canyon is a couple easy downclimbs of about 5 feet into pools that can hold chest deep water.
  12. yBownEye-Bt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75261   W -111.17938        Elev: 5,870 Feet
    Easy downclimb of about 10 feet and is the last mandatory drop in the canyon. There are two other drops just after this that are easily bypassed on the LDC side where you then walk down to the wash and to the end of this drainage where it meets Bown Star Canyon.
  13. yBownStarBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75286   W -111.17982        Elev: NaN Feet
    Confluence where Bown Star and Bown Eye canyons join with easy wash walking down canyon.
Bown Eye (3) - Exit - down to Bown Winkle
  1. yBownStarBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75286   W -111.17982        Elev: NaN Feet
    Confluence where Bown Star and Bown Eye canyons join with easy wash walking down canyon.
  2. jBownEyeBotApr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75290   W -111.18164        Elev: NaN Feet
    Approximate location where you can scramble up steep slick rock up to the bench on the RDC (south) side. You can then walk that bencho east up along the south side of Bown Eye Canyon then walk into the head of the canyon.
  3. BownStar34EE          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75312   W -111.18335        Elev: NaN Feet
    Spot where you can begin scrambling up steep slickrock on the RDC (north) side to get up to the slickrock bench running just below the rock and dirt cliff where you can contour your way up to re-enter the Left Fork of Bown Star Canyon just above the first rappel. No distinct landmark here.
  4. yBownWinkleBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75272   W -111.18525        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of Bown Winkle Canyon where it dumps into the main wash of Bown Star. To continue down to Bown Bottom Slot, continue west down the wash. To exit the area turn right and walk north up the bottom of Bown Winkle.
Bown Eye (4) - Exit via Bown Winkle
  1. yBownWinkleBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75272   W -111.18525        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of Bown Winkle Canyon where it dumps into the main wash of Bown Star. To continue down to Bown Bottom Slot, continue west down the wash. To exit the area turn right and walk north up the bottom of Bown Winkle.
  2. BownWrinkle22          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75321   W -111.18539        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop of about 30 feet over a series of potholes that is easily bypassed LDC/RUC.
  3. BownWrinkle21          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75436   W -111.18515        Elev: NaN Feet
    Very short narrow spot with a short easy scramble up or down. When exiting up from Bown Star or Bown Eye Canyons, scramble up the short drop and walk up canyon about 120 feet to the next narrow section that is longer and tighter.
  4. BownWrinkle20E          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75461   W -111.18480        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down canyon end of a 100 foot long skinny section where galumphing about 8 feet off the deck would be required. When exiting from Bown Star or Bown Eye Canyons, walk up the very steep slickrock bowl to the north RDC/LUC) and route find your way to the rim.
  5. BigBown20          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75481   W -111.18565        Elev: NaN Feet
    Weakness allowing access to the rim above after walking up a very steep slickrock bowl up out of Bown Winkle Canyon. To exit the area veer right and follow the wide ridge northeast.
  6. BigBown21          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76148   W -111.18264        Elev: NaN Feet
    When on exit from Bown Star or Bown Eye Canyons cross over a shelf in this drainage and route find northwest about 520 feet to a wide sandy saddle.
  7. BigBown07sdl          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76270   W -111.18352        Elev: 6,230 Feet
    Very wide sandy saddle. On Approach to Big Bown Canyons this is just after passing a minor peak. Continue east about 0.3 miles to the next wide saddle. On exit turn left and walk west about 0.5 miles to where you can start down toward the exit ravine.
  8. BigBown06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76426   W -111.19311        Elev: NaN Feet
    Terrain transitions from steep dirt and rock ledges to more gentle terrain. On approach to the Big Bown Canyons turn left (east) and follow roughly along the top of the wide sandy ridge. The ridge is very wide and may not feel like a ridge. On exit, route find your way north down the slopes.
  9. BigBown05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76527   W -111.19383        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of the steep slickrock above the approach ravine. On approach continue south about 400 feet up various dirt and rock ledges to where the terrain becomes gently sloped. On exit, scramble down the slickrock ledges to the head of the ravine.
  10. BigBown04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76562   W -111.19416        Elev: 5,940 Feet
    Top of the ravine. Turn left (south) and scramble up the steep slickrock for about 200 feet to get up onto rolling desert on the mesa top. This section is steep but ledges and features where you can choose one a few ways to scramble up through it. This section would be difficult to route find your way back down in the dark so returning before sunset is a good idea.
