Canyoneering Route Description

Esplin Gulch - 4A III (IV)
Zion National Park, Utah.

Quick Facts

10-11-14, 3 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 9.5 hours) Pictures Icon
10-25-14, 2 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 10 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 9 to 10 hours
Distance - 10.8 miles Total, 0.9 miles Technical
Rappels - 3 Rappels, Longest Rappel 215 feet.  But a 250 foot rope is needed - See General Comments.
Elevation Range - 6820 - 5230 Feet
Shuttle Required - Yes 5.3 Miles Vehicle - Passenger - High Clearance if bad road conditions Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 250 feet and 30 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  A retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator of Fiddlestick is also needed.  With the Smooth Operator a 410 foot 1/8 inch Dyneema pull line is needed. - see General Comments. 

General Comments

Esplin Gulch is outside Zion National Park so no permits are needed.  While you do not need a permit, please keep groups to 12 people or less, travel in water courses or use trails where possible to avoid land wear, pack it in - pack it out and clean up any un-needed anchor material.  The more we take care of what we have, the less likely it is that land management entities will regulate us.

The route into Esplin Gulch follows along many roads that web all over the area. Some of the roads are also very over grown and may be difficult to follow in places. A GPS or good map reading skills are required to keep from getting lost.

If visiting Esplin Gulch during cooler months be prepared for some very cold air when you leave the old roads and start down the Esplin Gulch drainage. The terrain funnels the cold air down the drainage and you can feel the bone chilling air flowing down canyon. It stays cold until you drop over the drop at the head of the canyon where temps begin to feel more normal.

Both times I have been in Esplin Gulch there were dense swarms of gnats for a short distance after rap 3. The gnats are very thick and make you want to get through that short narrow as fast as you can which is pretty easy to do.

Esplin Gulch gets rated a 4 in technical difficulty due only to the recommended anchoring for the first set of drops at the head of the canyon. The remainder of the canyon has one rap of about 20 feet and a few easy downclimbs and travels quickly. The lower canyon is not technically challenging but does offer some good scenery.

If you catch the fall change of colors, the lower canyon is super beautiful. On our two visits within 2 weeks of each other the first trip had amazing colors on the trees and the second trip we had mostly brown leaves but was fun to watch the leaves rain down on you in mass when a breeze blew by.  Esplin Gulch is not a canyon to put on your must do list but does have an interesting rap sequence at the head and offers relaxed canyon scenery below.

Note:  - - - Anchoring options for entry drops
The 2 drops at the head of Esplin Gulch can be done in multiple ways.  Anchoring options for the second drop are limited but you will find a single old bolt.  The bolt is not in great condition and should be avoided.  On one trip we used the old bolt and did not like the idea much.  On the second trip we tied ropes together as described below.  Other anchor options can be used or a bolt may get added in the future.  Use your own judgment.  Below is a suggestion that worked well for us to avoid the old bolt.

On my first visit we used a tree at the head of the water course for the first drop and got the Smooth Operator un-retrievably stuck when pulling. About 2 weeks later 2 of us went back to retrieve the Smooth Operator and see what happened. On this second visit we used an alternate anchor from a tree about 30 feet to the RDC (west) side of the water course to provide a much cleaner pull. After freeing the Smooth Operator that had been captured by a choke stone we compared the two anchor options and decided the best anchor was the one about 30 feet RDC (west) of the water course. The water course anchor will have the ropes go around a couple corners making the pull more difficult and may create rope grooves and is not recommended. The RDC anchor provides a cleaner pull, has slightly less vertical distance, skips a very small amount of slot (most of which you can see) and is the recommended option.

From the recommended anchor using a tree 30 feet RDC of the water course, use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator. The rap drops about 200 feet, starting down a rocky chute that could be downclimbed, then goes vertical down to where you can get off rope then scramble down to and through a very large pothole. On the RDC side of the large pothole is a single old bot that should be avoided. On the other side of the pothole is a 160 foot rap down a mostly vertical wall. From the anchor at the top to the start of the 160 foot drop will use about 250 feet of rope. To get down these drops and avoid the use of the old bolt, then tie a second rope to the first rope to rap down the 160 foot wall. Using the retrievable anchor system will allow both ropes to come down even with the knot in them.

From the NOT recommended anchor using the tree in the water course, use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator. The rap drops about 215 feet to where you can get off rope in the same place as using the recommended anchor but will use about 215 feet of rope instead. This upper portion of the slot goes past a couple medium sized potholes to avoid while on rap and also winds around a couple corners and will likely complicate the pull. From the bottom scramble down to and through the pothole with the 160 foot drop on the other side and tie ropes together as described using the recommended anchor.

