Canyoneering Route Description

Duckett Slot - 3B II
Cedar Mesa, Utah.

Quick Facts

10-03-10, 3 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 4 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 3 to 5 hours
Distance - 2.1 miles Total, 0.6 miles Technical
Rappels - 6 Rappels, Longest Rappel 35 feet.
Elevation Range - 4905 - 4520 Feet
Shuttle Required -No Vehicle - High Clarence 4WD Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 35 feet, 50 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  Wet suits may be required depending on time of year.  The canyon is short but still holds some pretty chilly water.  If the days are hot you may be fine without one but if cooler out consider at least a 3mm suit.

General Comments

Duckett Slot is a fun short canyon with high scenic value.  You will get a good taste of some down climbing and swimming through pools on this route.  Rap 1 drop line of rap 1 can be very entertaining if you take the interesting option.  Information originally came from the Mini-Slot Guide to the Colorado Plateau.

If you do not have a high clearance vehicle to get to Duckett Slot there is always the option of parking by the highway and walking in about 2 miles to the start of the route.  Then rather than climb out of the canyon at the standard exit you can continue to walk up White Canyon back to the highway.  The altered exit route would add about 0.7 miles to the route as well.  So walking in from the highway and exiting up White Canyon would add about 2.7 miles to the total route distance.  Not too bad since the Duckett Slot route is short to begin with.  

To keep the area around rap 1 clean, please use a retrievable anchor or hike back over to the top of the rap after you have completed the route to clean up your anchor materials.

Duckett Slot can change drastically with each major rain and flood.  The most obvious change is water level in the canyon.  Sometimes the pools may be low and a muddy mess, while others you will be greeted with deep pools and some swims.  The not so obvious thing to change is all the gravel fill in the bottom of this slot.  Water can wash gravel in filling it up or wash it out making drops bigger and pools deeper.  Keep this in mind an be prepared for a little unexpected.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

On highway 95 there is a bridge that crosses over the upper end of Lake Powel named Hite Crossing.  From the center of the bridge at Hite Crossing Drive 13.5 miles southeast on highway 95 to the turn off (extSanJuan208a) for the San Juan County Road 208A (labeled on some maps as Horse Tanks Road).  This is near a point on the map labeled as Duckett Crossing.  The turn off will be on the right (west) side of the road.  

Horses Tank Road does a big loop and meets back at highway 95 about 7.7 miles north of the point you are looking for.  The turn off you are looking for is not where Horses Tank Road meets highway 95 5.8 miles southeast of Hite Crossing.  

From the turn off for Co. Road 208a follow the road about 900 feet south then east as it turns to cross under the highway through a cement tunnel large enough for only one vehicle.  

Drive east under the highway through the tunnel to a ramp that drops down the other side down to White Canyon.  The cement rap is steep and creates and angle where only high clearance vehicles can get by.  Even high clearance vehicles with a long wheel base will have issues here.  Be sure to evaluate this before blindly driving over it.  

After crossing under the highway cross White Canyon and continue east on Co. Road 208a which is up hill out of White Canyon.  About 0.3 miles from the tunnel will be an opening in a fence crossing the road (wDuckett-Gate).  

Drive about 0.3 miles past the gate to the junction with an un-named road the leads toward Short Canyon.  At this junction turn left (north) to continue on Co. Road 208a.  

Continue on Co. Road 208a for 1.4 miles after the junction to the parking spot to start the Duckett Slot Route (PkDuckettSlot).  This is a non descript spot with no easily described markers.  The water course for Duckett Slot does show on topo maps and the park spot is about 0.5 miles south west of where the water course for Duckett Slot crosses the road you are on.

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is need.  After getting back up to the road after the route walk about 0.4 miles northeast back to the vehicles.


GPS coordinate information listed at the bottom.  For information about waypoint naming and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Map Link Icon
Click the links for maps of the route.
Map of the entire route.


The Approach:
From the parking spot for the start of the route (PkDuckettSlot) walk north away from the road.  About 350 feet away find a spot to down climb about 15 feet to the next lower level.  After dropping down continue north about 700 feet to drop down into the drainage for Duckett Slot (yDuckettSlotTp).  There is nothing notable about this spot.  It is just an easy place to walk down to the drainage.

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
Once in the drainage for Duckett Slot (yDuckettSlotTp), turn left (west) and walk down canyon about 500 feet to the top of a drop off.  Rap 1 drops down over this ledge.  

Rap 1 (dDuckettR1) is anchored from a large dead tree at the top of the rap.  To keep the area clean please use a retrievable anchor or hike back over to the top of the rap after you have completed the route to clean up your anchor materials.  

