Canyoneering Route Description

TOD - Temple of Doom Canyon - 3(4)B III
Escalante National Monument, Utah.

Quick Facts

06-20-15, 3 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 12 hours) Pictures Icon  Took a very long time exploring a long unknown exit with a few glitches.

Time Required - 7 to 9 hours
Distance - 6.6 miles Total, 0.7 miles Technical
Rappels - 4 Rappels, Longest Rappel xxx feet.
Elevation Range - 5790 - 4910 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 85 feet and 40 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  2 potshots and a sandtrap will be need as well.  Wet suits wont be needed in hot weather weather.  In moderate weather wet suits may add some extra comfort in the upper slot but not needed but are recommended in the final slot and keeper pothole.  In cold weather wetsuits are recommended.

General Comments

The upper portion of TOD does not offer significant technical challenge but is a fun route offering fun with, water filled and easy to escape potholes, a few down climbs, short raps, swimming and an 800 foot long corridor to walk through wide enough to touch both sides with outstretched arms.

The last 300 feet of TOD is very different as it drops down to the Escalante River. The last 300 feet has some rappels that can be a challenge to anchor and has one pothole that in the right conditions is a serious keeper.

On our first visit here we did not know the short exit so we went a very long way around up over the mesa to the north using a route plotted via Google Earth.  A little over a year later we went in and descended the canyon with no technical gear using any bypasses possible to just above the final narrows.  From there we went and looked for a way to get down to and up from the river close to the exit of TOD.  We found an easy upclimb up next to a set of moki steps.  This makes exiting up from the Escalante River much easier than on our first visit.  Since most of TOD is a series of open and narrow zones most of it can be bypassed making the exit pretty straight forward by dropping down to the river, climbing up the spot by the moki steps then reversing up canyon bypassing where needed then reversing the approach back to the cars.

The short exit of TOD described here requires 2 notable upclimbs. The first is up a crack about 15 feet up out of the Escalante River. The crack is shaped well for foot and hand holds making for an easy up climb. The second is an upclimb of about 10 feet in a narrow section while reversing back up TOD Canyon. The in canyon narrow crack upclimb is short and is very secure with your back on one wall and knees on the other wall (knee pads will be useful for this).

While descending TOD remember remember key locations as the exit involves reversing portions of the canyon and bypassing up an around other sections.  Remembering certain spots can make the exit go a little more smooth.

Note:
TOD (Temple of Doom) Canyon is in an area heavy with cross joints making navigation to and from the head of the canyon a little difficult at times. The same cross joint activity throughout the canyon makes it possible to reverse the canyon for an exit but makes written directions a little convoluted. Be prepared for a little route finding while reversing back up TOD for the exit.

Note:
There are a lot of waypoints on the map for this canyon. TOD Canyon is a series of open and narrow sections which the exit route travels back up canyon escaping in a couple spots to walk the rim. The combination of the open closed nature and reversing the canyon for exit led to there being more waypoint information than usual.

TOD - Temple of Doom Canyon is given a technical rating of 3 if you do not go down the lower slot to go down to the river.  If you drop down the final slot the technical rating jumps to a 4 due to a keeper pothole.

Don't let the upper portion of TOD fool you into thinking the canyon has nothing challenging to offer.  The short final slot of TOD is where the canyon is deep and committing and has one pothole that can be a serious keeper in the right conditions.

Warning:
If the keeper pothole in the final slot is medium full where you will need to be swimming to start the exit, it can be difficult to exit the pothole (ask me how I know this). The walls are coated in slick clay and exiting the pothole is into a narrow rolling slot with no features to grab.  The exit is also narrow which limits your mobility a lot.  As with all potholes, DO NOT send the entire party into the pothole until you have someone out the other side.

Optionally you can go down TOD to the top of the final slot then reverse back up canyon to exit or go over to the exit and downclimb to the Escalante River and back up for a side trip skipping the final slot. However, completing the final slot is recommended. If you do not drop down the final slot of TOD you will miss the more challenging section of canyon, not see the huge chamber at the bottom and not get to go down to the Escalante River.

Note:
The right fork of TOD up canyon of where I have the head of the canyon labeled has a series of 5 or 6 potholes that are easy to bypass. These potholes are about 1000 feet up canyon of the head / confluence of the forks in the right fork and could offer some watertrap practice with drops of about 15 to 20 feet for those interested.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the city of Escalante drive about 9.6 miles east on Hwy 12 to the turn off on the right (south) to the Old Sheffield Road (extOldShefldRd).
OR
From the town of Boulder drive about 15 miles west on Hwy 12 to a turn off on the left (south) to the Old Sheffield Road (extOldShefldRd).

Note:
The Old Sheffield road is also referred to as Spencer Flats Road.

Turn south off of highway 12 onto the Old Sheffield Road.  Follow south down the Old Sheffield Road staying on the main dirt road passing the small side roads about the way.  

About 5.7 miles after leaving highway 12 is a junction (ExSpencDhole) where the main road makes a sweeping right hand turn going south and a less traveled looking road continues straight (east).

Note:
Following the right hand bend to go south goes out to an old drill hole site about 2.8 miles south.