If I return or asked the recommended way to get down the 2 drops at the head I would..........
Anchor from the tree about 30 feet RDC of the water course using a Smooth Operator and a 250 foot rope. Rap down 200 feet, get off rope, scramble down to and through the large pothole and up to the lip on the down canyon side. Next tie a 160 foot rope to the end of the 250 foot rope and rap down. Pull the pull line for the Smooth Operator to retrieve the whole mess. You will need a 410 foot pull line for the Smooth Operator which would be too heavy if regular rope or pull lines are used. the 1/8 inch Dyneema line works well here and a 500 foot length is light and does not take up too much room.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the East Gate of Zion National Park, travel 2.4 miles east on highway 9 to the turn for North Fork Road (wEngDP-01). 

Turn left (north) onto North Fork Road and drive 5.3 miles on a paved road to the turn for the Ponderosa Ranch (wEngDP-02).

Continue past the turn for the turn for Ponderosa Ranch and continue on the North Fork Road a few hundred feet to where the pavement ends (wBirchHlwDP-01). 

About 2.8 miles after the pavement ends is a large turn out on the left (west) side of the road with a wooden kiosk.  The turnout is the trailhead for Birch Hollow (tBirchHollow).

Note:
About 0.24 miles past this kiosk is a small dirt road that comes in on the left (northwest) and is where the Esplin Gulch route will come out onto the road (jWWH-Top).  This is the top of the Wild Wind Hollow exit that will be used to exit Eslpin.  Park an exit vehicle here.

About 3 miles past the kiosk for Birch Hollow is a junction (extOrderville) to a signed dirt road on the left ( west) that goes to the upper trailhead for Orderville Gulch.

Stay on the North Fork road and continue 1.6 miles to a road (extCotageWoods) on the right (east) with a sign for the Cottage of the Woods community.

Stay on the North Fork road and continue 0.9 miles to a sharp right hand bend in the road (pkBulloch1).  This is where you will park the entry vehicle to begin the route.  There is a road sign post labeled as 90 and 92.  If you are driving a passenger vehicle and do not have high clearance or 4WD find a place to park here to start the approach toward Bulloch Canyon.

Note:
The North Fork road is dirt and usually in good enough condition for a standard passenger car to travel unless muddy from recent rains.  So passenger cars will normally be able to get to this point.  Turning off of the North Fork Road here to go toward the Bulloch Canyon approach starts down a road that gets significantly rougher and is not suggested for passenger vehicles.  High clearance 4WD vehicles are suggested past this point.  Driving in past this point will get you a little over 1 mile farther.

If you are using a 4WD high clearance you can drive a little over a mile into the approach to another turn off to park at (pkBulloch2).  See approach description for details.

Warning:
The dirt portion of the North Fork Road can become impassable with rain.  The road has a lot of clay content and becomes very slick with just a little rain.  Even 4WD vehicles quickly become useless.  If there is a high likelihood of rain, consider opting out of this route that day.  Afternoon showers at some times of the year can create an impassable road in a very short time.  We got stuck overnight only 0.5 miles from pavement (4WD vehicles included).

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

To leave an exit vehicle, park at the small dirt road about 0.24 miles past the kiosk for Birch Hollow.  See the Drive In directions above.

Alternately if there is not enough room for your vehicles you can park back at the large parking area by the Birch Hollow kiosk.

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.
Map of the approach.
Map of the technical section and partial exit.
Map of the Exit up Wild Wind Hollow.

Details

The Approach:
From turn off (pkBulloch1) of the North Fork Road for the approach for Bulloch Canyon walk southwest on the road marked as 90 and 92. 

About 600 feet from the North Fork Road will be a fork in the road (wBullochRP-01).  Stay left and the fork.

About 550 feet farther will be a road (wBullochRP-02) joining in from the right (north) that can easily be over looked due to the angle of approach.

About 0.9 miles farther is another fork in the road (pkBulloch2).  This fork is about 1.2 miles after leaving the North Fork Road.  When walking in on the approach for Bulloch Canyon turn right (north) at this fork. 

Note:
If you have high clearance and 4WD this is where you can park to begin the route.  Driving farther is possible but the road quickly deteriorates and is not recommended.

About 600 feet down this road you may notice a faint road joining in from the left(south).  Continue past the faint road and stay on the more obvious road continuing west).  As you continue the condition of the road quickly deteriorates in spots making short sections of the road harder to follow but over all the road is easy to follow.