Rap one has two possible routes down.  The most interesting is a surprise if you decide to take that route down.  Rap 1 drops about 25 feet to the canyon floor.  The ledge you rapped off of is a huge over hanging ledge running across the canyon with hanging gardens and seeps all around.   The bottom of rap 1 is a scenic treat.  

From the bottom of rap 1 walk about 600 feet down canyon to the start of a narrow slot (wDuckettRP-01).  Down climb into the slot with 3 easy down climbs of about 6 feet each.  

Rap 2 (dDuckettR2-3) is about 50 feet down canyon after dropping down into the slot.  Rap 2 is anchored from a choke stone and drops about 20 feet.  The top part of Rap 2 can be easily down climbed.  The last part goes vertical for about 8 feet dropping down to a pool.  This last part could get deeper if more gravel gets washed out.  

A faster option than rappelling rap 2 would be to give a hand line to the first person down to down climb then that person can give a thigh belay to assist the rest of the group.  

Rap 3 is about 30 feet down canyon of rap 2 and drops about 15 feet to a pool.  Rap 3 is similar to rap 2 in that the first part is easily down climbed and the last part would be a challenge to get down.  All but the last person down can use a meat anchor to rappel off of.  The last person can throw the rope over one of a couple large choke stones over head and rappel on one strand while someone at the bottom provides a counter balance on the other strand.  

Rap 3 may also be down climbed by the first person using a hand line from above.  They can then assist others with the last part of the down climb.  The bottom of the drop is under cut so a standard thigh belay may become awkward.  

Down canyon of rap 3 are some tight narrows that you will need to stem along the top of.  The narrows widens out near the end allowing travel on the floor again before ending with a right turn and a drop of about 5 feet.  The drop is under cut so there will be little footing as you climb down.  But there is a great jug to hold onto RDC.  People in the 6 foot range can belly over the drop and hold onto the jug and be able to set themselves firmly on the ground.  

After the down climb are a couple pools to wade through before things get tight again.  Stemming up over the floor is again needed to keep from getting stuck below.  Near the end of this tight section is a pool that you can stem over if you can stem in the now wider walls.  If it gets too wide for you over the pool you will need to drop in and deal with water and mud.  

Continue down canyon through a few more pools and a couple easy down climbs of 8 to 10 feet before getting to rap 4.  

Rap 4 (dDuckettR4) is about 500 feet down canyon of rap 5.  Rap 4 is anchored from a choke stone and has an awkward start before dropping 15 feet to a pool below.  If the pool below rap 4 is full you will need to swim but the exit should be pretty simple.  If the pool is low you may only have to wade but getting up the steep down canyon side may be a muddy slick mess.  

After rap 4 the canyon is a little wider for a short distance before reaching another tight section.  Stemming over this section avoids a few very nasty pools at the bottom and provides great views down canyon while you are up along the top.  The tight section ends with a long pool at the end that can be stemmed and down climbed around by some.  Others will need to climb down and swim the pool.  Next the canyon widens out a little again before reaching rap 5.  

Rap 5 (dDuckettR5) is about 400 feet down canyon of rap 4.  Rap 5 can be rappelled or down climbed with a little care.   

To down climb Rap 5, start down the top portion which is an easy slope to down climb until reaching a short drop to the pool below.  At the top of this vertical drop to the pool you can carefully climb around a ledge RDC and follow the ledge all the way around the pool.  If the pool is full the consequences are a splash and a swim, but if the pool is dry climbing around on the ledge could result in a fall of about 10 feet if you slip.  

To rappel down Rap 5 anchor from one of the rocks near the top of the drop and rap down about 20 feet to the pool or maybe 35 feet if the pool is dry.  

After rap 5 the canyon opens up a lot.  One of the rocks you will pass looks like a top that is ready to be spun.  

About 400 feet down canyon of rap 5 is the start of another narrow section to drop into (wDuckettRP-02).  Down climb to a water filled pot hole and work around the ledge RDC to get around it.  Getting over to the ledge RDC just before dropping to the pothole can be a bit awkward.   

About 100 feet down canyon after getting into the narrows will be a stem style down climb of about 35 feet.  At the bottom of the down climb is a pool you will need to wade or carefully climb around it on the ledge LDC.  

Rap 6 (dDuckettR6) is on the other side of the pool after the down climb.  Rap 6 is anchored from a choke stone and drops about 25 feet over a huge overhanging ledge that spans across the canyon.  At the bottom of rap 6 you are under this huge ledge with hanging gardens and seeps all around.  Take some time to enjoy this impressive alcove.  There is more greenery and seeps than at the bottom of rap 1.  

After rap 6 the canyon is wide and is an easy walk down canyon.  Soon the canyon widens out a lot and has a sandstone floor with a few pools to walk around.  