  11. BigBown03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76640   W -111.19319        Elev: NaN Feet
    Large house size boulder blocking the ravine. Walk under the boulder into a chamber in the boulder debris and continue scrambling up the ravine into a vegetated section. Follow up the left (southeast) side of the ravine as it splits a little farther up. Note: When scrambling up under the huge boulders you will scramble over a large rock with old steps carved in it. It appears this rock has fallen from above and was once part of a route with carved steps that has since fallen into the ravine.
  12. BigBown02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76659   W -111.19285        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of the ravine to scramble up onto Big Bown Bench.
  13. BigBown01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76747   W -111.19225        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start up the steep dirt and rock slope up toward a ravine. Travel is easiest up the ridge rather than directly up under the ravine. Once at the cliff band it is easy to traverse over and into the ravine.
  14. jBigBownApr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.77156   W -111.19418        Elev: 5,475 Feet
    Leave main trail here to follow the approach up to Big Bown Bench. This spot with no distinct landmark and is about 800 feet after passing the large boulder along the trail and is after the trail crosses over the wash twice as it a sharp bend in the wash. To continue the Big Bown Bench approach, leave the trail and hike south across easy terrain for 0.3 miles to the Big Bown approach ravine.
  15. jHolyCow-Apr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.77332   W -111.19234        Elev: 5,480 Feet
    A spot on the trail just past a very large boulder sitting next to the trail. From here you can get a visual on the approach route. Leave the trail here and hike about 900 feet west across the desert toward the rubble filled slope at the base of the cliff band. Looking west from here note a large light colored arch-like indention in the cliff band then note the saddle just to the left (south) of that. Just below that saddle is a ramp leading up the cliff side to a small patch of vegetation. Route find your way to that ramp. A large boulder filled ravine can be seen to the north from here and can optionally be used to approach Holy Cow but will add distance and time to the route as well as require scrambling some sketchy sections of steep slickrock.
  16. tLilDeathHlw          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.78402   W -111.18060        Elev: 5,550 Feet
    Trailhead for Little Death Hollow. Space for quite a few cars to park. The drainage down from here is sometimes referred to as Little Death Hollow but on maps is usually labeled as Death Hollow. To avoid confusion it is good to be aware that this is a different drainage from the Death Hollow about 17 miles west of here near the town of Escalante.
Bown Eye (5) - Down to and through Bown Bottom Slot
  1. yBownWinkleBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75272   W -111.18525        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of Bown Winkle Canyon where it dumps into the main wash of Bown Star. To continue down to Bown Bottom Slot, continue west down the wash. To exit the area turn right and walk north up the bottom of Bown Winkle.
  2. BownBottom01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75225   W -111.18579        Elev: NaN Feet
    Short section of slickrock the water has cut a deep slot in. This is in a huge open sandy wash and would be easily missed if not strictly following the water course.
  3. BownBottom02EE          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75145   W -111.18777        Elev: NaN Feet
    Can scramble north up slick rock to get up to rolling desert above.
  4. BownBottom03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75063   W -111.18843        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drainage drops in from RDC (north). Down canyon from here the canyon begins to get more narrow with vertical walls but still overall wide easy wash walking.
  5. BownBottom04EE          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75051   W -111.18928        Elev: NaN Feet
    Can scramble up the RDC (north) side to rim walk down canyon along a wide slickrock shelf just above the canyon floor.
  6. BownBottom05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74989   W -111.18974        Elev: NaN Feet
    Huge boulder sitting in the middle of the wash.
  7. BownBottomTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74926   W -111.19033        Elev: 5,810 Feet
    Top of Bown Bottom Slot and a drop of about 6 feet down into a sandy hole that can hold shallow water after recent rains. Just after this drop are two more drops of about 4 feet each. The remainder of this lower canyon is a narrow walk through slot with a couple of very pretty sections worth seeing. The first section of this slot has three large boulders wedged between the walls that you walk under.
  8. BownBottom06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74805   W -111.19120        Elev: NaN Feet
    Pothole side drainage drops in from LDC (east). If desired you can walk / scramble up the side of this drainage to have a look around the area. Down canyon of this side drainage is a very pretty narrow section about 300 feet long with winding sculpted walls.
  9. BownBottom07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74672   W -111.19317        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop of about 10 feet that is easily bypassed on the RDC side.
  10. yBownBottomBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74651   W -111.19313        Elev: 5,760 Feet
    Lower end of Bown Bottom Slot where it opens up to wash walking. To exit walk / scramble up the RDC (north) side.
Bown Eye (6) - Exit from Bown Bottom
  1. yBownBottomBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74651   W -111.19313        Elev: 5,760 Feet
    Lower end of Bown Bottom Slot where it opens up to wash walking. To exit walk / scramble up the RDC (north) side.