About 1.1 miles down farther the road goes sharply around a corner (jDakotaHill) to the left and begins to drop south down toward Walker Gulch.  Stay on the road and continue down to the south.

Note:
If you you were going to Bulloch Canyon, Eastern Son, Checkerboard or Deadeye Dick Canyons, you would leave the road here leave the road here and start up the trail to the west toward Dokota Hill.

About 0.6 miles down the road the road crosses (Esplin01) over to the west side of one of the central upper forks of Walker Gulch. Continue south on the road.

Almost 0.2 miles farther the road makes a sharp right then sharp left (Esplin02). After making the sharp left the road drops down into a drainage and continues south just left (east) of the water course for a few hundred feet.

A short distance farther the road goes around a sharp right turn as it meets a confluence of drainages (Esplin03). Continue south down the road roughly following the left (east) side of the drainage.

A few hundred feet farther the road crosses over to the west side (Esplin04) of the Walker Gulch drainage with a significant drop into then climbs up the other side to more road. After crossing and getting up to more road, continue south as the road roughly follows the west bank of Walker Gulch and occasionally following down in the water course. A few portions of the road are overgrown with enough grass making the road a little difficult to follow exactly.

About 0.2 miles farther the road begins to leave the drainage (Esplin05) of Walker Gulch and start up the RDC bank traveling south-southwest. To continue to Esplin Gulch follow the road southwest as it leaves Walker Gulch and slowly climbs the hill side.

Note:
You can cross Walker Gulch to the east then follow a road down into Orderville. Or you can drop into Walker Gulch here to enjoy the technical route south down to Orderville.

About 0.17 miles up the hill the road turns left near the top of the hill (Esplin06) and and levels off a lot then continues west.

About 500 feet farther the road crosses through a clearing (Esplin07) where it appears there may be a fork in the road. Bear right and continue northwest toward a white outcropping that can be seen ahead on the hill ahead. There is not actual fork in the road here but the way things are laid out it may appear to be a fork.

About 650 feet farther the road goes across the head of a minor drainage (Esplin08) with white dirt then bends left and continues southwest.

About 850 feet farther is a faint fork in the road (Esplin09). To continue to Esplin Gulch stay right at this fork and travel northwest up hill. Do not follow the road to the left going down hill to the south.

Note:
The road coming in from the left (south) is the other end of the alternate road you could have followed from the fork 0.6 miles earlier.

About 700 feet farther the road tops out briefly on a saddle (Esplin10) so wide you may not realize it is a saddle. Continue northwest down the slope about 750 feet to where the road crosses the head of Esplin Gulch.

When the road crosses Esplin Gulch (jEsplinGulch) leave the road and follow down Esplin Gulch to the south.

About 200 feet down Esplin Gulch are some small shelves (Esplin11) in the drainage that can be bypassed on either side.

About 0.4 miles farther is the top of a large shale cliff band (Esplin12). Bypass on the RDC side route finding your way back down into the drainage about 500 feet down canyon by a fork in the canyon also on the RDC side..

Once back down in the drainage by the fork (Esplin13) on the RDC side walk down the wash about 0.5 miles to the head of Esplin Gulch (yEsplinTp) where there is a huge drop. 

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
The drop at the head of Esplin Gulch (yEsplinTp) can be broken up into two drops of about 215 (but use a 250 foot rope) and 160 feet with a large pothole to to scramble down to and through between drops using about 410 feet of rope in total. The bolt for the second anchor is old, in bad condition and should be avoided. A better option is to use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator and tie ropes together by the large pothole then passing the knot while walking in the pothole. A traditional pull through a rap ring will not allow the ropes to be retrieved but the Smooth Operator / retrievable anchor system will.

There are 2 anchor options, from a tree in the water course or from a tree about 30 feet RDC (west) of the water course. The water course anchor will have the ropes go around a couple corners making the pull more difficult and may create rope grooves and is not recommended. The RDC anchor provides a cleaner pull, has slightly less vertical distance, skips very small amount of slot (most of which you can see) and is the recommended option.

From the recommended anchor using a tree 30 feet RDC of the water course, use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator. The rap drops about 200 feet, starting down a rocky chute that could be downclimbed, then goes vertical down to where you can get off rope then scramble down to and through a very large pothole. On the RDC side of the large pothole is a single old bot that should be avoided. On the other side of the pothole is a 160 foot rap down a mostly vertical wall. From the anchor at the top to the start of the 160 foot drop will use about 250 feet of rope. To get down these drops and avoid the use of the old bolt, then tie a second rope to the first rope to rap down the 160 foot wall. Using the retrievable anchor system will allow both ropes to come down even with the knot in them.

