Canyoneering Route Description

Leprechaun Canyon Left (west) Fork - 3A II
North Wash, Utah.

Quick Facts

04-30-10, 3 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 8 hours) both Left and Middle Forks in one trip. 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.
09-22-12, 8 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 4 hours)
04-06-13, 2 people, 1 Day (Time Unknown) - Did all seven Irish Canyons in a day with this being one of them.
04-07-13, 8 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 3.6 hours)
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 4 hours
Distance - 2.6 miles Total, 0.7 miles Technical
Rappels - 3 Rappels, Longest Rappel 35 feet.
Elevation Range - 4470 - 5000 Feet
Shuttle Required -No Vehicle - Passenger Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Warning:
Gear choices for skinny slots are different than wider canyons.  Think small, minimal and maybe even disposable where clothing is concerned.

Rappelling and anchor gear, rope and or pull cord for raps up to 35 feet and 40 feet of 1” webbing for sling placement.

General Comments

Warning:
Before going into this canyon, please take a moment to look at the warning page for skinny canyons.    

Leprechaun Canyon has 3 forks and is sometimes referred to as Mile 28.1 Canyon.  The Left Fork of Leprechaun Canyon is sometimes called Shamrock.  The Left Fork is not as narrow as the Middle Fork but you should still pack and clothe yourself as if going into a very narrow canyon.  See the Skinny Canyon Warning.  

It is suggested you remove your harness after each rappel to keep from shredding it while traveling the narrow sections and sliding down the walls on down climbs.  

If you would like to see some good stuff but do not want to do any technical stuff, the lower portion of the canyon can be accessed by hiking up canyon as far as you can from the trailhead.  The canyon will eventually get too tight for the casual hiker but there are some amazing things to see before you get turned back.  

Note:
While in the Middle Fork of Leprechaun, the Left Fork of Leprechaun and in Shenanigans (May 2010) there were a lot of names carved in the rock.  I know a lot of names in some areas have been there for a long time.  Other names though were very new.  We found one labeled as 2010.  It is sad that people do this and ruin the beauty for others that follow after.  A lot of this is definitely not the work of casual hikers as some of these names (including the one dated 2010) are well into the canyon after a rappel or two.  If you have the urge to scratch something in the rock, please resist the urge and keep things looking nice for others.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the junction of highways 276 and 95, travel south west on 95 two miles to a dirt road on the left (north east).  Turn left onto this dirt road (extLeprechaun) and park at a wide spot on the left about 300 feet from the highway (tLeprechaun).

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 the trailhead (tLeprechaun), walk north east up the wash.  An old dirt road follows part way up into the wash before fading away.  The canyon starts out wide with lots of brush and other plants along the way.  There are a few trails worn in and all go to the same place so follow whatever route looks good as long as you are staying in the wash and heading up canyon.  

0.5 miles up canyon from the trailhead is another drainage joining in from the left (west).  The gently sloped sandstone nose on the up canyon side of this drainage is the route you will take to start the climb up out of the wash.  The slope is so gentle in comparison to everything around which makes the route up so obvious you almost don’t need to give directions to it.  

From the start of the sandstone nose (wLepRP-01) walk up the slope staying slightly right of the crest. 

About 500 feet up the slope is an out cropping of rocks.  Follow around the right side of the largest part of it to find a small sandy level bowl.  Cross over the bowl and start up more steep slick rock along the ridge.   About 500 up the slick rock feet after the bowl is a small peak.  As the route to the peak begins to get too steep follow around the left (west) side of the peak then back onto the ridge top at a small slick rock saddle (wLepRP-02).  

When at the saddle take time to look north east over the Leprechaun Canyons.  You can clearly see the Left and Middle Forks.  The Right fork can be seen if you look close further up the Middle Fork from where the Left Fork obviously joins.  Further right is another drainage that has a vertical drop as it joins Leprechaun Canyon, this clearly visible drainage is not the Right Fork.  

About 300 feet from the saddle with the view is another sandstone peak along the ridge.  Travel over the peak and continue along slick rock to the top of the next sandstone peak about another 300 feet along the ridge (wLepRP-03).  

After another 300 or 400 feet a faint traveled path emerges in some dirt along the right (east) side of the ridge.  The path follows around the right (east) side of the crest of the ridge for about 200 feet then turns left (wLepRP-04) toward the top of the ridge to the west.  

The path crosses over the crest of the ridge which is now covered in dirt rather than sandstone.  The path then turns right (north) and follows dirt trail around the west side of the ridge.  After traveling along the left (west) side of the ridge for about 350 feet, the trail fades away to nothing (wLepRP-05).  