Following the less traveled road to the east can be driven about 0.9 miles to a large sandstone patio for parking just before the road becomes too sandy for vehicles. To go to the Spencer Canyon or TOD Canyon parking area continue straight (east) to the sandstone patio parking. A carefully driven passenger car can sometimes drive this sandy and deeply rutted road but high clearance and 4WD may be useful.

To go to Spencer or TOD (Temple of Doom) Canyon continue east about 0.9 miles to the large sandstone patio parking area (PkOldSheff).  Park here to start the route.

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is needed.  This is done as a loop / 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.
Zoomed in Map of the upper section section.
Zoomed in Map of the lower section section.

Details

The Approach:
From the large slickrock parking spot (PkOldSheff) walk east on the sandy Old Sheffield Road about 0.3 miles to another large slickrock (OldSheff01) area in the dirt road (about 350 feet before reaching this is a smaller slickrock area).

Continue east along the sandy road about 500 feet to where the road gets to the bottom of a sand hill in the road (jSpencer1-TOD).  To go to TOD or Entry Fork 1 for Spencer Canyon turn left and leave the road walking north perpendicular to the road. The slope of the ground will make you want to veer right (more east). Resist the urge and walk perpendicular to the road about 700 feet to where the route starts to meet rolling slickrock. Walking perpendicular to the road will get you to slickrock faster for easier travel.

Note:
You can leave the road almost anywhere since it is open desert and easy terrain. This point was chosen to reduce the amount of sand walking. Leaving the road here will get you to slickrock to walk on about 700 feet to the northwest.

About 700 feet from the road the route begins to cross slickrock (TOD-01) and travel gets easier.  Continue north along a mix of rolling slickrock and dirt for about 750 feet to a minor top out.

Note:
If you were going to Entry Fork 1 for Spencer Canyon you would turn right to walk northeast along rolling slickrock

From the minor top out (TOD-02) you have good views over the area. Continue just east of north along rolling slickrock and dirt toward the break between mesas about 1.8 miles away. That break is the start of TOD.

Example Pic.

Continue north about 0.27 miles to another minor top out (TOD-03) in the mix of slickrock and dirt. From here continue to route find your way just east of north toward the break between mesas.

About 0.53 miles farther is a sharp turn (TOD-04) in this shallow upper fork of TOD. From here follow north along the side of shallow sandy wash toward the break between mesas. The upper portion of this drainage is a little thick. Travel is easier to stay up on the side and rim walk along it.

Note:
Be sure the drainage you are following is traveling down toward the break between mesas. If the drainage is instead traveling toward the large canyon system to that you could see much earlier in the approach and you may be mistakenly dropping into Spencer Canyon.

About 0.36 miles farther two minor forks join (TOD-05). Drop back into the wash and continue north down the wash.

About 0.33 miles farther a minor side fork joins from LDC (TOD-06) and the main wash takes a right turn and continues down to TOD.

About 0.3 miles farther is a drop (TOD-07) of about 50 feet that is bypassed on the RDC side.  Then route find along the side of the drainage for about 700 feet down to a large confluence of forks. From here you begin to notice that this area is a complex mixing of wash and cross joint like side ravines.

About 700 feet farther is the top of TOD (Temple of Doom) Canyon (yTOD-Tp) where the shallow upper forks join forming the top of TOD. 

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
From the top of TOD (Temple of Doom) Canyon (yTOD-Tp) downclimb a drop of about 10 feet to a pothole that could be waist deep if full and easy to get out of.  Between here and rap 1 are 2 pools over about 150 feet.  The first pool has downclimb of about 5 feet to a pool to swim / wade.  The second pool has a drop of about 8 feet with the last 3 feet being a drop off and is also a swim or deep wade.

Rap 1 (d-TOD-R1) is anchored by scrambling up a few feet on the LDC side to a small shrub and drops about 30 feet into a deep water filled slot where you will wade / swim. Optionally a sandtrap could be used by climbing up on the RDC side to ledge / side slot with a lot of sand.

At the bottom of rap 1 is a water filled narrow slot where you will swim for abut 40 feet then a downclimb of about 5 feet to a short pool to swim then one more stem style downclimb of about 10 feet to another narrow water filled slot to swim. A portion of that final slot is very narrow and you will need to take your pack off and squeeze through while swimming. Stemming up over the water is next to impossible due to slick mud.

Rap 1 and the long swim after it can be bypassed if desired by scrambling up and over LDC from the top of rap 1 then back down sloped slickrock to the canyon floor past the water filled slot.

Just after the narrow swims after rap 1 is a short open area (TOD-08) just before another slot begins. If you bypassed rap 1 this is where you would drop back down into the canyon.  Just past here is a slot of about 200 feet long with a couple small downclimbs and some water to swim.

Next is a short open section (TOD-09) where a ravine drops in on the LDC side.  Remember this spot as you will be scrambling part way up this ravine while reversing portions of the canyon to exit.

