Canyoneering Route Description

Leprechaun Canyon Right (east) Fork - 3A II
North Wash, Utah.

Quick Facts

05-29-10, 2 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 3 hours) Pictures Icon
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 - 2.5 to 4 hours
Distance - 3.8 miles Total, 1 miles Technical
Rappels - 3 Rappels, Longest Rappel 30 feet. (40 feet if you do the optional rap at the top)
Elevation Range - 4470 - 5010 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 30 feet and 40 feet of 1” webbing for sling placement.  If doing the optional rappel at the top you will need ropes for up to a 40 foot rappel.

General Comments

The Right Fork (east) of Leprechaun canyon is in my opinion more scenic and fun than the west fork.  But doing the Right Fork, you do not get to see any of the tight stuff in the Middle Fork.  If you were going to do only two forks of the Leprechauns, I would suggest the Right Fork then the Middle Fork.

Note:
This route description details the route up from the bottom of the canyon.  Optionally you can access this canyon from the top by parking by the exit for the Kelsey Exit for Shenanigans Canyon.  When you park there route find your way south across the desert for about 0.5 miles to the head of the the Right Fork of Leprechaun Canyon.  The top of an optional rap (dLepRF-R1a) is 180 feet southeast of a large cow pond.

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.
Map zoomed in a little on upper section.

Details

The Approach:
From the parking spot (tLeprechaun), walk about 500 feet up the dirt road and into the wash.  When you have a view straight up the wash you will be able to see an out cropping that resembles a hoodoo or a large chess piece straight ahead about 0.3 miles away.  The hoodoo will be straight ahead visually lined up with the center of the wash.

There are a few paths worn into the wash here.  Follow whichever path is convenient and work your way over to near the base of the slick rock slope leading up to the chess piece hoodoo (wLepRtFk-RP-01).

From the base of the slope (wLepRtFk-RP-01) up to toward the hoodoo, walk about 250 feet up the slick rock slope and make your way up to the saddle to the right (east) of the hoodoo (wLepRtFk-RP-02).  

From the saddle (wLepRtFk-RP-02), follow up the ridge to the right (east).  A short distance up from the saddle will be a large rock out cropping.  Traverse around the left (north) side of it to continue up the ride to the east.  

After about 500 feet up the ridge you will begin to see a long cliff band running north to south.  The right (south) end of the cliff band has a prominent point and a dark red layer running along the base of the vertical portion.  Continue up the ridge and climb up to the base of the cliff band right below the point on the southern end.  The dark red layer below the prominent point is what you need to climb up to (wLepRtFk-RP-03).  The base of this cliff band is about 0.2 miles from the saddle.

From the base of the cliff band (wLepRtFk-RP-03) locate a very well traveled trail running north along the base of the vertical portion of the cliff band.  The trail is so well traveled it feels like someone put in a sidewalk for you.  

About 0.3 miles along the trail will be a section of white flaky sandstone the trail crosses (wLepRtFk-RP-04).  While crossing the white sandstone the trail fades away and is difficult to follow for a very short distance. Continue north about 250 feet up and over a small drainage to find the trail continuing very defined again in the orange sand.  

The sand the trail is in starts turning whiter in color.  Follow the sandy trail about 500 feet where it will cross over some rock debris (wLepRtFk-RP-05).  The trail fades away again for a short distance as it crosses this rock debris.  Continue north over the rock debris a few feet to find the trail is well defined again traveling now in dark red dirt.  

About 0.2 miles further the trail crosses a sandstone drainage with two forks, each having tiny potholes in them (wLepRtFk-RP-06).  Look left of the left fork for the trail to climb up the dirt embankment up out of the drainage.   

A few feet up out of the drainage the trail is easy to follow and well defined again.  The trail is now out in open desert area.  After about 0.2 miles of open desert the trail starts to follow the rim of a side drainage.  The trail here is in red dirt with the white sandstone drop on the left.  

About 300 feet along the rim the trail crosses a drainage (wLepRtFk-RP-07) then follows around a sandstone nose.  

Another 400 feet the trail crosses another drainage (wLepRtFk-RP-08) and again turns left to follow around a sandstone nose.  

Another 700 feet the trail crosses straight over another drainage (wLepRtFk-RP-09).  The canyon on the left (west) is now the Right (east) Fork of Leprechaun.  

