Canyoneering Route Description

ROC (Rabbit of Caerbannog) - 4A I(II) R+
Escalante National Monument, Utah.

Quick Facts

10-05-12, 4 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 7.5 hours) Pictures Icon Time is for Beast, ROC and Spooky - Peek-a-Boo loop combined.

Time Required - 3 to 4 hours for ROC only - Can be combined with other routes in the area to fill out the day.
Distance - 0.3 miles Total, 5 miles Technical
Rappels - 0 Rappels, Longest Rappel N/A feet.
Elevation Range - 4965 - 4600 Feet
Shuttle Required - No Vehicle - Passenger - High Clearance Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Knee and elbow pads for protection while stemming.  It may be a good idea to have a 40 foot length of rope or webbing to assist someone if needed.

General Comments

ROC canyon does not have any rappels or require rope but is still rated a 4 in technical difficulty due to stemming up to 30 feet off the deck.  Do not underestimate ROC as there is serious fall potential and some physical work in this short little canyon.  The first 950 feet of canyon is where the canyon requires work and moderately high stemming to 30 feet up.  The remainder of the canyon goes pretty smooth.

The R+ rating is due to stemming up to 30 feet off the deck between vertical walls with few features and crumbly rock.  Due to skinny sections ROC is not a route for big barrel chested people.

There is potential for these canyons to hold a little bit of water to knee high in places but they should be dry except right after recent rains. While no ropes are mandatory in these canyons I still rate these with a technical rating of 4 to alert people that these do require some skill to safely navigate. The route has stemming to heights that could cause injury or death if mistakes are made. I prefer to rate this a 4 even though it does not require ropes instead of calling it a 2 and end up with people expecting an easy class 2 canyon and biting off more than they can chew. This is one of those times where the rating system is a bit flawed.

ROC is short and can be combined with other short routes in the area.  When we visited ROC we combined The Beast, ROC and the Spooky Peek-a-Boo Loop, all in 7.5 hours.  This route description is written for directions to do ROC only.  If you wish to combine routes pull out the map and look at descriptions for others in the area and mix and match at will.

ROC canyon is also known as known as Little Canyon in the Kelsey canyoneering book.  The name was so mundane we felt a better name was in order.  Mike Schasch named the canyon ROC (short for Rabbit of Caerbannog) after the guardian of a cave in a Monty Python movie. The Rabbit of Caerbannog appears to be a small, cute little thing that could do no harm.  After a short engagement with the ROC the soldiers find the rabbit to unimaginably fierce, swift and deadly.  ROC canyon is small and goes almost un-noticed but it is quite the deep skinny crack that has a serious bite.

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.

Travel about 26 miles southeast on Hole-In-The-Rock road to the turn off for the Dry Fork trailhead to the left (extDryForkTH1).  From Hole-In-The-Rock road drive about 0.7 miles to a fork in the road (extDryForkTH2) and turn left (north) at this fork.  After turning left at the fork continue 0.9 miles to the Dry Fork trailhead (tDryFork).  The distance from Hole-In-The-Rock road to the trailhead is about 1.65 miles.

Most of the time the road conditions on the Hole in the Rock and the road to Dry Fork trailhead are good.  The last half mile to the trailhead may be difficult for some passenger cars.  If you find the last half mile a bit difficult for your car, you can park and walk the last part.

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 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 drive into the route.
Map of the entire route.

Details

The Approach:
From trailhead (tDryFork) follow the trail going north leaving the parking area.  After about 400 feet the trail will fade away where you will find a steep slope of slick rock.  Route find your way northwest down the slick rock down to the flat desert floor below. After getting to the bottom of the steep slick rock slope, route find your way north about 700 feet over to the top of (wDryForkRP-01) a deep side drainage dropping northeast down into DryFork of Coyote Gulch.

From the head (wDryForkRP-01) of a the deep slot / drainage dropping down into Dry Fork. Follow down into this drainage for about 0.16 miles where you will find yourself in the Dry Fork Drainage.

Once down in Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch (wDryForkRP-02) turn right to walk east(ish) down canyon in the Dry Fork drainage.  About 250 feet down canyon is the bottom exit of the Peek-A- Boo slot (yPeek-A-BooBt) which will be on the left (north) side of the wash.

Note:
A visual clue to know you are at the bottom of Peek-a-Boo slot is looking up at it you will see a need to climb up in it to get to the slot above (this is in contrast to the bottom of Spooky Slot where you can walk into the bottom).