A short distance farther will be the up canyon end (TOD-10) of a deep narrow water filled slot about 400 feet long. At the start of this slot is a short downclimb to the water filled floor.  Optionally bypass the drop by scrambling up to a shelf on the RDC side then go down a ramp to bypass this first section of water.   Remember this ramp as you will going up it while reversing portions of the canyon to exit.  Just after is a stem style downclimb of about 10 feet to more water to wade / swim.  Evaluate the 10 foot narrow downclimb as you go since you will need to come back up this for the short exit.  If in doubt send one person down then back up this drop to be sure you can reverse it when exiting.

From the lower end of the long wade / swim slot (TOD-11) starts a short open section to walk down to another short slot. 

The next slot is about 130 feet long with a deep pothole to swim and will likely require partner assist to get up out of.  From the lower end of the slot (TOD-12) is a very short open spot before getting to another short slot.

This next short slot (TOD-13) has a 15 foot difficult downclimb at the start where you will likely need to fall / jump down to water of unknown depth. We bypassed this slot scrambling up steep slickrock to go up and over on the RDC side to rap 2 to rappel back down to the canyon floor.

Rap 2 (d-TOD-R2) is anchored from a tree on the RDC rim and drops about 30 feet back to the canyon floor. This rap is accessed after going up and over to bypass a short slot with a difficult downclimb to a pool. At the bottom of rap 2 is short narrow water filled slot to swim before another short open section.

At the end of the open section (TOD-14) a side ravine drops in on the LDC / RUC side.  Remember this spot as you will scramble up the nose on the LDC side by this ravine while reversing portions of the canyon to exit.  Continue about 100 feet down to the start of an 800 foot long corridor.

From the start of the 800 foot long corridor (TOD-15) it is a scenic easy walk to the other end (TOD-16). 

After the corridor the canyon opens to some wide easy sand walking for about 500 feet to the start of the final narrows.

From the start of the final narrows (TOD-17) it is about 60 feet to Rap 3.  This final slot is where the difficult technical portion is depending on water conditions.  This section of canyon has keeper pothole that can be difficult to exit.  If you do not want to do this lower slot you can reverse up canyon to begin the exit now.

Rap 3 (d-TOD-R3-4) is anchored using a sandtrap and uses about 50 feet of rope travel over two stages with a keeper pothole at the bottom of the first stage. If the pothole midway through this rap is not full of water it can be a very difficult challenge to get out of. The exit of the pothole is very narrow which greatly limits your mobility to climb out and the walls are coated with a thick layer of super slick clay like mud. You will need a potshot tossed with significant weight to assist you out.

Rap 4 (about 50 feet down canyon) is anchored from rocks and drops about 85 feet down into a large deep chamber like room.

Note:
A fun view of things when down in the chamber is to walk / crawl out on the LDC ledge in the chamber after rap 4. There is one narrow spot in the ledge to duck past.

From the bottom of rap 4 galumph down the crack to the end to a final downclimb (TOD-18) of about 8 feet to a pool with an uneven bottom. Sending down at least two people on meat anchor and having them partner assist others down works well for this drop. The pool at the bottom of the final downclimb would likely be a swimmer but carefully walking on sloped rock under the water on the RDC side goes go around in waist deep water.

Walk about 130 feet out to the Escalante River (yTODBt).

The Exit:
When you get out to the Escalante River (yTODBt) turn left and walk north up the Escalante River about 850 feet to the climb out spot on the left (west) side on the inside of a left turn.

Note:
About 90 feet up stream from the bottom of TOD is a cave like feature (TOD-Cave) you can scramble up into on the left (west). This is not the cave like feature used to identify the climb out crack which is about 800 feet farther north up the Escalante River.

The spot to climb up out of the Escalante River (TOD-ShortExt1) is up along a crack on the left (west) side as you walk north up river around a left turn.  The climb out crack is jagged looking providing features that work well for foot placement.  The first 15 feet are almost vertical then the wall gradually becomes less steep allowing you to scramble up to the shelf above.

Note:
To help identify you have the correct spot to climb out you can walk about 150 feet farther up the Escalante River and see a cave about 35 feet up from the canyon floor.  Unlike the cave near the bottom of TOD this cave has a vertical wall below it that you can not climb up to get to the cave.  A little farther up the Escalante from the cave is where the canyon walls become vertical and extend upward over 100 feet.  The climb out crack is about 150 feet downstream (back toward TOD) of the cave.

Example Pic.

Example Pic.

About 15 feet to the right (north) of this jagged crack is a minor cleft / crack in the wall with a set of moki steps running up next to that crack. Climbing up the moki steps is more difficult and exposed than going up the jagged crack. However, looking for the moki steps is also a good way of knowing you are at the correct exit spot.

After scrambling up to the shelf above the Escalante River (TOD-ShortExt2) veer left to walk south and route find your way about 700 feet over and back down into TOD just above the final slot. On the way try to stay off of the crypto. Walking closer to the rim has less crypto and offers interesting views down into large cracks.

Once back down in TOD just above the final slot (TOD-17) walk about 500 feet up canyon to the lower end of the 800 foot walk through corridor (TOD-16) then walk up the corridor.

From the upper end of the corridor (TOD-15) continue up canyon for about 100 feet to a ravine on the RUC (north) side.