From the not recommended anchor using the tree in the water course, use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator. The rap drops about 215 feet to where you can get off rope in the same place as using the recommended anchor but will use about 215 feet of rope instead. This upper portion of the slot goes past one medium sized pothole to avoid while on rap and also winds around a couple corners and will likely complicate the pull. From the bottom scramble down to and through the pothole with the 160 foot drop on the other side and tie ropes together as described using the recommended anchor.

From the bottom of the drops from the head of the canyon (Esplin14) continue down canyon about 175 feet to rap 3.

Rap 3 (dEsplinR3) is anchored from a log and drops 20 feet over a large boulder into a short narrows. Just after rap 3 is downclimb of about 12 feet followed by walking through a narrow section about 200 feet to where the canyon makes a left jog and opens up a bit.

As the canyon opens a bit (Esplin15) at a left jog it is easy walking and a few boulders to scramble over.

About 0.2 miles down canyon is the start of another narrows (Esplin16). Shortly into the narrows is a short easy downclimb followed by a 12 foot drop that will likely be a partner assist for some then a couple more short easy downclimbs down through the narrow section about 200 feet to where it opens up to easy walking again.

About 0.2 miles farther is the start (Esplin17) of another semi narrow section about 300 feet long with one easy downclimb of about 12 feet down a slide / chute and a couple short easy downclimbs.

About 300 feet after the slot opens up is starts (Esplin18) another short narrows with a few logs to downclimb over.

A short distance down canyon is the start (Esplin19) of a long corridor about 250 feet long to walk.

About 300 feet farther is the start (Esplin21) of a short narrows with two easy down climbs of 10 to 12 feet then 8 to 10 feet. A little over 200 feet is the end of Esplin Gulch where it meets Orderville (yEsplinBt).

The Exit:
From then end of Esplin Gulch (yEsplinBt) turn left and walk east up Orderville Gulch.

About 0.8 miles up Orderville Gulch is the bottom of Squeeze Play Canyon (ySqeezPlyBt) on the left (north) side.

About 550 feet farther up Orderville Gulch is the bottom of Walker Gulch (yWalkerGulchBt) on the left (north) side.

Note:
Noting that these two canyons come in on the left (north) and are a little over 500 feet apart may help with visual navigation.

About 0.6 miles farther up Orderville is the bottom of Birch Hollow (yBirchHollowBt) joining in on the right (south) side.

Continue up east up Orderville.  About 0.2 miles up canyon will be a drainage joining in from the right (south).  Continue up canyon past this drainage.

About 0.25 miles farther (or 0.45 miles up canyon from the Birch Orderville junction) is the Wild Wind Hollow Drainage (tWildWindHlwBt) joining in from the right (south).  Do not travel all the way to the center of the drainage.  Instead find a convenient place to scramble up the mud flow on the southwest side of the Wild Wind Hollow drainage. 

There are use trails up through this mud flow area that can be followed up the RUC (southwest) side of Wild Wind Hollow.

About 650 feet up out of Orderville the trail along the mud flow leads up to the base of a vertical rock cliff band (w-WWH-RP-01).  Continue east on the trail as it follows along the base of the vertical cliff band.

About 350 feet farther the rock cliff band ends (w-WWH-RP-02).  As the cliff band ends there will still be a well defined trail traversing the slope about 200 feet up out of the center of Wild Wind Hollow.

About 200 feet after the cliff band ends will be a junction of trails (w-WWH-RP-03).  Some trails lead down toward a large flat area that looks like it might be inviting to camp at.  Do not follow this trail.  Instead turn right (southwest) and follow the well worn path leading up the slope away from Wild Wind Hollow.  The trail will lead up into and through a more forested area.

A little over 300 feet farther, the trail will top out (w-WWH-RP-04) shortly before reaching a wide shallow drainage.  Walk about 50 feet over to the drainage and follow a faint path southwest up the LUC side of the wide shallow drainage.  The path is covered in pine needles slightly camouflaging it.

Note:
There are many game trails through the area that will get you where you want to go or lead into sections of bushwhacking.  As you follow up along side the shallow drainage here stay on the game trails following close to the middle of the drainage.  Other trails here will veer off left (south).  It is more difficult to describe where to go on those routes.  To keep the description here simple to follow stay on the paths slightly left of the middle of the drainage.

About 500 feet farther, the shallow drainage fades away (w-WWH-RP-05) and you will be just traversing southwest along the a slope. 