Where the trail fades away to nothing (wLepRP-05) climb up a bunch of broken slabs of sandstone to the right (east) then continue north up a steep sandstone slope.  At the top of the steep slope (wLepRP-06), which is about 150 feet from where the trail faded, you will be greeted with wide open flat desert dirt and views that go way off in the distance.  

Once at the top of the sandstone slope and at the start of the flat desert (wLepRP-06), walk north and look for a trail.  Follow the trail north about 0.3 miles along side of and up to the head of the West Fork of Leprechaun.  The head of the West Fork of Leprechaun (yLep-LtFkTp) has a cul-de-sac shape with a drop of about 15 or 20 feet down some slick rock. 

The Canyon / Technical Section:
At the head of the West Fork (yLep-LtFkTp) down climb the sloped drop into a wide flat wash with walls on each side.   

About 300 feet down canyon is a drop down more slick rock into a narrow slot.  Webbing has been placed there by some parties for a rappel.  There is no need to rappel here.   Instead bypass this drop by climbing way around LDC out along a ledge.  Find a way up and over the ridge along the ledge (wLepRP-12) then down to the slick rock.  Walk down the slick rock back toward the canyon floor.  About another 250 feet down along the slick rock is rap 1 which is at the top of another narrow sot.  

If you have time and want to play in some narrow stuff, you can travel up canyon from rap 1 toward the drop you just bypassed.  You will find some very narrow sections to check out.  

Rap 1 (dLepLftFkR1) is about 750 feet from the head of the canyon.  Rap 1 is anchored from a couple rocks placed in a shallow pothole at the top of the rap and drops about 35 feet down into a narrow section continuing down canyon.  

Rap 2 (dLepLftFkR2) is about 150 feet down canyon of rap 1.  Rap 2 is anchored from a large rock embedded in the floor about 10 feet back from the rap.  Rap 2 drops about 15 feet.  

A short distance down canyon of rap 2 is the entry to an obviously tighter section that what is immediately down canyon of rap 2.  At the start of this tight section is a down climb of about 15 feet down a twisted slot.  The down climb has an anchor attached for rapping. On the first trip through the canyon we did not notice the webbing until we had already down climbed.  The down climb is very easy and I have not counted it as a rap even though there is webbing in place for an anchor.  

Rap 3 (dLepLftFkR3) is about 500 feet down canyon of rap 2.  Rap 3 is anchored from a dead man anchor and drops about 25 feet.  The drop looks intimidating from the top so it appears you need to rap.  We found it was easy enough to elevator and stem down this drop.  Since it looks difficult to down climb and there is an anchor most people will choose to rap so I am counting this as a rap even though it is a pretty simple endeavor to down climb it.  

Just down canyon of rap 3 the canyon opens slightly to a view of a huge boulder on canyon right that looks like it could fall away from the wall at any time.  The size of the boulder looking like it is balanced there is pretty incredible looking. The canyon along the section with the boulder in it is a little more wide open than the rest has been, but is still fairly narrow and has some fallen rock debris to scramble over.  

About 350 feet down canyon of rap 3 is a drop of about 15 feet (wLepRP-13).  This drop will prove to be a fun puzzle for the taller people in the group.  Everyone else may want a hand line or a meat anchor.  At the bottom of the drop starts a section that narrows up again for about 450 feet before reaching an open area where the Left Fork you were just in meets up with the Middle Fork (jLepLftMid)  

Continuing down canyon of the junction with the Middle Fork starts another set of narrows.  One section of the narrow section is slanted to the left.  The slant makes travel a bit difficult since it is too narrow to travel facing forward and the slant makes it impossible to stand up.  You find yourself bouncing along the wall with your body as you try to keep your feet moving.  Making things more cumbersome is the bottom not being wide enough to get your feet to the floor so you need to jamb your foot between the walls to stand.  To top it all off you are man handling your pack along with you since it is too narrow to be wearing it.  

A few hundred feet down the narrows is a section with a lot of fallen boulder choke stones, which I have been told change a lot over time.  Find your way under, over or through the boulders any way you can.  The narrow section containing the fallen boulders and the tight sections around it are commonly referred to as Belfast Boulevard.  

On the other side of the boulder choke stones a narrow section little light entering from the top.  Climb down a 10 foot or so narrow section just before reaching the junction with the Right Fork of Leprechaun (jLepRgtMid). The junction with the Right Fork of Leprechaun Canyon (tLepRgtMid) is about 400 feet down canyon after the junction with the Left Fork.

Continuing down canyon from the junction with the Right Fork is a large room like narrow section.  The walls bell out in the middle and the ceiling is very high but closed up pretty tight giving the section a room like feel.  And the floor can at times hold a little water in the center.  Chris Brennen’s site refers to this section as Belfast Boulevard while others call the tight section a few feet before getting to the junction with the Right Fork Belfast Boulevard.