From the ravine (TOD-14) climb / scramble up a nose on the RUC (north) side between the ravine and the slot leading up to rap 2. To scramble up the nose you will need to walk about 40 feet up the ravine to find a ramp to scramble up. Once up the nose route find your way west up canyon along the rim a little over 200 feet a ravine to cross (TOD-ShortExt3).

Example Pic.

While route finding along the rim, cross the ravine (TOD-ShortExt3) then scramble west up the steep slickrock on the other side.

Note:
You could follow the ravine down into the canyon but doing so will lead to slots you will not be able to upclimb. Continue along the rim to exit.

A little over 400 feet farther along the rim find your way back down into the canyon to the lower end of a 400 foot long slot (TOD-11).  Go up this slot where you will swim / wade up the slot. About mid way back up this slot will be a 10 foot stem style upclimb that is very secure using back on one wall and knees on the other.  As you get to the upper end of the slot note a ramp on the LUC (south) side that you can walk up to bypass the drop at the top of this slot.  These two spots you should remember from descending the canyon.

Example Pic.

From the upper end of the 400 foot long slot (TOD-10) continue up canyon about 125 feet to a ravine (TOD-09) on the right (north).  Scramble up the gently sloped slickrock on the RUC (north) side just up canyon of the side ravine. Then route find along the rim about 650 feet to where you can scramble back down into open wash up canyon of the head of TOD (TOD-ShortExt4).

Once down in the wash above the head of TOD (TOD-ShortExt4) you are in the left fork above the head.  Turn left to walk about 100 feet down the wash to the head of the canyon where the upper forks join (yTOD-Tp).

Note:
From where you dropped into the north fork above the head it looks like a good idea to start walking up the wash to exit back to the cars. Unfortunately exiting up the wide sand wash leads to short sections of potholes to walk around and more convoluted cross joints to navigate around.  The best option is to go back the head of TOD then reverse the exit back to the cars.

From the head walk a short distance up canyon then go up the LUC side to get around a drop.  From the top of the drop (TOD-07) continue southwest up the wash reversing the approach route back to the cars (PkOldSheff). 

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.