Continue east down Dry Fork about 0.28 miles to where a trail leaves the main wash (jFrk2Spooky) and goes off to the left over to the bottom of the Spooky Slot.  Stay right and stay in the main wash and continue as it bends right.

About 0.3 miles down the wash the Spooky Canyon drainage will join (jSpookyBt) in from the left. 

Continue down Dry Fork a little over 500 feet to the up canyon end (DryFork71) of a walk through slot in Dry Fork about 400 feet long.  From the down canyon end (DryFork72) of the 400 foot long walk through slot, walk down Dry Fork about 400 feet to the up canyon end (DryFork73) of another walk through slot in Dry Fork about 850 feet long.  From the down canyon end (DryFork74) of the 850 foot long walk through slot, walk down Dry Fork about 0.4 miles to the confluence of Brimstone (jBrimstoneLwr)where it joins in from the left.

From the confluence of Dry Fork and Lower Brimstone (jBrimstoneLwr) turn left and walk north up Lower Brimstone.  There is large sandstone hill about 200 feet wide at the confluence which you can walk around either side to start up Brimstone.

About 400 feet up Brimstone is a sand hill on the left (BrimSndDune1).

Continue up Brimstone past the sand dune about 0.3 miles to Patch of a few large trees (jROC-ViaBrim) on the right (east) side of the drainage. These trees also make a great shady rest spot on a hot day. Also a good spot to stash small packs if you want to lighten your load for a short side trip from here.

Note:
If going up to do ROC scrambling up the slickrock to the east up behind these trees gets you to the east rim of Brimstone where you can then go over to ROC. A little over 300 feet away the route will top out in a mix of rolling slickrock and dirt.

If going up to do The Beast / Lower Brimstone route you will continue up Brimstone past these trees.

Once at the top out of the scramble up behind the trees (ROC-01) veer right (south) and roughly follow south along the rim of Brimstone for about 700 feet to the head of a shallow drainage forming.

From the head of the shallow drainage (ROC-02) continue down the sandy drainage about 200 feet to where the upper slot of ROC forms (yROC-Tp).

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
From top of ROC (yROC-Tp) the next 950 feet of canyon is a mix of squeezing between the walls on the canyon floor and stemming / galumphing down canyon up off the canyon floor where it is too skinny to stay low.

Depending on your size and comfort level you may be up to 30 feet off the deck at times. Some of the stemming is straight forward with a lot of features to make travel easy and other parts of the stemming involve navigating between near vertical walls with few features and lots of rotten rock to break away. There are also a few gapers to cross over that are not very wide but serious fall potential if mistakes are made.

At the end of the Upper slot (ROC-03) of ROC you will be able to walk in semi wide open sand floor for about 500 feet to the start of another slot.

From the top of the next slot (ROC-04) it is about 200 feet long and travels quick and easy with one vertical drop about 8 feet that is easily partner assisted shortly before reaching the end of ROC (yROC-BT).

The Exit:
From the bottom of ROC (yROC-BT) where the slot dumps out into a sandy area in Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch.  Walk about 300 feet across sand out to the Dry Fork wash then turn right and walk northwest up Dry Fork.

About 1000 feet up the wash you will be back at the bottom of Lower Brimstone where it meets Dry Fork (jBrimstoneLwr).   Reverse the approach route to go back to the cars.  Optionally you can take a side trip up Spooky Canyon then down Peek-a-Boo Canyon on the way back.

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.

