Canyoneering Route Description

Grease Monkey Canyon - 3A(B) I
Ticaboo Mesa, Utah

Quick Facts

03-19-17, 10 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 3 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 2 to 3 hours
Distance - 1.8 miles Total, 0.4 miles Technical  (upper half of the technical easily walked around in sections if desired).
Rappels - 1 Rappels, Longest Rappel 15 feet.
Elevation Range - 4130 - 3591 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 15 feet and 20 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  Wet suits may be needed for a 200 foot long swim in the lake.

General Comments

We went to look at this slot not knowing others had in the past and had our own name for it. After being informed that the canyon has went by the name Grease Monkey in some circles, we decided to stick with the original name.

Grease Monkey is a fun short get away day canyon or can be combined with Friends with Bennies Canyon to make a fuller day and pack in the fun. The upper half of the canyon is a collection of short sections of easy potholes, with a few challenging downclimbs. None of the upper portion of the canyon is committing as you can easily walk around any of the sections on the LDC side. The lower half of the canyon is deep, committing and a lot more fun and scenic. If you just want to see the fun part of the canyon, you can walk to the mid point and walk down in to begin the fun and bypass the entire upper half.

Warning:
The exit from Grease Monkey involves a swim to a shelf slightly submerged under water when the lake is at a level of 3591 feet. If the lake is higher than this the shelf will be covered in water but you can still exit up steep slickrock and your swim after exiting Grease Monkey will be a little longer than described here. If the lake is at a lower level the shelf may not be accessible from the water making the exit impassable. Check the lake level first or if you can not do that walk down to the exit and evaluate it before going up and into Grease Monkey.

If you plan to combine Grease Monkey with Friends with Bennies, set the exit vehicle, hike down to check lake level if you do not already know it to evaluate your exit from the lake, drive to the start of Friends with Bennies Canyon to begin your day. After exiting the lake after Friends with Bennies, begin the exit route then drop into Grease Monkey and descend it, swimming again to the same exit shelf then follow the exit route to the cars. Since you will swim the lake for each canyon you will already be in your wetsuit and need minimal gear.

The A(B) rating is due to most of the canyon being dry but can hold water at times so you may or not have to worry about in canyon water. But you will need cold water protection for the swim exit in the lake for about 180 feet.

Check here for Lake Powell Water Data.  The highest the lake has been was 3708.34 feet on 07-14-83.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

Note:
There are a lot of roads in the Ticaboo Mesa area.  It is difficult to make driving directions simple so a good look at a map is recommended before driving out there the first time.

The Smith Fork area of Ticaboo can be accessed from another road farther south than the drive in described here.  That road crosses Hansen Creek and can be a rougher route in.  The route described here is over all much smoother. 

Warm The parking spot for Psychological Damage is about 10.2 miles from the high way on dirt roads.

The junction of highways 95 and 276 is about 26 miles south on highway 95 from Hanksville Utah. 

From the junction of highways 95 and 276, drive south on highway 276 for 25.6 miles to the turn off for a dirt road on the left (east) side of the road (extTicaboo1).  This exit is between mile markers 25 and 26.  Turn left (east) onto the dirt road and drive east.

About 1.5 miles down the dirt road is a junction (TicabooDP-01) to a side road on the right going south.  Turn right at this junction and drive south on a dirt road.

About 1 miles down the road will be a side road (TicabooDP-50) that leaves the main road on the left (east) then loops back to rejoin the main road about 350 feet farther.  Continue south on the main road.

About 1.2 miles farther is a side road (TicabooDP-51) that joins in from the left (east).  Continue south.

About 2.4 farther the road turns sharp left (TicabooDP-52) and goes from traveling south to now traveling southeast then east.

About 1.2 miles farther will be a side road (TicabooDP-53) joining from the right (south).  This is just before reaching Danish Knoll.  Continue east toward Danish Knoll to get to the Smith Fork area.

About 0.5 miles farther is a fork in the road (TicabooDP-54).  To get to the lower section of Smith Fork veer right and continue south east.

Note:
If you were going for canyons in the upper portion of Smith Fork you would veer left at this fork and travel east.

About 0.8 miles farther is a fork in the road (TicabooDP-55). On the way into the lower portion Smith Fork staying right is said to be a smoother drive.  Either fork can be taken as they rejoin about half a mile ahead.