TOD 1 - Drive to Trailhead
  1. extOldShefldRd          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74259   W -111.44767        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trun off to the Old Sheffield Raod. There are no signs indication what road you are turning onto. Note: The Old Sheffield road is also referred to as Spencer Flats Road.
  2. ExSpencDhole          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.71297   W -111.37347        Elev: NaN Feet
    Junction where the main road makes a sweeping right hand turn going south and a less traveled looking road continues straight (east). Note: Following the right hand bend to go south goes out to an old drill hole site about 2.8 miles south. Following the less traveled road to the east can be driven about 0.9 miles to a large sandstone patio for parking just before the road becomes too sandy for vehicles. To go to the Spencer Canyon or TOD Canyon parking area continue straight (east) to the sandstone patio parking. A carefully driven passenger car can sometimes drive this sandy and deeply rutted road but high clearance and 4WD may be useful.
  3. PkOldSheff          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.71035   W -111.35755        Elev: 5,790 Feet
    Parking area where the Old Sheffield Road begins to turn very sandy and walking is the best idea. Park in this large flat slickrock area large enough for several cars. This parking spot is used to start the routes for Spencer Canyon, TOD (Temple of Doom) Canyon and the hike to the Cosmic Orange Juicer.
TOD 2 - Approach
  1. PkOldSheff          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.71035   W -111.35755        Elev: 5,790 Feet
    Parking area where the Old Sheffield Road begins to turn very sandy and walking is the best idea. Park in this large flat slickrock area large enough for several cars. This parking spot is used to start the routes for Spencer Canyon, TOD (Temple of Doom) Canyon and the hike to the Cosmic Orange Juicer.
  2. OldSheff01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.70878   W -111.35222        Elev: NaN Feet
    A very large slickrock area in the dirt road. About 350 feet before reaching this is a smaller slickrock area.
  3. jSpencer1-TOD          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.70846   W -111.35030        Elev: 5,770 Feet
    The road gets to the bottom of a sand hill in the road and about 500 feet after walking past the huge slickrock area. To go to TOD or Entry Fork 1 for Spencer Canyon turn left and leave the road walking north perpendicular to the road. The slope of the ground will make you want to veer right (more east). Resist the urge and walk perpendicular to the road about 700 feet to where the route starts to meet rolling slickrock. Walking perpendicular to the road will get you to slickrock faster for easier travel. Note: You can leave the road almost anywhere since it is open desert and easy terrain. This point was chosen to reduce the amount of sand walking. Leaving the road here will get you to slickrock to walk on about 700 feet to the northwest. To go to the Entry Fork 2 for Spencer Canyon or hike out to the Cosmic Orange Juicer continue east on the sandy road.
  4. TOD-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.71019   W -111.34952        Elev: NaN Feet
    Route begins to cross slickrock and travel gets easier. To go to Entry Fork 1 for Spencer Canyon turn right to walk northeast along rolling slickrock about 0.4 miles to drop into Entry Fork 1. If you stay close along the edge of slickrock and sand you will get to the entry fork 1 near its head. If you travel a little more north farther out into the slickrock area you may drop into the drainage a little farther down. It is not important to keep an exact bearing as you will be able to scramble down into the entry fork in one of many places. To go to TOD Canyon continue north along a mix of rolling slickrock and dirt for about 750 feet to a minor top out.
  5. TOD-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.71230   W -111.34868        Elev: NaN Feet
    A minor top out in the slickrock where you have good views over the area. Continue just east of north along rolling slickrock and dirt toward the break between mesas about 1.8 miles away. That break is the start of TOD. Note: To the right (east) is a very large canyon system you can see which is entry fork 1 for Spencer Canyon.
  6. TOD-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.71611   W -111.34778        Elev: NaN Feet
    Another minor top out in the mix of slickrock and dirt. From here continue to route find your way just east of north toward the break between mesas.
  7. TOD-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.72333   W -111.34415        Elev: 5,690 Feet
    A sharp turn in this shallow upper fork of TOD. From here follow north along the side of shallow sandy wash toward the break between mesas. The upper portion of this drainage is a little thick. Travel is easier to stay up on the side and rim walk along it. Note: Be sure the drainage you are following is traveling down toward the break between mesas. If the drainage is instead traveling toward the large canyon system to that you could see much earlier in the approach and you may be mistakenly dropping into Spencer Canyon.
  8. TOD-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.72839   W -111.34430        Elev: NaN Feet
    Two minor forks join. Drop back into the wash and continue north down the wash.
  9. TOD-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73295   W -111.34559        Elev: NaN Feet
    Minor side fork joins from LDC and the main wash takes a right turn and continues down to TOD.
  10. TOD-07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73581   W -111.34143        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bypass a drop of about 50 feet on the RDC side and route find along the side of the drainage for about 700 feet down to a large confluence of forks. From here you begin to notice that this area is a complex mixing of wash and cross joint like side ravines.
  11. yTOD-Tp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73735   W -111.34129        Elev: 5,270 Feet
    Top of TOD (Temple of Doom) Canyon where the shallow upper forks join forming the top of TOD. Downclimb a drop of about 10 feet to a pothole that could be waist deep if full and easy to get out of. Between here and rap 1 are 2 pools over about 150 feet. The first pool has downclimb of about 5 feet to a pool to swim / wade. The second pool has a drop of about 8 feet with the last 3 feet being a drop off and is also a swim or deep wade. Exit Note: On the exit walk south up the left fork back the way you came. You will need to scramble up around the 50 foot drop you bypassed on the way in. After getting above the drop in the wash reverse the approach route back to the trailhead.
TOD 2 - Canyon
  1. yTOD-Tp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73735   W -111.34129        Elev: 5,270 Feet