ROC (1) - Drive into 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: 0 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
  5. extDryForkTH2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46579   W -111.21226        Elev: 4,849 Feet
    Junction where road 252 goes left (north) to Dry Fork trailhead. Continuing straight (east) follows an un-named road to an un-named TH about 1.5 miles away. Along the un-named road ther are a few places to camp and about 0.8 miles in the road gets deeper with sand and has more rough rock making passenger cars a bad idea.
  6. tDryFork          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47650   W -111.21994        Elev: 4,965 Feet
    Dry Fork Trail Head. Follow the trail going north leaving the parking area.  After about 400 feet the trail will fade away where you will find a steep slope of slick rock.  Route find your way northwest down the slick rock down to the flat desert floor below. After getting to the bottom of the steep slick rock slope, route find your way north about 700 feet over to the top of a deep side drainage dropping northeast down into DryFork of Coyote Gulch.
ROC (2) - Approach
  1. tDryFork          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47650   W -111.21994        Elev: 4,965 Feet
    Dry Fork Trail Head. Follow the trail going north leaving the parking area.  After about 400 feet the trail will fade away where you will find a steep slope of slick rock.  Route find your way northwest down the slick rock down to the flat desert floor below. After getting to the bottom of the steep slick rock slope, route find your way north about 700 feet over to the top of a deep side drainage dropping northeast down into DryFork of Coyote Gulch.
  2. wDryForkRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47965   W -111.21958        Elev: 4,780 Feet
    Head of a deep slot/ drainage dropping down into Dry Fork. Follow down into this drainage for about 0.16 miles where you will find yourself in the Dry Fork Drainage.
  3. wDryForkRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.48130   W -111.21751        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down in Dry Fork after dropping in from the Dry Fork Trailhead. Turn right to walk east(ish) down canyon in the Dry Fork drainage.  About 250 feet down canyon is the bottom exit of the Peek-A- Boo slot (yPeek-A-BooBt) which will be on the left (north) side of the wash.
  4. yPeek-A-BooBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.48156   W -111.21673        Elev: 4,721 Feet
    Bottom of Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon. A visual clue to know you are at the bottom of Peek-a-Boo slot is looking up at it you will see a need to climb up in it to get to the slot above (this is in contrast to the bottom of Spooky Slot where you can walk into the bottom).
  5. jFrk2Spooky          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.48024   W -111.21254        Elev: 4,675 Feet
    Fork to Spooky Slot Canyon. This is a little short cut over to the bottom of the Spooky Slot. The actual drainage for Spooky joins Dry Fork about 0.3 miles east of here on the side trail to the left. To continue down Dry Fork stay right and stay in the main wash as it bends right.
  6. jSpookyBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.48033   W -111.20835        Elev: NaN Feet
    Confluence of the Dry Fork wash and the bottom of the Spooky draiange. To continue down Dry Fork to go to Brimstone or ROC continue east down the wash.
  7. DryFork71          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47961   W -111.20665        Elev: NaN Feet
    Up canyon end of a walk through slot in Dry Fork about 400 feet long.
  8. DryFork72          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47947   W -111.20538        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down canyon end of a walk through slot in Dry Fork about 400 feet long.
  9. DryFork73          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47905   W -111.20384        Elev: NaN Feet
    Up canyon end of a walk through slot in Dry Fork about 850 feet long.
  10. DryFork74          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47753   W -111.20248        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down canyon end of a walk through slot in Dry Fork about 850 feet long.
  11. jBrimstoneLwr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47619   W -111.19713        Elev: 4,625 Feet
    Bottom of the Brimstone Canyon drainage where it dumps into Dry Fork. There is large sandstone hill about 200 feet wide at the confluence which you can walk around either side to start up Brimstone.
  12. BrimSndDune1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47729   W -111.19651        Elev: NaN Feet
    Cool looking sand dune type area on the side walls of the sandstone canyon
  13. jROC-ViaBrim          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.48111   W -111.19583        Elev: 4,630 Feet
    Patch of a few large trees on the east side of the drainage. Scrambling up the slickrock to the east up behind these trees gets you to the east rim of Brimstone where you can then go over to ROC. A little over 300 feet away the route will top out in a mix of rolling slickrock and dirt. These trees also make a great shady rest spot on a hot day. Also a good spot to stash small packs if you want to lighten your load for a short side trip from here.
  14. ROC-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.48092   W -111.19479        Elev: 4,736 Feet
    Top out of the route up to the rim of Brimstone. To go to ROC veer right and roughly follow south along the rim of Brimstone for about 700 feet to the head of a shallow drainage forming.
  15. ROC-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47923   W -111.19417        Elev: 4,717 Feet
    This is where the sandy top of the ROC drainage forms leaving the rim of Brimstone running down to the south. About 200 feet south the draiange starts into a tight slot.
  16. yROC-Tp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47861   W -111.19396        Elev: 4,700 Feet