Continue southwest about 300 feet traversing up the slope to the crest of a ridge (w-WWH-RP-06).  This ride is the east rim of the drainage between Wild Wind Hollow and Orderville.

Note:
It is possible to go from (w-WWH-RP-06) to (w-WWH-RP-11) by traveling southeast up the ridge line.  Doing this can shave about 0.2 miles off the route but will involve heavier vegetation and possible heavy bushwhacking if you choose your path wrong.  This short cut is too convoluted to describe so I don't try to.  If you wish to cut off some distance but possibly add a little bushwhacking to your day the ridge between these two points does work but you gotta push and think your way through a little.

Turn left (south) and travel up the ridge.  About 150 feet up the ridge will be a large flat area and start working over toward the now obvious head of the large drainage.

About 500 feet after the wide spot on the ridge will be the first (w-WWH-RP-07) of a few minor washes dropping into the head of the large drainage.

After crossing the small wash follow the trail that travels around the head of the large drainage and crossing over a few small washes dropping into the large drainage.  About 400 feet after crossing the first wash look for a slope going up to the west just after crossing one of the small washes (w-WWH-RP-08).

Continue west then southwest for about 350 feet up to a saddle (w-WWH-RP-09).  This saddle is on the east rim of Birch Hollow and is in a forested area so you can't look down into Birch yet.

Turn left and travel southeast up the ridge.  There are no well defined paths here.  You will find the occasional use trail but none seem to go very far.  You will need to route find your way up the ridge with some very minor bush whacking in spots.

About 400 feet up the ridge is a highpoint (w-WWH-RP-10). 

Continue east about 600 feet crossing a saddle then back up to another high point (w-WWH-RP-11).

From the highpoint (w-WWH-RP-11) turn right (south) and continue up the ridge.  From this point you will begin to get intermittent paths and travel begins to entail simpler route finding with a few spots of minor bushwhacking.  From here it is a straight shot southeast along the ridge back to the road about 0.7 miles away.

About 0.4 miles farther will be another high point (w-WWH-RP-12) on the ridge.  Continue southwest down over a saddle then up the ridge.  As you cross the saddle there will be some easy to follow trails leading toward the road about 0.3 miles away.

After getting to the road (jWWH-Top) you are at your exit vehicle if you parked here or turn right (south) and walk about 0.24 miles back to the trailhead (tBirchHollow) if you parked there.

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.