    Top of TOD (Temple of Doom) Canyon where the shallow upper forks join forming the top of TOD. Downclimb a drop of about 10 feet to a pothole that could be waist deep if full and easy to get out of. Between here and rap 1 are 2 pools over about 150 feet. The first pool has downclimb of about 5 feet to a pool to swim / wade. The second pool has a drop of about 8 feet with the last 3 feet being a drop off and is also a swim or deep wade. Exit Note: On the exit walk south up the left fork back the way you came. You will need to scramble up around the 50 foot drop you bypassed on the way in. After getting above the drop in the wash reverse the approach route back to the trailhead.
  2. d-TOD-R1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73760   W -111.34077        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 - TOD. Anchored by scrambling up a few feet on the LDC side to a small shrub and drops about 30 feet into a deep water filled slot where you will wade / swim. Optionally a sandtrap could be used by climbing up on the RDC side to ledge / side slot with a lot of sand. At the bottom of rap 1 is a water filled narrow slot where you will swim for abut 40 feet then a downclimb of about 5 feet to a short pool to swim then one more stem style downclimb of about 10 feet to another narrow water filled slot to swim. A portion of that final slot is very narrow and you will need to take your pack off and squeeze through while swimming. Stemming up over the water is next to impossible due to slick mud. Rap 1 and the long swim after it can be bypassed if desired by scrambling up and over LDC from the top of rap 1 then back down sloped slickrock to the canyon floor past the water filled slot.
  3. TOD-08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73793   W -111.34039        Elev: NaN Feet
    Short open area after the slot below rap 1 just before another slot begins. If you bypassed rap 1 this is where you would drop back down into the canyon. Just past here is a slot of about 200 feet long with a couple small downclimbs and some water to swim.
  4. TOD-09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73824   W -111.33977        Elev: NaN Feet
    On the way down canyon this is the end of some pools to swim and a short open section where a ravine drops in on the LDC side. Exit Note: On the exit scramble up the gently sloped slickrock on the RUC (north) side just up canyon of the side ravine. Then route find along the rim about 650 feet to where you can scramble back down into open wash up canyon of the head of TOD.
  5. TOD-10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73812   W -111.33929        Elev: NaN Feet
    This is the up canyon end of a deep narrow water filled slot about 400 feet long. At the start of this slot is a short downclimb to the water filled floor. Optionally bypass the drop by scrambling up to a shelf on the RDC side then go down a ramp to bypass this first section of water. Remember this ramp as you will going up it while reversing portions of the canyon to exit. Just after is a stem style downclimb of about 10 feet to more water to wade / swim. Evaluate the 10 foot narrow downclimb as you go since you will need to come back up this for the short exit. If in doubt send one person down then back up this drop to be sure you can reverse it when exiting. Exit Note: After exiting the upper end of this slot continue up canyon about 125 feet to a ravine on the right (north). You will scramble up to the rim again just up canyon of the ravine.
  6. TOD-11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73868   W -111.33813        Elev: NaN Feet
    Lower end of a long wade / swim slot. A short open section to walk down to another short slot. Exit Note: On the exit return up this slot where you will swim / wade up the slot. About mid way back up this slot will be a 10 foot stem style upclimb that is very secure using back on one wall and knees on the other. As you get to the upper end of the slot note a ramp on the LUC (south) side that you can walk up to bypass the drop at the top of this slot. These two spots you should remember from descending the canyon.
  7. TOD-12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73900   W -111.33739        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down canyon end of a slot about 130 feet long with a deep pothole to swim and will likely require partner assist to get up out of. Then a very short open spot before getting to another short slot.
  8. TOD-13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73915   W -111.33721        Elev: NaN Feet
    Short slot with a 15 foot difficult downclimb at the start where you will likely need to fall / jump down to water of unknown depth. We bypassed this slot scrambling up steep slickrock to go up and over on the RDC side to rap 2 to rappel back down to the canyon floor.
  9. d-TOD-R2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73950   W -111.33730        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 - TOD is anchored from a tree on the RDC rim and drops about 30 feet back to the canyon floor. This rap is accessed after going up and over to bypass a short slot with a difficult downclimb to a pool. At the bottom of rap 2 is short narrow water filled slot to swim before another short open section.
  10. TOD-14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73979   W -111.33678        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down canyon end of a narrow slot after rap 2 where a side ravine drops in on the LDC / RUC side. Remember this spot as you will scramble up the nose on the LDC side by this ravine while reversing portions of the canyon to exit. Continue about 100 feet down to the start of an 800 foot long corridor. Exit Note: On the exit from TOD climb / scramble up a nose on the RUC (north) side between the ravine and the slot leading up to rap 2. To scramble up the nose you will need to walk about 40 feet up the ravine to find a ramp to scramble up. Once up the nose route find your way west up canyon along the rim a little over 200 feet a ravine to cross.
  11. TOD-15          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73983   W -111.33643        Elev: NaN Feet
    Upper end of an 800 foot long narrow coridoor to walk that is very scenic to be in. Exit Note: On the exit continue up canyon after exiting the top end of the corridor for about 100 feet to a ravine on the RUC (north) side.
  12. TOD-16          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74078   W -111.33396        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down canyon end of an 800 foot coridoor. The canyon opens to some wide easy sand walking for about 500 feet to the start of the final narrows. Exit Note: On the exit continue up canyon walking through this corridor.
  13. TOD-17          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74136   W -111.33235        Elev: 5,110 Feet
    Start of the final slot of TOD. It is about 60 feet to Rap 3. This final slot is where the difficult technical portion is depending on water conditions. This section of canyon has keeper pothole that can be difficult to exit. If you do not want to do this lower slot you can reverse up canyon to begin the exit now.