About 0.5 miles farther is where the forked roads rejoin (TicabooDP-56).  Continue past this junction.

About 0.6 miles farther is another fork (TicabooDP-57).  Either fork can be taken since the road rejoins about 0.2 miles farther (TicabooDP-58)

About 0.2 miles the road drops down to cross a low point (pkSmithForkLwr).  There is a wide shallow wash crossing the road here running down to the north east.  Park here where there is plenty of level space to park off to the side of the road. 

About 0.2 miles farther is a low point in the road with a wide shallow wash (pkSmithForkLwr) crossing the road.  Continue driving south to go to Grease Monkey or Heckle and Jeckle Canyons.

Note:
You would park here to start Pothoez, Psycho D, Downward Spiral, Friends With Bennies and other canyons.

About 1 mile farther is a road junction on the right (west) at the apex of a sharp left hand bend (almost u-turn) in the road. Continue around the left hand bend and continue east along the main road.

Note:
The exit to the right (west) is a road to a large watering pond about 0.25 miles away.

About 0.5 miles farther the road makes a right bend to travel south again.

About 0.4 miles farther is where you park to start the Grease Monkey route (pkGMonkey).  There is a shallow drainage crossing the road but no major landmarks to use for navigation. As a navigation aid for the drive in, this spot is about 380 feet before reaching a sharp right hand bend in the road.  If you you go too far and get to the bend you can also park there and to start.

Note:
This is also where you would set the exit vehicle for Friends with Bennies Canyon as it uses the same exit as Grease Monkey Canyon

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 drive into the route.
Map of the entire route.

Details

The Approach:
From the parking spot (pkGMonkey) walk east following down a shallow drainage.

About 1000 feet down the wash is the first of (GMonkey01) a few small shelves in wash on the way down canyon. Continue down canyon about 500 feet over other small shelves to get to a drop of about 30 feet.

From the drop of about 30 feet (GMonkey02) exit the RDC (south) side of the shallow wash and walk about 300 feet south over to a ravine providing a weakness allowing access down to rolling slickrock below.

After scrambling down the ravine you will find a weakness (GMonkey03) in the cliff band at the lower end of a ravine allowing access down to rolling slickrock below.  Scramble along the RDC (south) side and scramble down a steep section to the the next lower level.

From the bottom of the weakness (GMonkey04) turn left and walk north about 250 feet to enter the upper portion of Grease Monkey Canyon (GMonkeyTp).

Note:
Optionally you can walk east about 0.2 miles along the rim of the canyon and enter farther down canyon where the fun begins.

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
From the top of Grease Monkey Canyon (GMonkeyTp) is a 250 foot long section of shallow potholes to play through or easily walk around on the LDC side. If you play through there will be one deep pothole that will be a wide difficult stem to get over and a short downclimb near the end to a pothole. Some of the potholes can hold waist to chest deep water.

Shortly down canyon is the top end of 150 foot long section (GMonkey05) of potholes to play through or easily walk around on the LDC side. If you choose to play through there will be one drop of about 12 feet moderately challenging into a hole that could hold up to chest deep water followed by a couple more drops of about 6 feet into potholes that can also hold over waist deep water.

Shortly down canyon is the top end of 180 foot long section (GMonkey06) of potholes immediately after the section above. This section can be played through or easily bypassed on the LDC side. If to play through or easily walk around on the LDC side. If you choose to play through there is an easy 12 foot sloped downclimb followed by a 15 foot downclimb with the last part being almost vertical and a partner assist needed. Some of the potholes could hold waist to chest deep water if full.

Shortly down canyon is a moderately challenging 12 foot downclimb (GMonkey07) that can be easily bypassed on the LDC side.

Just after this drop is the top end of a 180 foot long section (GMonkey08) of shallow easy potholes with a 12 foot fun downclimb in a chute near the end.

Shortly down canyon is the start of (yGMonkeyMd) the lower section where the canyon gets deep and fun with no bypass options. You can easily walk down into the canyon from either side if you want to bypass the upper bypass able sections.  This is where the canyon becomes committing and more fun down to the lake.