Esplin Gulch (1) - Drive in to Trailhead
  1. wEngDP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.23934   W -112.83230        Elev: NaN Feet
    Turn to the North Fork off Highway 9.
  2. wEngDP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27285   W -112.87304        Elev: NaN Feet
    Exit to the Ponderosa Ranch. If going to Englestead turn left, to the Ponderosa Ranch. If continuing up the North Fork road stay straight.
  3. wBirchHlwDP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27620   W -112.87358        Elev: NaN Feet
    Paved road turns to Dirt road.
  4. tBirchHollow          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.30973   W -112.85655        Elev: 6,740 Feet
    Trailhead for Birch Hollow. It is a very large turn out on the west side of the road.
  5. jWWH-Top          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.31233   W -112.85783        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of the Wild Wind Hollow route where it drops out onto the North Fork Road.
  6. extOrderville          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.33710   W -112.83050        Elev: NaN Feet
    Turn off for Orderville from the North Fork road. 11.4 miles from highway 9.
  7. extCotageWoods          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.35044   W -112.83240        Elev: NaN Feet
    Turn off of the North Fork Road to go to Cattages in the Woods community.
  8. pkBulloch1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.35896   W -112.84125        Elev: 6,745 Feet
    Turn off of the North Fork Road on the left as the main road makes a sharp right hand bend. Road sign post labeled as 90 and 92.
Esplin Gulch (2) - Approach
  1. pkBulloch1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.35896   W -112.84125        Elev: 6,745 Feet
    Turn off of the North Fork Road on the left as the main road makes a sharp right hand bend. Road sign post labeled as 90 and 92.
  2. wBullochRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.35865   W -112.84336        Elev: NaN Feet
    Fork in the road. Stay left on the main road to continue on the approach to Bulloch Canyon.
  3. wBullochRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.35784   W -112.84508        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road joins in on the north side of the road and is easily overlooked on the route into Bulloch due to teh angle of approach of the side road.
  4. pkBulloch2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.35226   W -112.85921        Elev: 6,640 Feet
    Fork in the road on the approach to Bulloch Canyon. Turn right (west) at this fork. Optionally you can park here if you have high clearance and 4WD to drive in this far.
  5. jDakotaHill          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.35313   W -112.87547        Elev: NaN Feet
    The road goes sharply around a corner to the left and begins to drop south down toward Walker Gulch. A game trail leaves the road here and continues west up a ridge from here toward Dakota Hill. If you plan to follow the Dakota Hill ridge toward Bulloch, Eastern Son, Checkerboard or Deadeye Dick Canyons, leave the road here and start up the trail to the west toward Dokota Hill. If you plan to follow the road over toward Walker Gulch, Esplin Gulch or Squeeze Play, stay on the road and continue down to the south.
  6. Esplin01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34773   W -112.87930        Elev: NaN Feet
    The road crosses over to the west side of one of the central upper forks of Walker Gulch. Continue south on the road.
  7. Esplin02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34636   W -112.88033        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road makes a sharp right then sharp left. After making the sharp left the road drops down into a drainage and continues south just left (east) of the water course for a few hundred feet.
  8. Esplin03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34478   W -112.87953        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road goes around a sharp right turn as it meets a confluence of drainages. Continue south down the road roughly following the left (east) side of the drainage.
  9. Esplin04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34421   W -112.88023        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road crosses over to the west side of the Walker Gulch drainage with a significant drop into then climbs up the other side to more road. After crossing and getting up to more road, continue south as the road roughly follows the west bank of Walker Gulch and occasionally following down in the water course. A few portions of the road are overgrown with enough grass making the road a little difficult to follow exactly.
  10. Esplin05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34160   W -112.88045        Elev: NaN Feet
    The road begins to leave the drainage of Walker Gulch and start up the RDC bank traveling south-southwest. To continue to Esplin Gulch follow the road southwest as it leaves Walker Gulch and slowly climbs the hill side. Note: You can cross Walker Gulch to the east then follow a road down into Orderville. Or you can drop into Walker Gulch here to enjoy the technical route south down to Orderville.
  11. jSqeezPly          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.33865   W -112.88290        Elev: NaN Feet
    Junction where the road turns from southwest to north around a sharp right hand U-turn switch back and another road joins in from the west. This road junction is very overgrown and the sharp right hand U-turn bend in the road may be easily missed. A GPS may be very helpful to keep you on track. To follow the shortest route to Esplin Gulch follow the road around the sharp right hand bend and follow the road north up the hill. Do not follow the road to the west going down hill. To go to Squeeze Play Canyon follow the road down hill to the west.
  12. Esplin06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34098   W -112.88232        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road turns left near the top of the hill and and levels off a lot then continues west.
  13. Esplin07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34099   W -112.88411        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road crosses through a clearing where it appears there may be a fork in the road. Bear right and continue northwest toward a white outcropping that can be seen ahead on the hill ahead. There is not actual fork in the road here but the way things are laid out it may appear to be a fork.
  14. Esplin08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34210   W -112.88607        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road goes across the head of a minor drainage with white dirt then bends left and continues southwest.
