Canyoneering Route Description

Egypt 2 Canyon 3A I
Escalante National Monument, Utah

Quick Facts

05-26-18, 4 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 6.5 hours) Pictures Icon We did the down E2 and up E3 loop which is why the time seems long

Time Required - 2.5 to 4 hours
Distance - 2.9 miles Total, 1.4 miles Technical
Rappels - 2 Rappels, Longest Rappel 270 feet.
Elevation Range - 5390 - 4800 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 300 feet and 30 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  A 300 foot rope can be rigged and left at the entry rappel and retrieved on after exiting the canyon.  Shorter rope and pull cord options can be hauled through the canyon for the shorter raps of up to 25 feet.

General Comments

Egypt 2 is a fun short scenic route worth the trip.  The canyon has a huge entry rap right at the head of the canyon by the road, multiple downclimbs, long corridors, deep narrow sections and a couple spots where you will need to stem / galumph up a few feet over skinny spots.  Even the big guys can get through Egypt 2 since they will stem / galumph over the short skinny spots just like everyone else.

Egypt 2 will generally be dry except after recent heavy rain activity so no wet suits are needed.  Keep in mind that the dirt here has a lot of clay and can become very slick and messy when wet.  So if there is water, plan on getting dirty and working a little extra to deal with the super slick mud.

There are a few ways down into the the start of E2. The route described here enters right at the head of the canyon near the road and does so by rappelling about 270 feet right at the head.  The anchor we chose is RDC of the watercourse and is anchored from a rock outcropping about 25 feet back and used about 270 feet of rope. There are other anchor options which may increase the amount of rope needed. Best to bring a 300 foot rope as some anchor options may require it. The rope is left rigged at the top and retrieved when you return from the route so the long rope dose not need to be hauled through the canyon.  Shorter rope and pull cord options can be hauled through the canyon for the shorter raps of up to 25 feet.

There are other entry options to use shorter ropes located down canyon on the LDC side but these are not covered in this route description.

The standard exit for E2 is to descend the canyon until it opens to wide wash walking, scramble out the RDC side near a side slot dropping in then hike rolling slickrock up to the E1.5 exit which takes you up onto the rolling desert where you hike back to the road at the top of Egypt 1.5 where you then walk the road back to your car at the top of Egypt 2.

Note - Cotton Woods
If you are there when the cotton woods are dropping their cotton (for us it was march 2018) it is worth the time to go take a look.  From the standard exit for E2 continue down canyon about 0.3 miles of wide easy wash walking to the confluence with E3.  If the cotton wood trees are dropping cotton you may catch it like we did when the cotton is so thick it is like thick snow.  Very cool to see.  For a few pics of what it looks like see the picture album from May of 2018.

Note - Loop route for both E2 and E3
A common loop route is to combine Egypt 2 and Egypt 3 Canyons into one loop route.  The route is to descend E2 passing the standard exit point and continuing down to the confluence of E2 and E3, from the confluence scramble up the nose between the canyons then drop down into E3 above the lower slot, upclimb E3 canyon to near the top and exit up to the road then follow the road back to your car.  If you go at the right time of year the cotton woods in E2 just before the confluence has so much cotton fallen from the trees it looks like thick heavy snow.  It gets very thick and is worth the time to go see if there at the right time. We were there late may 2018 and it was very thick. I have never seen anything like it.  For a few pics of what it looks like see the picture album from May of 2018.

If doing E2 and up E3 loop it is best done when the canyons are dry.  The upper portions of E3 require scrambling and quasi stemming to get up sloped but smooth drops. The potholes in that section have clay dirt that will form slick mud when wet and can make passage up E3 very difficult or impossible. When dry it is only moderately challenging.

Lower portions of Egypt 3 canyon has a few skinny spots that will prove troublesome for large barrel chested people.  At 6 foot even and 190 pounds I was able to fit through these sections with out much of a struggle but it was pretty close.  Another person on the trip at 5 foot 9 inches and about 185 pounds fit through as well but had to struggle a bit more in two places.  The skinniest spots are about 1000 feet up canyon of the standard E3 exit.

If you want to do the E2 E3 loop and doubts if you can fit, you can test the fit and retreat if needed.  Since the skinny stuff is near the bottom of E3 you can descend E2, go over to the bottom of E3 and start up.  If you fit through the skinny sections you encounter you're good to go.  If you find you do not fit you can always turn around and go back to the standard exit for E2 and use the E2 exit to go back.  Having the skinny stuff near the lower end of E3 means you are not committed to a huge day if you find you do not fit.  If you do not fit you will find that out in the first 1000 to 1500 feet of the lower part of E3.

If you want to do E3 but are concerned about your size the E2 E3 loop is the best choice since you can test your fit and if you do not fit you still got to a see E2 which is a pretty cool place.  Descending down E3 from the top and finding you do not fit would make it more difficult to turn around and go back up.

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 Hole-In-The-Rock road is dirt.  The condition of the 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.

Travel about 16.5 miles southeast on Hole-In-The-Rock road to the turn off on the left (east) for the Egypt road (extEgypt).  Turn left and travel down the Egypt road.

The Egypt road is generally well maintained but a few spots may be difficult with 2WD low clearance vehicles.  A vehicle with high clearance is VERY helpful and 4WD may be useful but generally not needed.

The first obstacle is about 3.4 miles in where the Egypt road crosses over Twentyfive Mile Wash (EgyptDP-01).  On the drive in this is generally in good condition as you drop down a hill into then across the wash.  Driving back out can be a little difficult with a 2WD vehicle since the hill is steep and a little speed may be required.  The rough wash leading to the hill may make it difficult to get up to speed.

