Canyoneering Route Description

Blarney Canyon - Right (east) Fork - 3B I
North Wash, Utah.

Quick Facts

05-28-10, 1 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 2 hours) Pictures Icon
05-29-10, 2 people, 1 Day (Time Unknown) - Did all seven Irish Canyons in a day with this being one of them.
10-21-12, 2 people, 1 Day (Upclimb of Canyon - Time to top of canyon 1.25 hours).
04-06-13, 2 people, 1 Day (Time Unknown) - Did all seven Irish Canyons in a day with this being one of them.
03-26-16, 5 people, 1 Day (Time Unknown) - Did all seven Irish Canyons in a day with this being one of them.

Time Required - 2 to 3 hours
Distance - 2.5 miles Total, 0.7 miles Technical
Rappels - 2 Rappels, Longest Rappel 40 feet.
Elevation Range - 4530 - 4955 Feet
Shuttle Required - No Vehicle - Passenger Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 40 feet and 30 feet of 1" webbing for sling placement.

General Comments

The approach to the Right Fork uses that same approach as used for the Left Fork of Blarney.  Once at the left fork you will continue roughly south east over the desert to the Right Fork.  The route description will refer to both the Right and Left Forks.  It is easy to mix things up so keep that in mind while reading.  

If you plan on doing only one fork of Blarney Canyon this is not it.  Do the Left (west Fork if you are only planning to do one fork as it offers a much better experience.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the junction of Utah highways 276 and 95, drive South on highway 95 about 1.5 miles to a turn off to a short dirt road (extBlarney).  The road drives straight back from the highway about 300 feet then turns left to drop down into the wash.  Park after the 300 feet of straight road before it turns (pkBlarney).  Optionally you can park out on the road and walk the 300 feet in.

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.

Details

The Approach:
From where you parked on the dirt road (pkBlarney) you will see the dirt road continue on into the wash that leads up into Blarney.  Walk north west across the road and follow a faint path up out of the wash the road was going up.  You will find yourself on a high spot between the wash the road was following and another drainage on the right (south west).   

Continue north west between these two drainages.  About 350 feet from the car will be the base of a slick rock slope (wBlarneyRP-01).  Scramble north up the sandstone slope to gain access to the ridge running between the two drainages. After about 375 feet the slope levels off a little but still continues climbing.   

After another 450 feet is a smooth sandstone high point along the ridge (wBlarneyRP-02).  From this smooth high point is a view of a huge rock face ahead about 500 feet away.  

Then another 300 feet is another high point that has more of a rock out cropping look (wBlarneyRP-03).  Skirt around the left (west) side of the high point and continue toward the huge rock face.  

After another 200 feet you will be at the base of the huge rock face (wBlarneyRP-04).  Follow a well worn trail around the left (west) side of the rock face.  

Another 550 feet will be a scramble up a section of slick rock (wBlarneyRP-05).  At the top of the slick rock the trail continues north and is still easy to follow.  The trail here is following the rim of the canyon on your right which is a side drainage of Blarney.   About another 350 feet will be another slick rock slope (wBlarneyRP-06) to scramble up about 50 or 60 feet high.  A cairn may be at the top to help guide you.  At the top the trail continues still roughly following the rim on the right (east) side.  

After the last slick rock scramble follow the well worn path about 0.3 miles to a junction in the trail (jBlarnyShilela).  To the left (north west) leads to the Right Fork of Shillelagh Canyon.  To the right (north east) leads to the Left Fork of Blarney Canyon.  

From the junction continue right toward the Left Fork of Blarney.  About 0.3 miles along the still easy to follow trail is another trail junction (wBlarneyRP-07).  The left is faint and not well traveled.  Instead continue right (east) on the still well worn trail following the rim of the Left Fork of Blarney.  You will have good views down into Blarney shortly before reaching this trail junction.  

About 650 feet after the trail junction the trail crosses over a drainage (yBlarneyLtFkTp).  This is the drainage you would drop into to start down the Left Fork of Blarney.  This route description is for the Right Fork of Blarney so continue with the approach directions to get over to the top of the Right Fork.  

After crossing the drainage (yBlarneyLtFkTp), continue east along the rim about 250 feet to the head of another drainage dropping into the Left Fork (wBlarneyRP-11).  This drainage is an alternate down climb to drop into the Left Fork.  

From the head of this drainage (wBlarneyRP-11) look east.  The desert in that direction is all red dirt.  You should notice a sandstone out cropping about 500 feet way.  Travel toward the out cropping and follow a drainage that leads up to a saddle to the right (south) of the out cropping.  

From the top of the saddle just south of the out cropping (wBlarneyRP-12) there will be a path leading south east toward the head of the Right Fork of Blarney Canyon.  The path quickly becomes a small shallow drainage running down toward the Right Fork as it winds down along the desert.  

