Canyoneering Route Description

Shillelagh Canyon - Left (west) Fork - 3A I
North Wash, Utah.

Quick Facts

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, 1 person, 1 Day (Time Unknown) - Combined with an upclimb of the Right Fork of Blarney Canyon. 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.

Time Required - 2 to 3 hours
Distance - 2.6 miles Total, 0.7 miles Technical
Rappels - 2 Rappels, Longest Rappel 70 feet.  (max rap only 60 feet if anchor webbing extended properly)
Elevation Range - 4510 - 4900 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 70 feet and 50 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement. 

General Comments

The Right Fork of Shillelagh is similar to the Left Fork in that the technical section is very short.  Enjoy the two raps near the head and take your time there since those are the only raps.  Down canyon are a few easy down climbs and a very pretty and long narrows near the end of the canyon.

At the time of this writing there were no well defined trails traversing from the Right Fork to the Left Fork of Shillelagh Canyon.  There are obvious areas that have seen foot traffic but nothing lends itself to a well defined and easy to follow trail.  The 0.32 miles between the tops of the two forks is easy travel and forgiving terrain but you will need to do your own route finding.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

The Left (west) Fork of Shillelagh Canyon uses part of the same approach as Blarney Canyons.  

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:

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 veer left (north west) and follow the path toward the head of the Right (east) Fork of Shillelagh Canyon. 

About 700 feet from the junction there is a faint spur trail branching off left (northwest) leading down into the Right Fork of Shillelagh Canyon. Stay on the more well worn path and continue north another 200 feet where the trail turns left and heads northwest to an easy walk down into the Right (east) Fork of Shillelagh (jShillelaghRF).

To continue to the Left Fork of Shillelagh or to the Short End of the Stick Route continue west crossing over the wash and walk up the slope on the other side. 

Note:
At the time of this writing there were no well defined trails traversing from the Right Fork to the Left Fork of Shillelagh Canyon.  There are obvious areas that have seen foot traffic but nothing lends itself to a well defined and easy to follow trail.  The 0.32 miles between the tops of the two forks is easy travel and forgiving terrain but you will need to do your own route finding.

From where you cross over the Right Fork it is about 0.32 miles on a bearing of 286 degrees to where you drop into the Left Fork of Shillelagh.  A compass or GPS can be handy as there are few obvious land marks.  As you travel through the rolling desert please make an effort to stay of of crypto biotic soils.  You can further reduce impact by trying to walk in small water ways when they are going where you want to go.

About 0.13 miles from where you left the Right Fork is a dark red outcropping of rock that stands out and is visible for a distance.  This makes a good land mark to aim for as it is directly in line with your travel route.

Example Pic. Aim for this outcropping when you see it.  This outcropping is inline with the route between the Right Fork and the Left Fork of Shillelagh Canyon.

From the outcropping continue on the bearing of 286 degrees for 0.2 miles to where you easily drop down into a wide open wash in the Left Fork (wShillRp-22).  Then turn left and walk southwest down the wash for about 400 feet to the head of the Left Fork of Shillelagh Canyon (yShilelahLFkTp).

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
At the head of the Left Fork of Shillelagh Canyon (yShilelahLFkTp) is a drop of about 30 feet that is downclimbed on the LDC side and sandy sloped ledges.

About 300 feet down canyon is the start of a 150 foot long narrow section (wShillRp-23).  An easy stem style down climb is at the beginning of the narrows and an easy 4 foot down climb is near the end of the narrows.

About 500 down canyon is a down climb of about 6 feet shortly before reaching the top of rap 1. 

Rap 1 (dShillLtFkR1-2) is anchored from a boulder embedded in the wash about 12 feet back from the lip of the drop.  Rap 1 drops about 25 feet to a large shelf.  Rap 1 is overhung so it can be a bit akward.

Rap 2 is on the other side of the shelf below rap 1.  There is a short downclimb to get down to the anchor for rap 2.  Rap 2 is anchored from large rock in a pothole.  Rap 2 has a rope travel of about 70 feet from the anchor to the ground.  But the webbing here should be extended to keep from adding rope grooves to the sandstone which will make the drop about 60 feet.