After entering the lower slot (yGMonkeyMd) it is about 80 feet down canyon to a downclimb of about 12 feet (GMonkey09) over a silo like feature where the mid section is a moderately challenging and a partner assist may be needed. If you are comfortable with stemming higher you can stem out then down the narrower part just down canyon. Continuing down canyon is mostly easy travel with 3 downclimbs of 6 to 8 feet. Then a chest deep pothole to stem over then a slide of about 6 feet on the other side just before reaching rap 1 about 450 feet down canyon.

Rap 1 (dGMonkeyR1) can be anchored from one of many rocks, drops about 15 feet and is overhung. Optionally a pack drag can be used.

Down canyon of rap 1 are a few more short easy downclimbs and one downclimb of about 12 feet that can easily be partner assisted.  The end of the slot is about 450 feet farther down canyon.

As Grease Monkey ends where it dumps into the lake (GMonkeyBt) swim about 180 feet to the right (south) to the exit (GMonkey10Ex) where you can walk out of the lake (depends on lake levels).

The Exit:
From where you start to walk up out of the lake (GMonkey10Ex) you will be on a shelf that sticks out of the water at about lake level 3591 ft.  Go up steep slickrock which eventually gives way to more gentle slopes, then rim walk along Grease Monkey Canyon to near the head.  About 225 feet up from the lake you can find a section of faded steps cut into the rock if you look close.

Note:
Lower lake levels may make this more difficult or impossible to exit. With higher lake levels the shelf will not be visible but the sloped slick rock can be used to exit the water.

From the faded steps (GMonkey11Stp) cut into the rock continue west up steep slickrock.

Continue up to the west roughly rim walking along Grease Monkey canyon (which will be on your right, north) for about 0.3 miles to the base of a ravine (GMonkey04) about 250 feet south of Grease Monkey.

From the base of the ravine (GMonkey04) scramble up a short steep section of slickrock to the left (south) of the ravine then scramble your way into the across the other side of the ravine.

After getting to the top of the ravine (GMonkey03) route find northwest over into then follow up the shallow drainage back to the road (pkGMonkey)about 0.33 miles away. 

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.