About 500 feet down from the saddle after following the shallow drainage you will drop into a very wide open large wash (wBlarneyRP-13).  This wash leads down to the head of the Right Fork of Blarney.  

About 275 feet south down the wash is a drop of about 30 feet with a slope that can be down climbed.  The top of this slope is marked as the top entry for the Right Fork of Blarney Canyon (yBlarneyRtFkTp).

The Canyon / Technical Section:
From the top of the 30 foot drop at the head of the Right Fork of Blarney (yBlarneyRtFkTp) scramble down the slope to a large shelf below where you will find a cairn anchor for rap 1.  

Rap 1 (dBlarneyRtFkR1) is anchored from a cairn anchor and drops down a vertical wall.  At the base of the rappel is a 3 foot section where the wall is under cut.  A quick hop down will get you to the floor.  Rap 1 drops 40 feet total.  

There is another option for rap 1.  Instead of scrambling down the slope to rap 1, walk south along the RDC rim of the canyon about 150 feet.  There you will find a large rock used as an anchor to rap down a sloped wall to the canyon floor (dBlarnRtFkR1a).  The drop down to the canyon floor from the lip is right at 60 feet.  If the webbing from the anchor is not extended to the lip of the rap more than 60 feet of rope will be needed.  Using this option for rap 1 will increase the length of rope needed for the canyon.  Keep this in mind if you plan on using this option.  

Down canyon of rap 1 is easy walking on the flat sandy floor of the canyon.  

About 600 feet down canyon of rap 1 is the start of a narrow section (wBlarneyRP-14).  The drop down into the narrow section is about 10 feet.  The narrow section is not deep here but is very obviously different than the flat sandy wash you have been walking.  

About 150 feet down the narrows it begins to drop more aggressively with a few down climbs along the way.  The down climbs are short and simple stemming style.  This part of the slot is also very twisty and winding adding to the fun of feeling like being in a maze.  After the twisting down climbing stuff the narrows starts to drop a little less aggressively and opens up a little but only briefly.   

Next is a drop of about 12 feet down a narrow section of about 2 feet wide.  This is an easy stem down and is made a little easier if you stem up high and work down canyon about 20 feet then drop back down where it is a little wider.   

Shortly after this down climb the slot widens out a little and provides easy walking in the sand for about 400 feet to that start of another narrow section (wBlarneyRP-15).  

About 150 feet into this next narrow section is a down climb of about 8 feet over a wedged boulder.  Just after the 8 foot down climb is another drop of about 20 feet total which is arguably a rappel.  This will be called a rappel but a lot of people will find this a down climb.  

Rap 2 (dBlarneyRtFkR2) is anchored from one of a couple large choke stones at the top of the rap.  Rap 2 drops about 15 feet to a ledge.  It is an easy scramble 5 feet down the ledge to the canyon floor.  The top part of rap 2 is easily down climbed.  The bottom part is a little more difficult but not too hard for taller people since it widens out.  Shorter people or those not comfortable with this style of down climbing, will likely desire to rappel.  

Just after rap 2 is a down climb of about 10 feet.  The down climb is a very easy stemming style climb with lots of features on the wall to make things easy.   

Another 30 feet down canyon is another down climb of about 10 feet which is also an easy chimney down.   

Another 60 or 70 feet down canyon is a drop of about 10 feet.  The RDC wall is sloped enough to almost walk on. An easy way down this drop is to walk with your feet on the RDC wall and lean out over the drop with your hands on the LDC wall.  Work your way down canyon and follow the RDC wall down to the floor.  

A little over 100 feet farther down canyon is some rock fall debris (wBlarneyRP-16).  A huge boulder appears to block passage down canyon.  As you get closer you will see a large hole under the boulder with a down climb of about 8 feet to the canyon floor below.  

After climbing under the boulder it is easy walking in the sand about 250 feet to the confluence of the Left and Right Forks (jBlarneyLtRt).  

Down canyon of the junction the canyon stays wide and is easy walking along sand and slick rock.  

About 275 feet down canyon of the junction is a side drainage that joins in from RDC (wBlarneyRP-09).   

Another 0.2 miles down canyon another drainage joins in this time from LDC (wBlarneyRP-10).  

Another 500 feet down canyon is the start of another narrows that is only about 100 feet long.  At the lower end of the narrows is what I have marked as the bottom exit for the Blarney Canyons (yBlarneyBt) since the rest of the route is wide open easy walking in sand.

The Exit:
After exiting the 100 foot long narrows (yBlarneyBt) continue down canyon about 0.3 miles back to your car.

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.