  15. Esplin09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34021   W -112.88766        Elev: NaN Feet
    Faint fork in the road. To continue to Esplin Gulch stay right at this fork and travel northwest up hill. Do not follow the road to the left going down hill to the south. Note: The road coming in from the left (south) is the other end of the alternate road you could have followed from the fork 0.6 miles earlier.
  16. Esplin10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34129   W -112.88946        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road tops out briefly on a saddle so wide you may not realize it is a saddle. Continue northwest down the slope about 750 feet to where the road crosses the head of Esplin Gulch.
  17. jEsplinGulch          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34329   W -112.88995        Elev: 6,285 Feet
    Road crosses over Esplin Gulch here. Leave the road and follow down Esplin Gulch to the south. Note: Following the road northwest will eventually meet up with the route into Bulloch Canyon.
  18. Esplin11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.34293   W -112.89041        Elev: NaN Feet
    Small shelves in the drainage that can be bypassed on either side.
  19. Esplin12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.33879   W -112.89514        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of a large shale cliff band. Bypass on the RDC side route finding your way back down into the drainage about 500 feet down canyon by a fork in the canyon also on the eRDC side.
  20. Esplin13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.33773   W -112.89683        Elev: NaN Feet
    Fork comes in on the RDC (west) side shortly after bypassing the large shale shlef.
  21. yEsplinTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.33127   W -112.89738        Elev: 5,870 Feet
    Top of Esplin Gulch. The drop at the head can be broken up into two drops of about 215 (but use a 250 foot rope) and 160 feet with a large pothole to to scramble down to and through between drops using about 410 feet of rope in total. The bolt for the second anchor is old, in bad condition and should be avoided. A better option is to use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator and tie ropes together by the large pothole then passing the knot while walking in the pothole. A traditional pull through a rap ring will not allow the ropes to be retrieved but the Smooth Operator / retrievable anchor system will. There are 2 anchor options, from a tree in the water course or from a tree about 30 feet RDC (west) of the water course. The water course anchor will have the ropes go around a couple corners making the pull more difficult and may create rope grooves and is not recommended. The RDC anchor provides a cleaner pull, has slightly less vertical distance, skips very small amount of slot (most of which you can see) and is the recommended option. From the recommended anchor using a tree 30 feet RDC of the water course, use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator. The rap drops about 200 feet, starting down a rocky chute that could be downclimbed, then goes vertical down to where you can get off rope then scramble down to and through a very large pothole. On the RDC side of the large pothole is a single old bot that should be avoided. On the other side of the pothole is a 160 foot rap down a mostly vertical wall. From the anchor at the top to the start of the 160 foot drop will use about 250 feet of rope. To get down these drops and avoid the use of the old bolt, then tie a second rope to the first rope to rap down the 160 foot wall. Using the retrievable anchor system will allow both ropes to come down even with the knot in them. From the not recommended anchor using the tree in the water course, use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator. The rap drops about 215 feet to where you can get off rope in the same place as using the recommended anchor but will use about 215 feet of rope instead. This upper portion of the slot goes past one medium sized pothole to avoid while on rap and also winds around a couple corners and will likely complicate the pull. From the bottom scramble down to and through the pothole with the 160 foot drop on the other side and tie ropes together as described using the recommended anchor.
Esplin Gulch (3) - The Canyon
  1. yEsplinTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.33127   W -112.89738        Elev: 5,870 Feet
    Top of Esplin Gulch. The drop at the head can be broken up into two drops of about 215 (but use a 250 foot rope) and 160 feet with a large pothole to to scramble down to and through between drops using about 410 feet of rope in total. The bolt for the second anchor is old, in bad condition and should be avoided. A better option is to use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator and tie ropes together by the large pothole then passing the knot while walking in the pothole. A traditional pull through a rap ring will not allow the ropes to be retrieved but the Smooth Operator / retrievable anchor system will. There are 2 anchor options, from a tree in the water course or from a tree about 30 feet RDC (west) of the water course. The water course anchor will have the ropes go around a couple corners making the pull more difficult and may create rope grooves and is not recommended. The RDC anchor provides a cleaner pull, has slightly less vertical distance, skips very small amount of slot (most of which you can see) and is the recommended option. From the recommended anchor using a tree 30 feet RDC of the water course, use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator. The rap drops about 200 feet, starting down a rocky chute that could be downclimbed, then goes vertical down to where you can get off rope then scramble down to and through a very large pothole. On the RDC side of the large pothole is a single old bot that should be avoided. On the other side of the pothole is a 160 foot rap down a mostly vertical wall. From the anchor at the top to the start of the 160 foot drop will use about 250 feet of rope. To get down these drops and avoid the use of the old bolt, then tie a second rope to the first rope to rap down the 160 foot wall. Using the retrievable anchor system will allow both ropes to come down even with the knot in them. From the not recommended anchor using the tree in the water course, use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator. The rap drops about 215 feet to where you can get off rope in the same place as using the recommended anchor but will use about 215 feet of rope instead. This upper portion of the slot goes past one medium sized pothole to avoid while on rap and also winds around a couple corners and will likely complicate the pull. From the bottom scramble down to and through the pothole with the 160 foot drop on the other side and tie ropes together as described using the recommended anchor.