Grease Monkey (1) - Drive to Trailhead
  1. extTicaboo1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.69720   W -110.67138        Elev: 4,520 Feet
    Exit off of highway 276 onto BLM road 13400 to get to the Ticaboo Mesa area. Turn east and leave the highway on a dirt road. Near Mile post 25.
  2. TicabooDP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68607   W -110.65188        Elev: NaN Feet
    Continue straight for the main area of Ticaboo Mesa. Or Turn right (south) here for an alternate route over toward the Smith Fork Canyons.
  3. TicabooDP-50          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67376   W -110.65978        Elev: NaN Feet
    A road that makes a small loop off of the main road and rejoins about 350 feet farther. Continue south.
  4. TicabooDP-51          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.65940   W -110.66933        Elev: NaN Feet
    Side road joins in from the left (east). Continue south to continue to the Smith Fork area.
  5. TicabooDP-52          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.63310   W -110.69364        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road into Smith Fork area turns sharp left from south to east.
  6. TicabooDP-53          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.62164   W -110.68041        Elev: NaN Feet
    Side road joins in from the right (south). Continue east to get to the Smith Fork Area. Turning right (south) will take you down toward Hansen Creek on a road marked as 13410.
  7. TicabooDP-54          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.62069   W -110.67088        Elev: 4,212 Feet
    Fork in the road. On the drive in veer left and drive east toward the upper portion of Smith Fork or veer right and drive southeast toward the lower poriton of Smith Fork.
  8. TicabooDP-55          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.61251   W -110.66280        Elev: NaN Feet
    Fork in the road. Eitehr works but staying right at the fork is smoother travel toward Psycho D.
  9. TicabooDP-56          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.60612   W -110.66243        Elev: NaN Feet
    Junction where the roads that forked on the way in - rejoin.
  10. TicabooDP-57          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.60168   W -110.65488        Elev: 4,178 Feet
    Fork in the road where the road splits for a short distance then rejoins shortly after.
  11. TicabooDP-58          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.60169   W -110.65166        Elev: 4,118 Feet
    Road rejoins here after the previous fork on the drive in.
  12. pkSmithForkLwr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59944   W -110.64949        Elev: 4,130 Feet
    Low point in the road with a wide shallow wash crossing the road. Park here to start Pothoez, Psycho D, Downward Spiral, Friends With Bennies and other canyons. Continue driving south to go to Grease Monkey or Heckle and Jeckle Canyons.
  13. exTicaOasis          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59049   W -110.65421        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road junction on the right (west) at the apex of a sharp left hand bend (almost u-turn) in the road. Continue around the left hand bend and continue east along the main road. Exit to the right (west) is a road to a large watering pond about 0.25 miles away.
  14. pkGMonkey          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58551   W -110.64553        Elev: 4,130 Feet
    Park here for Grease Monkey Canyon or to set an exit vehicle for Friends With Bennies Canyon. There is a shallow drainage crossing the road but no major landmarks to use for navigation. As a navigation aid for the drive in, this spot is about 380 feet before reaching a sharp right hand bend in the road. To go to Wet Monkey Canyon walk east following down a shallow drainage.
Grease Monkey (2) Approach
  1. pkGMonkey          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58551   W -110.64553        Elev: 4,130 Feet
    Park here for Grease Monkey Canyon or to set an exit vehicle for Friends With Bennies Canyon. There is a shallow drainage crossing the road but no major landmarks to use for navigation. As a navigation aid for the drive in, this spot is about 380 feet before reaching a sharp right hand bend in the road. To go to Wet Monkey Canyon walk east following down a shallow drainage.
  2. GMonkey01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58450   W -110.64226        Elev: NaN Feet
    First of a few small shelves in wash on the way down canyon. Continue down canyon about 500 feet over other small shelves to get to a drop of about 30 feet.
  3. GMonkey02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58450   W -110.64049        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop of about 30 feet. To continue to Grease Monkey Canyon exit the RDC (south) side of the shallow wash and walk about 300 feet south over to a ravine providing a weakness allowing access down to rolling slickrock below.
  4. GMonkey03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58391   W -110.63978        Elev: NaN Feet
    Weakness in the cliff band at the lower end of a ravine allowing access down to rolling slickrock below. When approaching Grease Monkey scramble along the RDC (south) side to find and scramble down a steep section to the the next lower level. When exiting, route find northwest over into then follow up the shallow drainage back to the road about 0.33 miles away.
  5. GMonkey04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58402   W -110.63941        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of a ravine providing a weakness in the cliff band. When approaching turn left and walk north about 250 feet to enter the upper portion of Grease Monkey Canyon. Note: Optionally you can walk east about 0.2 miles along the rim of the canyon and enter farther down canyon where the fun begins. When exiting scramble up a short steep section of slickrock to the left (south) of the ravine then scramble your way into the across the other side of the ravine.
  6. GMonkeyTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58464   W -110.63979        Elev: 3,970 Feet
    Top of Grease Monkey Canyon. This is the top of a 250 foot long section of shallow potholes to play through or easily walk around on the LDC side. If you play through there will be one deep pothole that will be a wide difficult stem to get over and a short downclimb near the end to a pothole. Some of the potholes can hold waist to chest deep water.
Grease Monkey (3) - The Canyon
  1. GMonkeyTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58464   W -110.63979        Elev: 3,970 Feet