  14. d-TOD-R3-4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74135   W -111.33211        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 3 and 4 - TOD. Rap 3 is about 60 feet into the final slot and is anchored using a sandtrap and uses about 50 feet of rope travel over two stages with a keeper pothole at the bottom of the first stage. If the pothole midway through this rap is not full of water it can be a very difficult challenge to get out of. The exit of the pothole is very narrow which greatly limits your mobility to climb out and the walls are coated with a thick layer of super slick clay like mud. You will need a potshot tossed with significant weight to assist you out. Rap 4 (about 50 feet down canyon) is anchored from rocks and drops about 85 feet down into a large deep chamber like room. Note: A fun view of things when down in the chamber is to walk / crawl out on the LDC ledge in the chamber after rap 4. There is one narrow spot in the ledge to duck past.
  15. TOD-18          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74139   W -111.33162        Elev: NaN Feet
    From the bottom of rap 4 galumph down the crack to the end to a final downclimb (TOD-18) of about 8 feet to a pool with an uneven bottom. Sending down at least two people on meat anchor and having them partner assist others down works well for this drop. The pool at the bottom of the final downclimb would likely be a swimmer but carefully walking on sloped rock under the water on the RDC side goes go around in waist deep water. Walk about 130 feet out to the Escalante River.
  16. yTODBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74138   W -111.33114        Elev: 4,920 Feet
    Bottom of TOD where it meets the Escalante River. To go to the short exit of TOD turn left and walk north up the Escalante River about 850 feet to the climb out spot on the left (west) side on the inside of a left turn. Note: About 90 feet up stream from the bottom of TOD is a cave like feature you can scramble up into on the left (west). This is not the cave like feature used to identify the climb out crack which is about 800 feet farther north up the Escalante River.
TOD 3 - Exit
  1. yTODBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74138   W -111.33114        Elev: 4,920 Feet
    Bottom of TOD where it meets the Escalante River. To go to the short exit of TOD turn left and walk north up the Escalante River about 850 feet to the climb out spot on the left (west) side on the inside of a left turn. Note: About 90 feet up stream from the bottom of TOD is a cave like feature you can scramble up into on the left (west). This is not the cave like feature used to identify the climb out crack which is about 800 feet farther north up the Escalante River.
  2. TOD-Cave          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74159   W -111.33116        Elev: NaN Feet
    Cave / slot in the cliff wall about 90 feet north (upstream) of TOD.
  3. TOD-ShortExt1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74348   W -111.33039        Elev: 4,910 Feet
    Climb / scramble up out of the Escalante here to start the short exit for TOD (Temple of Doom) Canyon. The climb out crack is on the left (west) side as you walk north up river around a left turn. The climb out crack is jagged looking providing features that work well for foot placement. The first 15 feet are almost vertical then the wall gradually becomes less steep allowing you to scramble up to the shelf above. Note: To help identify you have the correct spot to climb out you can walk about 150 feet farther up the Escalante River and see a cave about 35 feet up from the canyon floor. Unlike the cave near the bottom of TOD this cave has a vertical wall below it that you can not climb up to get to the cave. A little farther up the Escalante from the cave is where the canyon walls become vertical and extend upward over 100 feet. The climb out crack is about 150 feet downstream (back toward TOD) of the cave. About 15 feet to the right (north) of this jagged crack is a minor cleft / crack in the wall with a set of moki steps running up next to that crack. Climbing up the moki steps is more difficult and exposed than going up the jagged crack. However, looking for the moki steps is also a good way of knowing you are at the correct exit spot.
  4. TOD-ShortExt2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74322   W -111.33134        Elev: NaN Feet
    After scrambling up to the shelf above the Escalante River veer left to walk south and route find your way about 700 feet over and back down into TOD just above the final slot. On the way try to stay off of the crypto. Walking closer to the rim has less crypto and offers interesting views down into large cracks.
  5. TOD-17          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74136   W -111.33235        Elev: 5,110 Feet
    Start of the final slot of TOD. It is about 60 feet to Rap 3. This final slot is where the difficult technical portion is depending on water conditions. This section of canyon has keeper pothole that can be difficult to exit. If you do not want to do this lower slot you can reverse up canyon to begin the exit now.
  6. TOD-16          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74078   W -111.33396        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down canyon end of an 800 foot coridoor. The canyon opens to some wide easy sand walking for about 500 feet to the start of the final narrows. Exit Note: On the exit continue up canyon walking through this corridor.
  7. TOD-15          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73983   W -111.33643        Elev: NaN Feet
    Upper end of an 800 foot long narrow coridoor to walk that is very scenic to be in. Exit Note: On the exit continue up canyon after exiting the top end of the corridor for about 100 feet to a ravine on the RUC (north) side.
  8. TOD-14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73979   W -111.33678        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down canyon end of a narrow slot after rap 2 where a side ravine drops in on the LDC / RUC side. Remember this spot as you will scramble up the nose on the LDC side by this ravine while reversing portions of the canyon to exit. Continue about 100 feet down to the start of an 800 foot long corridor. Exit Note: On the exit from TOD climb / scramble up a nose on the RUC (north) side between the ravine and the slot leading up to rap 2. To scramble up the nose you will need to walk about 40 feet up the ravine to find a ramp to scramble up. Once up the nose route find your way west up canyon along the rim a little over 200 feet a ravine to cross.
  9. TOD-ShortExt3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73958   W -111.33754        Elev: NaN Feet
    On the exit continue across this ravine and scramble west up the steep slickrock on the other side. Note: You could follow the ravine down into the canyon but doing so will lead to slots you will not be able to upclimb. Continue along the rim to exit.
  10. TOD-11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73868   W -111.33813        Elev: NaN Feet
    Lower end of a long wade / swim slot. A short open section to walk down to another short slot. Exit Note: On the exit return up this slot where you will swim / wade up the slot. About mid way back up this slot will be a 10 foot stem style upclimb that is very secure using back on one wall and knees on the other. As you get to the upper end of the slot note a ramp on the LUC (south) side that you can walk up to bypass the drop at the top of this slot. These two spots you should remember from descending the canyon.