  2. BownBottom08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74684   W -111.19358        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rocks stacked that appears to be a cairn. To exit route find about 100 feet northwest up minor shelves up to open desert slopes going up to the northwest.
  3. BownBottom09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74695   W -111.19393        Elev: NaN Feet
    Now on open desert slopes, route find northwest about 0.2 miles up onto a very wide gentle ridge.
  4. BownBottom10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74929   W -111.19586        Elev: NaN Feet
    On a wide gentle ridge, veer right (northeast) and follow up the wide ridge for about 800 feet to a minor peak along the ridge.
  5. BownBottom11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75131   W -111.19421        Elev: NaN Feet
    Minor peak along the ridge. Continue northeast along the wide ridge about 0.35 miles to another minor peak along the ridge.
  6. BownBottom12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75620   W -111.19255        Elev: NaN Feet
    Minor peak along the ridge. Continue northeast along the wide ridge for about 850 feet to where you can veer left and travel northwest contouring around a drainage that is now wide and shallow.
  7. BownBottom13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75820   W -111.19069        Elev: NaN Feet
    Veer left and contour around to travel northwest crossing a drainage that is now wide and shallow. Continue northwest about 0.3 miles to contour around another drainage.
  8. BownBottom14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76222   W -111.19220        Elev: NaN Feet
    Contour over a shelf in a drainage where travel is easy. Continue north to where you can start walking down dirt slopes toward the approach / exit ravine.
  9. BigBown06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76426   W -111.19311        Elev: NaN Feet
    Terrain transitions from steep dirt and rock ledges to more gentle terrain. On approach to the Big Bown Canyons turn left (east) and follow roughly along the top of the wide sandy ridge. The ridge is very wide and may not feel like a ridge. On exit, route find your way north down the slopes.
  10. BigBown05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76527   W -111.19383        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of the steep slickrock above the approach ravine. On approach continue south about 400 feet up various dirt and rock ledges to where the terrain becomes gently sloped. On exit, scramble down the slickrock ledges to the head of the ravine.
  11. BigBown04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76562   W -111.19416        Elev: 5,940 Feet
    Top of the ravine. Turn left (south) and scramble up the steep slickrock for about 200 feet to get up onto rolling desert on the mesa top. This section is steep but ledges and features where you can choose one a few ways to scramble up through it. This section would be difficult to route find your way back down in the dark so returning before sunset is a good idea.
  12. BigBown03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76640   W -111.19319        Elev: NaN Feet
    Large house size boulder blocking the ravine. Walk under the boulder into a chamber in the boulder debris and continue scrambling up the ravine into a vegetated section. Follow up the left (southeast) side of the ravine as it splits a little farther up. Note: When scrambling up under the huge boulders you will scramble over a large rock with old steps carved in it. It appears this rock has fallen from above and was once part of a route with carved steps that has since fallen into the ravine.
  13. BigBown02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76659   W -111.19285        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of the ravine to scramble up onto Big Bown Bench.
  14. BigBown01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76747   W -111.19225        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start up the steep dirt and rock slope up toward a ravine. Travel is easiest up the ridge rather than directly up under the ravine. Once at the cliff band it is easy to traverse over and into the ravine.
  15. jBigBownApr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.77156   W -111.19418        Elev: 5,475 Feet
    Leave main trail here to follow the approach up to Big Bown Bench. This spot with no distinct landmark and is about 800 feet after passing the large boulder along the trail and is after the trail crosses over the wash twice as it a sharp bend in the wash. To continue the Big Bown Bench approach, leave the trail and hike south across easy terrain for 0.3 miles to the Big Bown approach ravine.
  16. jHolyCow-Apr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.77332   W -111.19234        Elev: 5,480 Feet
    A spot on the trail just past a very large boulder sitting next to the trail. From here you can get a visual on the approach route. Leave the trail here and hike about 900 feet west across the desert toward the rubble filled slope at the base of the cliff band. Looking west from here note a large light colored arch-like indention in the cliff band then note the saddle just to the left (south) of that. Just below that saddle is a ramp leading up the cliff side to a small patch of vegetation. Route find your way to that ramp. A large boulder filled ravine can be seen to the north from here and can optionally be used to approach Holy Cow but will add distance and time to the route as well as require scrambling some sketchy sections of steep slickrock.
  17. tLilDeathHlw          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.78402   W -111.18060        Elev: 5,550 Feet
    Trailhead for Little Death Hollow. Space for quite a few cars to park. The drainage down from here is sometimes referred to as Little Death Hollow but on maps is usually labeled as Death Hollow. To avoid confusion it is good to be aware that this is a different drainage from the Death Hollow about 17 miles west of here near the town of Escalante.