Another 500 feet the trail crosses a sandstone drainage (wLepRtFk-RP-10) with a series of potholes running along it.  The continuation of the trail is not easy to see while crossing the wash.  Just travel straight across the wash and up some dirt to find the trail again.  

Another 300 feet the trail crosses a drainage (wLepRtFk-RP-11).  You will need to travel up this drainage about 40 feet to find the trail continuing up and out.

About 600 feet farther the trail crosses another drainage (wLepRtFk-RP-12).  From this drainage you can see the head wall of the Right (east) Fork of Leprechaun Canyon ahead to the north.  The head wall straight ahead is the location of an optional rap that most people do not do.  This route description shows the route down into the canyon just below the optional rap.

Note:
If you want to get to the top of the optional rap, look for a place to upclimb to the rim about 80 feet south of the drainage (wLepRtFk-RP-12).  From the top of the up climb (wLepRtFk-RP-13), follow the rim about 800 feet over to the top of the head wall at the head.  The optional rap can be anchored from a few large rocks at the top of the drop (dLepRF-R1a ).  The total drop of the optional rap is about 40 feet.  

If you wish to use this approach to get to the Middle Fork of Leprechaun you can traverse 0.2 miles west across the desert to get to the middle fork.  

About 400 feet after crossing the last drainage (wLepRtFk-RP-12), the trail comes to the top of a narrow slot dropping down and twisting (yLepRtFkTp).  This is the standard start down into the top of the Right (east) Fork of Leprechaun Canyon.  If you want to look at the bottom of the optional rap it is a short 300 foot walk up canyon to take a look.  The bottom of the optional rap is in a slot where you will need to upclimb a little to see the actual rap from the bottom.

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
From the top of the narrow slot (yLepRtFkTp) down climb down into the slot.  The slot is very twisty and as it drops down toward rap 1.  Rap 1 is short distance down the slot after 2 easy stemming style down climbs of about 12 feet each.  

Rap 1 (dLepRgtFkR1) is anchored from a dead man anchor in a pothole.  Rap 1 drops about 25 feet and can be down climbed by someone tall.  Short people will have an issue here since the walls at the bottom flare out.  

The slot down canyon of rap 1 is easy travel along a sandy floor with a couple easy down climbs of 5 or 6 feet each and a couple choke stones to climb over.  The walls in this section of the canyon widen out rapidly from about waist high so it does not feel claustrophobic at all.  Just before reaching rap 2 is a down climb of about 12 feet.  

Rap 2 (dLepRgtFkR2) is about 600 feet down canyon of rap 1.  Rap 2 is anchored from a dead man anchor in a pothole about 15 feet back from the drop.  Webbing should be strung over to the drop so avoid rope pull issues.  Rap 2 drops about 30 feet.   

Rap 2 can be down climbed.  Start down sandstone flute that runs most of the way down.  When you reach the bottom of the flute the drop goes vertical.  From here traverse RDC to the next flute.  As the second flute widens, put your back on the RDC wall and use features in the rock LDC to walk down.  

After rap 2 the slot is easy to walk along again with a couple short 6 foot down climbs along the way.  Almost 500 feet down canyon of rap 2 the canyon widens out a lot to a very open feel (wLepRtFk-RP-14).  

The open section is about 400 feet long and ends when you drop into the next narrow section (wLepRtFk-RP-15).  To drop into the next narrow section walk a few feet down canyon on the LDC side of the slot and slide down a slope to get down into the slot.  

Part way down this next narrow section is a large pothole of about 15 feet wide and only about 4 feet deep to cross.  Next walk along a section that feels like it has more small pothole like features in it before the canyon opens up again briefly.  

Another few hundred feet is the start of another narrow section (wLepRtFk-RP-16).  This next narrow section is easy walking for about 700 feet to a drop of about 10 feet.  The drop is very narrow at the start.  Getting down is made much easier if you Galumph (right foot and right hand on the right wall.  Left foot and left hand on the left wall) down canyon to where the drop gets a little wider before stemming down.  After the drop the narrow section gets a little tighter giving a closed in feel.   

Part way down this tighter section is a pothole that may have water in it depending on if there had been recent rains.  The pot hole is easy to stem over although it may not look like it.  If you do go in, the pothole is only about chest deep.  The section just before and after the pothole is one of the more scenic and pleasing sections of the canyon.  The section has a very sculpted feel.  

Soon the canyon widens out again giving a wide open feel (wLepRtFk-RP-17).  