Just after the wide bell shaped room the canyon opens up a little to a section that is a little reminiscent of the subway.  While there is no top to the section the walls are tall smooth and slightly rounded in while winding a couple times over a few hundred feet.  It feels like walking down a grand corridor.

Shortly after the grand corridor section the canyon opens up more and begins to become a wash with sections of sandstone and dirt along the floor.  A short distance down the wide open area is a drop of about 10 feet which can be down climbed on LDC of the head of the drop.  This is marked as the end of the canyon route (yLeprechaunBt).

The Exit:
Continue about 0.2 miles back to the spot where you started to climb up out of the wash (wLepRP-01).  Next continue down the wash another 0.5 miles to where you left the vehicle and started your journey.  Optionally you could start back up the sandstone slope up out of the canyon and go up to descend another fork of Leprechaun.

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.

Leprechaun Left (west) Fork (1) - Approach
  1. extLeprechaun          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.01754   W -110.53717        Elev: 4,455 Feet
    Exit for the dirt road into the bottom of Leprechaun Canyon.
  2. tLeprechaun          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.01838   W -110.53685        Elev: 4,470 Feet
    Trailhead for Leprechaun Canyon. There is room to park a few vehicles here off to the side of the dirt road.
  3. wLepRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02504   W -110.53285        Elev: 4,520 Feet
    Start climb out of wash here. Climb north up a sandstone nose on the left (west) just up canyon of a side drainage joining in from the left (west). The slope up is gentle and presents itself as the most obvious route up.
  4. wLepRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02769   W -110.53232        Elev: NaN Feet
    Small slick rock saddle after skirting around the left of a small sandstone peak. Great Views over the Leprechaun Canyons.
  5. wLepRP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02908   W -110.53120        Elev: 4,810 Feet
    Second peak along the ridge after the saddle with the view over the Leprechaun Canyons.
  6. wLepRP-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03070   W -110.53046        Elev: NaN Feet
    Faint trail turns left (west) and crosses over from the east side of the ridge to the west side of the ridge.
  7. wLepRP-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03171   W -110.53071        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trail fades to nothing. Climb up the slick rock and continue north climbing more slick rock to the top of a steep slope.
  8. wLepRP-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03200   W -110.53058        Elev: 4,943 Feet
    At the top of a steep slick rock slope. To the north is wide open flat desert dirt and views that go way off in the distance.
  9. yLep-LtFkTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03542   W -110.52892        Elev: 4,975 Feet
    Top entry of the left fork for Leprechaun Canyon.
Leprechaun Left (west) Fork (2) - Canyon and Exit
  1. yLep-LtFkTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03542   W -110.52892        Elev: 4,975 Feet
    Top entry of the left fork for Leprechaun Canyon.
  2. wLepRP-12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03423   W -110.52829        Elev: NaN Feet
    Out on a point along the ledge LDC to bypass a drop just down canyon of the head of the Left Fork.
  3. dLepLftFkR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03362   W -110.52860        Elev: 4,870 Feet
    Rap 1 - Left Fk Lep. Anchored from a couple rocks in a shallow pothole at the top of the rap and drops about 35 feet.
  4. dLepLftFkR2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03317   W -110.52871        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 - Left Fk Lep. Anchored from a large rock embedded in the floor about 10 feet back from the rap.
  5. dLepLftFkR3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03210   W -110.52899        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 3 - Left Fk Lep. Anchored from a dead man anchor and drops about 25 feet.
  6. wLepRP-13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03120   W -110.52936        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop of about 15 feet. Use a meat anchor for all but the last if the last person is tall. If no tall people are there set a hand line.
  7. jLepLftMid          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03027   W -110.52862        Elev: 4,615 Feet
    Left and Middle forks of Leprechaun join.
  8. jLepRgtMid          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02936   W -110.52918        Elev: NaN Feet
    Middle and Right forks of Leprechaun join.
  9. yLeprechaunBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02688   W -110.53122        Elev: 4,560 Feet
    Bottom exit of Leprechaun Canyon. This is a few hundred feet after the long huge subway type area.
  10. wLepRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02504   W -110.53285        Elev: 4,520 Feet
    Start climb out of wash here. Climb north up a sandstone nose on the left (west) just up canyon of a side drainage joining in from the left (west). The slope up is gentle and presents itself as the most obvious route up.
  11. tLeprechaun          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.01838   W -110.53685        Elev: 4,470 Feet
    Trailhead for Leprechaun Canyon. There is room to park a few vehicles here off to the side of the dirt road.