    Top of Grease Monkey Canyon. This is the top of a 250 foot long section of shallow potholes to play through or easily walk around on the LDC side. If you play through there will be one deep pothole that will be a wide difficult stem to get over and a short downclimb near the end to a pothole. Some of the potholes can hold waist to chest deep water.
  2. GMonkey05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58429   W -110.63859        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top end of 150 foot long section of potholes to play through or easily walk around on the LDC side. If you choose to play through there will be one drop of about 12 feet moderately challenging into a hole that could hold up to chest deep water followed by a couple more drops of about 6 feet into potholes that can also hold over waist deep water.
  3. GMonkey06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58422   W -110.63805        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top end of 180 foot long section of potholes immediately after the section above. This section can be played through or easily bypassed on the LDC side. If to play through or easily walk around on the LDC side. If you choose to play through there is an easy 12 foot sloped downclimb followed by a 15 foot downclimb with the last part being almost vertical and a partner assist needed. Some of the potholes could hold waist to chest deep water if full.
  4. GMonkey07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58377   W -110.63715        Elev: NaN Feet
    Moderately challenging 12 foot downclimb that can be easily bypassed on the LDC side.
  5. GMonkey08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58367   W -110.63685        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top end of a 180 foot long section of shallow easy potholes with a 12 foot fun downclimb in a chute near the end.
  6. yGMonkeyMd          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58347   W -110.63569        Elev: 3,770 Feet
    Start of the lower section where the canyon gets deep and fun with no bypass options. You can easily walk down into the canyon from either side if you want to bypass the upper bypassable sections. This is where the canyon becomes committing and more fun down to the lake.
  7. GMonkey09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58332   W -110.63550        Elev: NaN Feet
    Downclimb of about 12 feet over a silo like feature where the mid section is a moderately challenging and a partner assist may be needed. If you are comfortable with stemming higher you can stem out then down the narrower part just down canyon. Continuing down canyon is mostly easy travel with 3 downclimbs of 6 to 8 feet. Then a chest deep pothole to stem over then a slide of about 6 feet on the other side just before reaching rap 1 about 450 feet down canyon.
  8. dGMonkeyR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58212   W -110.63502        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 - Grease Monkey Canyon. Can be anchored from one of many rocks, drops about 15 feet and is overhung. Optionally a pack drag can be used. Down canyon of rap 1 are a few more short easy downclimbs and one downclimb of about 12 feet that can easily be partner assisted. The end of the slot is about 450 feet farther down canyon.
  9. GMonkeyBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58090   W -110.63514        Elev: 3,591 Feet
    Bottom of Grease Monkey where it dumps into the lake. Swim about 180 feet to the right (south) to the exit where you can walk out of the lake (depends on lake levels).
Grease Monkey (4) - Exit
  1. GMonkeyBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58090   W -110.63514        Elev: 3,591 Feet
    Bottom of Grease Monkey where it dumps into the lake. Swim about 180 feet to the right (south) to the exit where you can walk out of the lake (depends on lake levels).
  2. GMonkey10Ex          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58049   W -110.63513        Elev: 3,591 Feet
    Shelf that sticks out of the water at about lake level 3591 ft. Go up steep slickrock which eventually gives way to more gentle slopes, then rim walk along Grease Monkey Canyon to near the head. About 225 feet up from the lake you can find a section of faded steps cut into the rock if you look close. Note: Lower lake levels may make this more difficult or impossible to exit. With higher lake levels the shelf will not be visible but the sloped slick rock can be used to exit the water.
  3. GMonkey11Stp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58084   W -110.63575        Elev: NaN Feet
    Faded steps cut into the rock that you may see if you look close for them. Continue west up steep slickrock.
  4. GMonkey04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58402   W -110.63941        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of a ravine providing a weakness in the cliff band. When approaching turn left and walk north about 250 feet to enter the upper portion of Grease Monkey Canyon. Note: Optionally you can walk east about 0.2 miles along the rim of the canyon and enter farther down canyon where the fun begins. When exiting scramble up a short steep section of slickrock to the left (south) of the ravine then scramble your way into the across the other side of the ravine.
  5. GMonkey03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58391   W -110.63978        Elev: NaN Feet
    Weakness in the cliff band at the lower end of a ravine allowing access down to rolling slickrock below. When approaching Grease Monkey scramble along the RDC (south) side to find and scramble down a steep section to the the next lower level. When exiting, route find northwest over into then follow up the shallow drainage back to the road about 0.33 miles away.
  6. GMonkey02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58450   W -110.64049        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop of about 30 feet. To continue to Grease Monkey Canyon exit the RDC (south) side of the shallow wash and walk about 300 feet south over to a ravine providing a weakness allowing access down to rolling slickrock below.
  7. GMonkey01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58450   W -110.64226        Elev: NaN Feet
    First of a few small shelves in wash on the way down canyon. Continue down canyon about 500 feet over other small shelves to get to a drop of about 30 feet.
  8. pkGMonkey          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58551   W -110.64553        Elev: 4,130 Feet
    Park here for Grease Monkey Canyon or to set an exit vehicle for Friends With Bennies Canyon. There is a shallow drainage crossing the road but no major landmarks to use for navigation. As a navigation aid for the drive in, this spot is about 380 feet before reaching a sharp right hand bend in the road. To go to Wet Monkey Canyon walk east following down a shallow drainage.