Blarney Right Fork (1) - Approach
  1. extBlarney          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02044   W -110.54493        Elev: 4,510 Feet
    Exit for the dirt road into the bottom of Blarney Canyon.
  2. pkBlarney          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02120   W -110.54479        Elev: 4,530 Feet
    Park here on the dirt road a short distance from the highway to start Blarney Canyon or Shillelagh Canyon.
  3. wBlarneyRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02194   W -110.54538        Elev: NaN Feet
    Base of a sand stone slope leading up to the ridge between two drainages.
  4. wBlarneyRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02397   W -110.54431        Elev: NaN Feet
    Smooth sand stone high point on the ridge.
  5. wBlarneyRP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02484   W -110.54440        Elev: NaN Feet
    Another high point along the ridge that looks more like a rock out cropping.
  6. wBlarneyRP-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02542   W -110.54441        Elev: NaN Feet
    At the base of a huge rock face. Travel around the left (west) side of the rock face following a well worn trail.
  7. wBlarneyRP-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02664   W -110.54412        Elev: NaN Feet
    Scramble up a section of slick rock to find where the trail continues.
  8. wBlarneyRP-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02745   W -110.54399        Elev: 4,830 Feet
    Another slick rock slope to scramble up to find where the trail continues again.
  9. jBlarnyShilela          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03085   W -110.54269        Elev: 4,855 Feet
    Junction where the trail forks for either the West Fork of Blarney to the right (north east) or the East Fork of Shillelagh to the left (north west).
  10. wBlarneyRP-07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03305   W -110.54000        Elev: 4,857 Feet
    Another trail junction. Left is a fain path not well travelled. To the right (east) is a still well used path following the rim of the West Fork of Blarney.
  11. yBlarneyLtFkTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03410   W -110.53868        Elev: 4,857 Feet
    Top entry for the left(west) fork of Blarney Canyon. This is a side entry near the actual head of the canyon. The trail crosses the wash here.
  12. wBlarneyRP-11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03383   W -110.53801        Elev: 4,883 Feet
    Alternate entry down into the Left Fork of Blarney Canyon. The drop at the head of this drainage can be down climbed starting down the a slope LDC then working back into the drainage as you down climb. Contue down the drainage to drop to the canyon floor.
  13. wBlarneyRP-12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03354   W -110.53612        Elev: 4,955 Feet
    Top of a saddle just south of a sandstone out cropping. Trails here lead south east toward the head of the Right Fork of Blarney Canyon.
  14. wBlarneyRP-13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03228   W -110.53579        Elev: NaN Feet
    In the large drainage that leads down to the Right Fork of Blarney Canyon.
  15. yBlarneyRtFkTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03162   W -110.53623        Elev: 4,890 Feet
    Top entry for the Right (east) Fork of Blarney Canyon. This is at the top of a sloped down climb of about 30 feet down to a shelf where Rap 1 is located.
Blarney Right Fork (2) - Canyon and Exit
  1. yBlarneyRtFkTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03162   W -110.53623        Elev: 4,890 Feet
    Top entry for the Right (east) Fork of Blarney Canyon. This is at the top of a sloped down climb of about 30 feet down to a shelf where Rap 1 is located.
  2. dBlarneyRtFkR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03149   W -110.53621        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 - Blarney Right Fork. Anchored from a cairn anchor and drops about 40 feet.
  3. dBlarnRtFkR1a          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03124   W -110.53652        Elev: NaN Feet
    Alternate rap option for rap 1 in the Right Frk of Blarney. Anchored from a large rock aobut 15 feet back from the lip of the drop. The drop is right at 60 feet from the lip of the drop.
  4. wBlarneyRP-14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03014   W -110.53705        Elev: 4,850 Feet
    Start of a narrow section that is not deep but is very obvious. There is a down climb of about 10 feet to get down into the narrows.
  5. wBlarneyRP-15          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02904   W -110.53858        Elev: 4,756 Feet
    Start of the next narrow section.
  6. dBlarneyRtFkR2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02869   W -110.53908        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 - Blarney Right Fork. Anchored from one of a couple large choke stones and drops about 15 feet to a ledge. This will be easily down climbed by some people but not so easy for shorter people.
  7. wBlarneyRP-16          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02832   W -110.53993        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rock fall debris with a large boulder to down climb under to continue down canyon.
  8. jBlarneyLtRt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02835   W -110.54074        Elev: 4,847 Feet
    Junction where the left and right forks of Blarney join.
  9. wBlarneyRP-09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02817   W -110.54165        Elev: 4,833 Feet
    A short side drainages joins in from RDC.
  10. wBlarneyRP-10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02629   W -110.54205        Elev: 4,784 Feet
    Side drainage that joins in from LDC.
  11. yBlarneyBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02507   W -110.54285        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom exit of Blarney Canyon. This is just after a short tight narrows of about 100 feet long.
  12. pkBlarney          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02120   W -110.54479        Elev: 4,530 Feet
    Park here on the dirt road a short distance from the highway to start Blarney Canyon or Shillelagh Canyon.