About 100 feet down canyon of rap 2 is a stemming / elevator like downclimb of about 15 feet into a narrow section to walk through.  Continuing down canyon are a few boulders to do downclimb over that are about 4 to 8 feet each to break up the walking.

About 0.18 miles down canyon of rap 2 is a side drainage (wShillRp-24) joining in from RDC (northwest).

About 300 feet down canyon is the start of another narrow section (wShillRp-25).

Note:
This is where you can easily escape the canyon on the LDC (southeast) side if you want to climb up to the top of the canyons by scrambling the slick rock.

The narrow section is an easy walk with a few short easy down climbs to break things up.  This narrows gets is a scenic treat as it gets deep and narrow but still easy to walk in.  This narrows is about 0.24 miles to where it opens up wide again (wShillRp-26).

About 325 feet after the narrows widens out is the confluence of the Right and Left Forks of Shillelagh Canyon (yShillelaghBt).  The Right Fork joins in here from the LDC side.

The Exit:
From the Junction of the 2 forks of Shillelagh Canyon walk the wash 0.4 miles back to the road (tShillelaghBt).  Next walk south 0.2 miles back to where you parked near the bottom of Blarney Canyon.

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.

Shillelagh Left 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. wShillRp-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03266   W -110.54192        Elev: 4,850 Feet
    Leave the trail here to drop into Right Fork of Shillelagh with an easy down climb.
  11. jShillelaghRF          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03326   W -110.54193        Elev: 4,875 Feet
    Trail drops down into the Right Fork of Shillelagh here. Turn south and walk down the wash to drop into the Right Fork of Shillelagh. Or continue west accross the wash and up the otehr side to continue over to the Left (west) Fork of Shillelagh Canyon or the Short End of the Stick route.
  12. wShillRp-21          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03381   W -110.54420        Elev: 4,900 Feet
    Outcropping of dark red rock that stands out from a distance and makes a good landmark on the route between forks of the Shillelaghs since it is directly inline with the route.
  13. wShillRp-22          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03452   W -110.54750        Elev: 4,840 Feet
    This is where the route from Right Fork to Left Fork Shillelagh drops to the Left Fork wash about 400 feet up canyon of the head. It is an easy walk down into the wash here.
  14. yShilelahLFkTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03380   W -110.54853        Elev: 4,815 Feet
    Top entry for left (west) fork of Shillelagh Canyon. There is a 30 foot drop here that can be down climbed LDC along sloped sandy ledges.
Shillelagh Left Fork (2) Exit and Canyon
  1. yShilelahLFkTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03380   W -110.54853        Elev: 4,815 Feet
    Top entry for left (west) fork of Shillelagh Canyon. There is a 30 foot drop here that can be down climbed LDC along sloped sandy ledges.
  2. wShillRp-23          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03361   W -110.54950        Elev: 4,800 Feet
    Start of a 150 foot long twisty narrows.
  3. dShillLtFkR1-2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03242   W -110.55051        Elev: 4,750 Feet
    Raps 1 and 2 - Shillelagh Left Fork. Rap 1 anchored from a boulder embedded in the wash about 12 feet back from the rap and drops about 25 feet to a large shelf below and is a little awkward due to it being overhanging. Rap 2 is anchored from a large rock in a pothole on the other side of the shelf below rap 1 and drops about 70 feet feet. If you extend the webbing to protect the sandstone (which you should) the rap should only be about 60 feet.
  4. wShillRp-24          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03008   W -110.55187        Elev: NaN Feet
    Side draiange joining in from RDC (northwest).
  5. wShillRp-25          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02924   W -110.55162        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of another narrow section with a few 4 to 6 foot downclimbs. Also this is where you can escape on the LDC (southeast) side of the canyon if you want to try to go up to the top of the canyons from here.
  6. wShillRp-26          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02655   W -110.54960        Elev: 4,550 Feet
    Lower end of the narrows just before reaching the confluence with the Right Fork of Shillelagh.
  7. yShillelaghBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02573   W -110.54944        Elev: 4,560 Feet
    Bottom exit for both fork of Shillelagh Canyon. Junction of the right and left forks of Shillelagh Canyon.
  8. tShillelaghBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.02088   W -110.54842        Elev: 4,510 Feet
    Bottom trailhead for Shillelagh Canyon where the wash meets the road.