  2. Esplin14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.33084   W -112.89746        Elev: NaN Feet
    From the bottom of the drops from the head of the canyon, continue down canyon about 175 feet to rap 3.
  3. dEsplinR3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.33057   W -112.89790        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 3 - Esplin Gulch. Anchored from a log and drops 20 feet over a large boulder into a short narrows. Just after rap 3 is downclimb of about 12 feet followed by walking through a narrow section about 200 feet to where the canyon makes a left jog and opens up a bit.
  4. Esplin15          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.33014   W -112.89835        Elev: NaN Feet
    Canyon bends left as it opens up to easy walking and a few boulders to scramble over.
  5. Esplin16          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32734   W -112.89769        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of another narrows. Shortly into the narrows is a short easy downclimb followed by a 12 foot drop that will likely be a partner assist for some then a couple more short easy downclimbs down through the narrow section about 200 feet to where it opens up to easy walking again.
  6. Esplin17          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32376   W -112.89725        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of another semi narrow section about 300 feet long with one easy downclimb of about 12 feet down a slide / chute and a couple short easy downclimbs.
  7. Esplin18          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32196   W -112.89680        Elev: NaN Feet
    Starting into another short narrows with a few logs to downclimb over.
  8. Esplin19          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32102   W -112.89655        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of a long corridor about 250 feet long to walk.
  9. Esplin21          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.31945   W -112.89637        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of a short narrows with two easy down climbs of 10 to 12 feet then 8 to 10 feet. A little over 200 feet is the end of Esplin Gulch where it meets Orderville.
  10. yEsplinBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.31886   W -112.89632        Elev: 5,230 Feet
    Bottom of Esplin Gulch where it dumps into Orderville. To exit turn left and walk east up Orderville.
Esplin Gulch (4) - Exit
  1. yEsplinBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.31886   W -112.89632        Elev: 5,230 Feet
    Bottom of Esplin Gulch where it dumps into Orderville. To exit turn left and walk east up Orderville.
  2. ySqeezPlyBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32414   W -112.88774        Elev: 5,340 Feet
    Bottom of Squeeze Play Canyon where it dumps into Orderville.
  3. yWalkerGulchBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32430   W -112.88586        Elev: 5,380 Feet
    Bottom of Walker Gulch where it dumps into Orderville.
  4. yBirchHollowBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32337   W -112.87600        Elev: 5,510 Feet
    Bottom Exit of Birch Hollow where it meets Orderville Canyon / Gulch.
  5. tWildWindHlwBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32445   W -112.87040        Elev: 5,535 Feet
    Bottom of Wild Wind Hollow. A non technical and brush filled hollow leading up out of Orederville sometimes used as a return route after Birch Hollow.
  6. w-WWH-RP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32339   W -112.86858        Elev: 5,750 Feet
    Trail is better defined and runs at the base of a vertical rock cliff band.
  7. w-WWH-RP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32286   W -112.86749        Elev: NaN Feet
    Social trail had been following along the base of a sandstone wall. This is the east end of the wall and is about 200 feet up out of the wash.
  8. w-WWH-RP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32244   W -112.86703        Elev: NaN Feet
    Use trail forks off in 3 directions. Turn right (southwest) and follow the trail going up the slope away from Wild Wind Hollow.
  9. w-WWH-RP-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32176   W -112.86751        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trail tops out here about 50 feet before reaching a wide shallow drainage. Walk over to the shallow drainge then follow up a faint path along the LUC side. Note: I have followed a faint trail leading southish up the slopes then route find your way up the hill to meet with the trail again. This can go smooth if you keep an eney on GPS and aim for the ridge line. It is a little harder to follow in places than the other route but does cut of a small amount of distance. The trail seems to veer away from the crest of the ridge. Looking at google earth the ridge will make a great route. Next time out will try to get up onto the ridge about 190 feet from here. Note that the trails may lead you away from it. But once on the ridge well defined trails emerge again.
  10. w-WWH-RP-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32107   W -112.86916        Elev: NaN Feet
    Shallow drainge fades away here and you will be walking southwest traversing the slope.
  11. w-WWH-RP-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32045   W -112.86989        Elev: 6,085 Feet
    Route gets to a ridge that is the east rim of the drainage between Wild Wind hollow and Orderville. Turn left and travel on faint use trails along the ridge.
  12. w-WWH-RP-07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.31894   W -112.86949        Elev: 6,155 Feet
    First of a few small washes dropping into the head of the large drainge.
  13. w-WWH-RP-08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.31869   W -112.87075        Elev: 6,155 Feet
    Scramble west up the slope here after crossing over one of the washes dropping into the head of the large draiange.
  14. w-WWH-RP-09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.31802   W -112.87146        Elev: 6,245 Feet
    Saddle on the ridge. The ridge is on the east rim of Birch Hollow.
  15. w-WWH-RP-10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.31746   W -112.87022        Elev: 6,345 Feet
    High point along the ridge.
  16. w-WWH-RP-11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.31757   W -112.86776        Elev: 6,380 Feet
    Another highpoint on the ridge. Trun right (southeast) and continue up the ridge.
  17. w-WWH-RP-12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.31395   W -112.86299        Elev: 6,665 Feet
    Highpoint on the ridge.
  18. jWWH-Top          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.31233   W -112.85783        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of the Wild Wind Hollow route where it drops out onto the North Fork Road.