A couple hundred feet after the wide open area is the start of another narrow section.  Part way into the narrow section is a down scramble down slick rock of about 15 feet.  At the bottom of the scramble is another drop of about 15 feet which is rap 3.  

Rap 3 (dLepRgtFkR3) is anchored from a dead man and drops about 15 feet.  

After rap 3 is an tight down climb of about 8 feet then you are at the confluence of the right and middle forks (tLepRgtMid).

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.  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 Right 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. wLepRtFk-RP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02250   W -110.53397        Elev: 4,500 Feet
    Base of a slick rock slope leading up to the saddle slightly east of a hoodoo.
  4. wLepRtFk-RP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02306   W -110.53358        Elev: NaN Feet
    Slick rock saddle just east of the hoodoo that could be seen from early in route up the wash.
  5. wLepRtFk-RP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02196   W -110.52964        Elev: 4,880 Feet
    At the base of a vertical cliff band. THis is on the southern end of a cliff band running roughly north south.
  6. wLepRtFk-RP-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02500   W -110.52659        Elev: 4,930 Feet
    Trail crosses a section of flaky white sandstone and fades away for a very short distance.
  7. wLepRtFk-RP-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02660   W -110.52566        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trail crosses some rock debris and fades away for a short distance. Continue north a few feet to find the well defined trail continue in the red dirt.
  8. wLepRtFk-RP-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02821   W -110.52383        Elev: 4,940 Feet
    Trail crosses sandstone wash with two forks with tiny potholes. Look left of the left drainage for the trail to climb up the dirt out of the drainage.
  9. wLepRtFk-RP-07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03020   W -110.52122        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trail crosses drainage then follows around a sandstone nose.
  10. wLepRtFk-RP-08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03118   W -110.52123        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trail crosses drainage then follows around a sandstone nose.
  11. wLepRtFk-RP-09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03227   W -110.52164        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trail crosses drainage.
  12. wLepRtFk-RP-10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03329   W -110.52111        Elev: 4,960 Feet
    Trail crosses a drainage with a series of potholes running down it.
  13. wLepRtFk-RP-11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03390   W -110.52055        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trail crosses another drainage. Travel about 40 feet up the drainage to find where the trail climbs up and out.
  14. wLepRtFk-RP-13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03495   W -110.51968        Elev: 5,010 Feet
    Top of a climb up to the top of the rim.
  15. dLepRF-R1a          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03689   W -110.51871        Elev: 5,040 Feet
    Optional rap at the head of the Right (east) Fork of Leprechaun. This rap is normally not done. The rap is anchored from large rocks at top of drop and drops about 40 feet.
  16. wLepRtFk-RP-12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03526   W -110.51993        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trail crosses a drainage. Continue along the trail to get over to the standard head of the canyon. Or look for an up climb along the rim to go over to an optional rap.
  17. yLepRtFkTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03619   W -110.51953        Elev: 4,990 Feet
    Top entry for the right fork of Leprechaun Canyon.
Leprechaun Right Fork (2) - Canyon and Exit
  1. yLepRtFkTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03619   W -110.51953        Elev: 4,990 Feet
    Top entry for the right fork of Leprechaun Canyon.
  2. dLepRgtFkR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03601   W -110.51966        Elev: 5,011 Feet
    Rap 1 - Right Fk Lep. Anchored from a deadman anchor in a pothole and drops about 25 feet.
  3. dLepRgtFkR2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03472   W -110.52101        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 -Right Fk Lep. Anchored from a dead man anchor and drops about 30 feet.
  4. wLepRtFk-RP-14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03365   W -110.52188        Elev: NaN Feet
    Canyon widens considerably for a short distance. Wide open and great for a break to warm up in the sun if cold.
  5. wLepRtFk-RP-15          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03292   W -110.52242        Elev: 4,834 Feet
    Start of the next narrow section.
  6. wLepRtFk-RP-16          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03230   W -110.52357        Elev: 4,768 Feet
    Start of another narrow section.
  7. wLepRtFk-RP-17          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02967   W -110.52749        Elev: 4,650 Feet
    Canyon widens out again briefly.
  8. dLepRgtFkR3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02938   W -110.52895        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 3 - Right Fk Lep. Anchored from a dead man and drops about 15 feet.
  9. jLepRgtMid          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02936   W -110.52918        Elev: NaN Feet
    Middle and Right forks of Leprechaun join.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.