After crossing Twentyfive Mile Wash, continue on the Egypt road for about 3.2 miles to where the road crosses over the Egypt 1 drainage (pkEgypt1).  At this drainage there is what appears to be a road forking to the left going up the Egypt 1 drainage. 

Continue east on the road about 0.7 miles to the top of Egypt 1.5 (pkEgypt1.5). 

Continue east on the road about 0.5 miles to the parking spot for Egypt 2 (PkEgypt2).  The head of Egypt 2 is only a few feet off to the right (south) of the road.  Park here to start the route.

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.

Details

The Approach:
From parking spot (PkEgypt2) walk a few feet east from the road to the head of the Canyon (yEgypt2Tp).

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
From the head of the canyon (yEgypt2Tp) anchor from a rock outcropping RDC of the head of the canyon for the canyon entry rappel. The anchor we used was a bout 25 feet back from the drop and used about 270 feet of rope to the canyon floor. There are multiple places where you can rig a rappel. Using a 300 foot rope is a good idea since some anchor options will require more rope.

Continue down canyon with easy walking in long corridors and the a couple easy downclimbs of 6 to 8 feet sprinkled in.

About 1100 feet down canyon from the head is boulder debris (Egypt2-01) where you walk under a large boulder. Continue down canyon with easy walking in a long corridor.

About 300 feet farther is an easy stem downclimb of about 10 feet (Egypt2-02).

About 175 feet farther a side drainage (Egypt2-03) drops in from LDC that would be difficult to scramble up into.

A little over 200 feet farther is rap 2.

Rap 2 (dEgypt2-R2) is anchored from a choke stone and drops about 25 feet. This rap can be downclimbed with only the first 8 feet being difficult and the remainder being a pretty easy downclimb. It may be best to use a handline for the first 8 feet which are wide then downclimb the remainder.

Over the next 700 feet the canyon becomes deeper and more narrow where you will need to stem / galumph a few feet up in a couple places to get over short skinny spots.  Followed by a sloped drop of about 15 feet that is easily downclimbed and the walls become more winding and undulating still in narrow canyon.

The narrow section will give way to a short wide open section (Egypt2-04) before the canyon gets narrow again. Over the next 800 feet the canyon is narrow and corridor like with multiple easy downclimbs of 4 to 8 feet each.

The canyon becomes a little wider and is easier walking just as a small ravine drops in (Egypt2-05) on the RDC side and the canyon makes a sharp left hand bend. The next 1400 feet of canyon is mostly long narrow corridors with a few short easy downclimbs and one spot that will take some effort to keep your feet dry if there is water. The narrows seem to just keep going for a long while and farther down canyon you will need to turn sideways in a few spots but even the bigger guys will fit well.

There is a downclimb about 10 feet (Egypt2-06) as the canyon begins to have very curvy and undulating walls and less of a corridor feel. About 120 feet after the down climb is a very wide chamber like spot with wider easy walking continuing down canyon.

About 0.3 miles farther is a large sand hill (Egypt2-07) on the RDC (west) side that looks like you may be able to get up to the rim if you tried.

About 750 feet past the sand hill is a side slot drops in from the RDC side (Egypt2-08-EE).  This is the standard exit for Egypt 2.


To follow the standard exit out of E2, scramble up the sloped slickrock nose on the right (upcanyon) side of the side slot.
To see the remainder of the lower portion of E2 you can walk about 0.4 miles down to the confluence of E2 and E3 in wide easy wash walking.
If doing the down E2 and up E3 loop continue down canyon about to the confluence of E2 and E3 or continue only about 600 feet down canyon to where you can scramble up the LDC side sooner to shorten the route a little bit.

The Exit:

Note - Lower portion of E2
To see the remainder of the lower portion of E2 you can walk about 0.4 miles down to the confluence (E2-E3-Conf-EE) of E2 and E3 in wide easy wash walking then return to the standard exit to leave.

Note - Loop route of E2 and E3
If doing the down E2 and up E3 loop, continue down canyon about 0.4 miles to the confluence (E2-E3-Conf-EE) of E2 and E3 or optionally scramble up steep slickrock earlier to short cut the route a little.  Once at the confluence scramble up the nose between the two drainages then walk rolling slickrock about 0.25 miles to where you can scramble down into Egypt 3 to the east.  Follow up E3 then follow an exit route near the top to get back to the road.  For more over view comments of this, see the general comments section of both the E2 and E3 route descriptions.  For details about E3 and the upper exit refer to the E3 route description.

To follow the standard exit from E2, scramble up the sloped slickrock nose on the right (upcanyon) side of the side slot (Egypt2-08-EE).

Example Pic.

To continue the standard exit from E2, scramble up the slickrock ramp (Egypt2-08-EE) as noted above then route find your way north up rolling slickrock.  As you walk north route find your way to the base of a prominent flat topped peak about 0.6 miles away.

Example Pic.

Once near the base of the flat topped peak, begin scrambling up steep slickrock near the left (west) side.  As the slickrock becomes too steep for safe travel (wEgypt1-5-RP7) traverse left (west) toward E1.5 canyon to a much easier way around the steep part with one easy upclimb.

Example Pic.

Once up on top of the mesa in flat rolling desert (wEgypt1-5-RP8) follow use trails north for about 0.25 miles back to the road (pkEgypt1.5) near the head of Egypt 1.5.

Once at the road (pkEgypt1.5) turn right and walk east along the road for about 0.5 miles back to your car (PkEgypt2).

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.

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