    Top entry to ROC Canyon (aka Kelsey's Little Canyon). This is where ROC starts into a skiny slot. The next 950 feet of canyon is a mix of squeezing between the walls on the canyon floor and stemming / galumphing down canyon up off the canyon floor where it is too skinny to stay low. Depending on your size and comfort level you may be up to 30 feet off the deck at times. Some of the stemming is straight forward with a lot of features to make travel easy and other parts of the stemming involve navigating between near vertical walls with few features and lots of rotten rock to break away. There are also a few gapers to cross over that are not very wide but serious fall potential if mistakes are made.
ROC (3) - Canyon and Exiti
  1. yROC-Tp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47861   W -111.19396        Elev: 4,700 Feet
    Top entry to ROC Canyon (aka Kelsey's Little Canyon). This is where ROC starts into a skiny slot. The next 950 feet of canyon is a mix of squeezing between the walls on the canyon floor and stemming / galumphing down canyon up off the canyon floor where it is too skinny to stay low. Depending on your size and comfort level you may be up to 30 feet off the deck at times. Some of the stemming is straight forward with a lot of features to make travel easy and other parts of the stemming involve navigating between near vertical walls with few features and lots of rotten rock to break away. There are also a few gapers to cross over that are not very wide but serious fall potential if mistakes are made.
  2. ROC-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47626   W -111.19359        Elev: NaN Feet
    End of the Upper slot of ROC where you will be able to walk in semi wide open sand floor for about 500 feet to the start of another slot.
  3. ROC-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47527   W -111.19472        Elev: NaN Feet
    End of a walking section and starting into another slot. This last slot is about 200 feet long and travels quick and easy with one vertical drop about 8 feet that is easily partner assisted shortlybefore reaching the end of ROC.
  4. yROC-BT          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47476   W -111.19510        Elev: 4,620 Feet
    Bottom of ROC canyon (aka Kelsey's Little Canyon). This is where the slot dumps out into a sandy area in Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch.
  5. jBrimstoneLwr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47619   W -111.19713        Elev: 4,625 Feet
    Bottom of the Brimstone Canyon drainage where it dumps into Dry Fork. There is large sandstone hill about 200 feet wide at the confluence which you can walk around either side to start up Brimstone.
  6. DryFork74          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47753   W -111.20248        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down canyon end of a walk through slot in Dry Fork about 850 feet long.
  7. DryFork73          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47905   W -111.20384        Elev: NaN Feet
    Up canyon end of a walk through slot in Dry Fork about 850 feet long.
  8. DryFork72          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47947   W -111.20538        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down canyon end of a walk through slot in Dry Fork about 400 feet long.
  9. DryFork71          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47961   W -111.20665        Elev: NaN Feet
    Up canyon end of a walk through slot in Dry Fork about 400 feet long.
  10. jSpookyBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.48033   W -111.20835        Elev: NaN Feet
    Confluence of the Dry Fork wash and the bottom of the Spooky draiange. To continue down Dry Fork to go to Brimstone or ROC continue east down the wash.
  11. jFrk2Spooky          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.48024   W -111.21254        Elev: 4,675 Feet
    Fork to Spooky Slot Canyon. This is a little short cut over to the bottom of the Spooky Slot. The actual drainage for Spooky joins Dry Fork about 0.3 miles east of here on the side trail to the left. To continue down Dry Fork stay right and stay in the main wash as it bends right.
  12. yPeek-A-BooBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.48156   W -111.21673        Elev: 4,721 Feet
    Bottom of Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon. A visual clue to know you are at the bottom of Peek-a-Boo slot is looking up at it you will see a need to climb up in it to get to the slot above (this is in contrast to the bottom of Spooky Slot where you can walk into the bottom).
  13. wDryForkRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.48130   W -111.21751        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down in Dry Fork after dropping in from the Dry Fork Trailhead. Turn right to walk east(ish) down canyon in the Dry Fork drainage.  About 250 feet down canyon is the bottom exit of the Peek-A- Boo slot (yPeek-A-BooBt) which will be on the left (north) side of the wash.
  14. wDryForkRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47965   W -111.21958        Elev: 4,780 Feet
    Head of a deep slot/ drainage dropping down into Dry Fork. Follow down into this drainage for about 0.16 miles where you will find yourself in the Dry Fork Drainage.
  15. tDryFork          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.47650   W -111.21994        Elev: 4,965 Feet
    Dry Fork Trail Head. Follow the trail going north leaving the parking area.  After about 400 feet the trail will fade away where you will find a steep slope of slick rock.  Route find your way northwest down the slick rock down to the flat desert floor below. After getting to the bottom of the steep slick rock slope, route find your way north about 700 feet over to the top of a deep side drainage dropping northeast down into DryFork of Coyote Gulch.
  16. extDryForkTH2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.46579   W -111.21226        Elev: 4,849 Feet
    Junction where road 252 goes left (north) to Dry Fork trailhead. Continuing straight (east) follows an un-named road to an un-named TH about 1.5 miles away. Along the un-named road ther are a few places to camp and about 0.8 miles in the road gets deeper with sand and has more rough rock making passenger cars a bad idea.
  17. 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