  11. TOD-10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73812   W -111.33929        Elev: NaN Feet
    This is the up canyon end of a deep narrow water filled slot about 400 feet long. At the start of this slot is a short downclimb to the water filled floor. Optionally bypass the drop by scrambling up to a shelf on the RDC side then go down a ramp to bypass this first section of water. Remember this ramp as you will going up it while reversing portions of the canyon to exit. Just after is a stem style downclimb of about 10 feet to more water to wade / swim. Evaluate the 10 foot narrow downclimb as you go since you will need to come back up this for the short exit. If in doubt send one person down then back up this drop to be sure you can reverse it when exiting. Exit Note: After exiting the upper end of this slot continue up canyon about 125 feet to a ravine on the right (north). You will scramble up to the rim again just up canyon of the ravine.
  12. TOD-09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73824   W -111.33977        Elev: NaN Feet
    On the way down canyon this is the end of some pools to swim and a short open section where a ravine drops in on the LDC side. Exit Note: On the exit scramble up the gently sloped slickrock on the RUC (north) side just up canyon of the side ravine. Then route find along the rim about 650 feet to where you can scramble back down into open wash up canyon of the head of TOD.
  13. TOD-ShortExt4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73746   W -111.34163        Elev: NaN Feet
    On the exit from TOD this is where you can see wide sandy wash up canyon and you can easily scramble down into the wash. Once down in the wash turn left to walk about 100 feet down the wash to the head of the canyon where the upper forks join. Note: From here it looks like a good idea to start walking up the wash to exit back to the cars. Unfortunately exiting up the wide sand wash leads to short sections of potholes to walk around and more convoluted cross joints to navigate around.
  14. yTOD-Tp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73735   W -111.34129        Elev: 5,270 Feet
    Top of TOD (Temple of Doom) Canyon where the shallow upper forks join forming the top of TOD. Downclimb a drop of about 10 feet to a pothole that could be waist deep if full and easy to get out of. Between here and rap 1 are 2 pools over about 150 feet. The first pool has downclimb of about 5 feet to a pool to swim / wade. The second pool has a drop of about 8 feet with the last 3 feet being a drop off and is also a swim or deep wade. Exit Note: On the exit walk south up the left fork back the way you came. You will need to scramble up around the 50 foot drop you bypassed on the way in. After getting above the drop in the wash reverse the approach route back to the trailhead.
  15. TOD-07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73581   W -111.34143        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bypass a drop of about 50 feet on the RDC side and route find along the side of the drainage for about 700 feet down to a large confluence of forks. From here you begin to notice that this area is a complex mixing of wash and cross joint like side ravines.
  16. TOD-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.73295   W -111.34559        Elev: NaN Feet
    Minor side fork joins from LDC and the main wash takes a right turn and continues down to TOD.
  17. TOD-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.72839   W -111.34430        Elev: NaN Feet
    Two minor forks join. Drop back into the wash and continue north down the wash.
  18. TOD-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.72333   W -111.34415        Elev: 5,690 Feet
    A sharp turn in this shallow upper fork of TOD. From here follow north along the side of shallow sandy wash toward the break between mesas. The upper portion of this drainage is a little thick. Travel is easier to stay up on the side and rim walk along it. Note: Be sure the drainage you are following is traveling down toward the break between mesas. If the drainage is instead traveling toward the large canyon system to that you could see much earlier in the approach and you may be mistakenly dropping into Spencer Canyon.
  19. TOD-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.71611   W -111.34778        Elev: NaN Feet
    Another minor top out in the mix of slickrock and dirt. From here continue to route find your way just east of north toward the break between mesas.
  20. TOD-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.71230   W -111.34868        Elev: NaN Feet
    A minor top out in the slickrock where you have good views over the area. Continue just east of north along rolling slickrock and dirt toward the break between mesas about 1.8 miles away. That break is the start of TOD. Note: To the right (east) is a very large canyon system you can see which is entry fork 1 for Spencer Canyon.
  21. TOD-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.71019   W -111.34952        Elev: NaN Feet
    Route begins to cross slickrock and travel gets easier. To go to Entry Fork 1 for Spencer Canyon turn right to walk northeast along rolling slickrock about 0.4 miles to drop into Entry Fork 1. If you stay close along the edge of slickrock and sand you will get to the entry fork 1 near its head. If you travel a little more north farther out into the slickrock area you may drop into the drainage a little farther down. It is not important to keep an exact bearing as you will be able to scramble down into the entry fork in one of many places. To go to TOD Canyon continue north along a mix of rolling slickrock and dirt for about 750 feet to a minor top out.
  22. jSpencer1-TOD          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.70846   W -111.35030        Elev: 5,770 Feet
    The road gets to the bottom of a sand hill in the road and about 500 feet after walking past the huge slickrock area. To go to TOD or Entry Fork 1 for Spencer Canyon turn left and leave the road walking north perpendicular to the road. The slope of the ground will make you want to veer right (more east). Resist the urge and walk perpendicular to the road about 700 feet to where the route starts to meet rolling slickrock. Walking perpendicular to the road will get you to slickrock faster for easier travel. Note: You can leave the road almost anywhere since it is open desert and easy terrain. This point was chosen to reduce the amount of sand walking. Leaving the road here will get you to slickrock to walk on about 700 feet to the northwest. To go to the Entry Fork 2 for Spencer Canyon or hike out to the Cosmic Orange Juicer continue east on the sandy road.
  23. OldSheff01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.70878   W -111.35222        Elev: NaN Feet
    A very large slickrock area in the dirt road. About 350 feet before reaching this is a smaller slickrock area.
  24. PkOldSheff          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.71035   W -111.35755        Elev: 5,790 Feet
    Parking area where the Old Sheffield Road begins to turn very sandy and walking is the best idea. Park in this large flat slickrock area large enough for several cars. This parking spot is used to start the routes for Spencer Canyon, TOD (Temple of Doom) Canyon and the hike to the Cosmic Orange Juicer.