The exit out of Duckett Slot (yDuckettSlotBt) and into White Canyon is a little over 500 feet down canyon of rap 6.  Start down an easy sloped down climb of about 15 feet.  At the bottom of the down climb is a small alcove with a sloped down climb on the other side that drops down to White Canyon.  The drop down the last slope is about 20 feet and can be slick.  A hand line is a good idea for all but the last person.

The Exit:
When you reach White Canyon at the Exit of Duckett Slot (yDuckettSlotBt) turn left (south) and begin walking up canyon in White Canyon.  There are a couple scenic treats along the way.  

Walk about 0.5 miles winding up canyon in White Canyon to a large ravine joining in from the left (east).  When you get to the bottom of the ravine (wDuckettRP-03), start working your way up it.  

Start up from the bottom along a sloped ramp on the right.  As you get further up the ravine continue up the right side going up some very steep slick rock.  If the grade is too step for your comfort zone you can go left and go up an easier grade out and around the left side.  Going around left will add a little distance to your route though.  

At the top of the exit ravine (wDuckettRP-04) walk over the flat desert about 0.2 miles to the road.  Try to avoid walking on the crypto biotic soil by following any cattle or use trails you find.  When you make it to the road walk about 0.4 miles north east along the road (Co. Road 208a) back to your entry vehicle.

GPS Waypoint Information

Downloadable GPX files available at BG-Gear Store (easier than manual entry and a great way to support Bluugnome).
Waypoint naming convention and map symbol information can be found on the Glossary page.  Elevations are approximate.
manually entering coordinates set your system to WGS84 datum and Lat/Lon hddd.ddddd° coordinate format
Inconsistent datum's and coordinate formats will result in location errors.

Click to show / expand the list of waypoints below........
Duckett 1 - Drive to Trailhead
  1. extSanJuan208a          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74375   W -110.28081        Elev: 4,660 Feet
    Turn off of highway 95 for the San Juan County Road 208A. The dirt road exits on the west side of the highway then loops around under the highway through a tunnel to follow the 208A road east from the highway.
  2. wDuckett-Gate          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74321   W -110.27622        Elev: NaN Feet
    A fence or gate crossing the road.
  3. ExtShortCynRd          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.74394   W -110.27151        Elev: 4,745 Feet
    Turn off onto an un-named road toward Short Canyon.
  4. PkDuckettSlot          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75926   W -110.26173        Elev: 4,905 Feet
    Park here for the start of the Duckett Slot route.
Duckett 2 - Appraoch and Canyon
  1. PkDuckettSlot          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75926   W -110.26173        Elev: 4,905 Feet
    Park here for the start of the Duckett Slot route.
  2. yDuckettSlotTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76190   W -110.26260        Elev: 4,850 Feet
    Top entry for Duckett Slot. Nothing notable here just a spot to drop easily into the drainage for Duckett Slot.
  3. dDuckettR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76124   W -110.26392        Elev: 4,830 Feet
    Rap 1 - Duckett Slot. Ancored from a large dead tree by the rap. Rap drops about 25 feet with an interesting route to rap down if you choose it.
  4. wDuckettRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76087   W -110.26592        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of a narrow slot section.
  5. dDuckettR2-3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76081   W -110.26623        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 2 and 3 - Duckett Slot. Rap 2 anchored from a choke stone and drops about 25 feet. Rap 3 anchored from a choke stone over head with a meat counter balance and drops about 15 feet.
  6. dDuckettR4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.76016   W -110.26772        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 4 - Duckett Slot. Anchored from a choke stone and drops about 15 feet to a pool below.
  7. dDuckettR5          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75980   W -110.26895        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 5 - Duckett Slot. Anchored from rocks and drops about 35 feet to a pool but can be down climbed by following a ledge RDC that starts part way down the drop.
  8. wDuckettRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75961   W -110.27025        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of another narrow section.
  9. dDuckettR6          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75957   W -110.27079        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 6 - Duckett Slot. Anchored from choke stones and drops about 25 feet over an overhanging ledge with hanging gardens and seeps under the ledge.
  10. yDuckettSlotBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75909   W -110.27246        Elev: 4,530 Feet
    Bottom exit of Duckett Slot where it meets White Canyon.
Duckett 3 - Exit
  1. yDuckettSlotBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75909   W -110.27246        Elev: 4,530 Feet
    Bottom exit of Duckett Slot where it meets White Canyon.
  2. wDuckettRP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75548   W -110.27344        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start walking up the ravine on the left (east).
  3. wDuckettRP-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75577   W -110.27184        Elev: 4,730 Feet
    Top ofthe exit ravine.
  4. PkDuckettSlot          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.75926   W -110.26173        Elev: 4,905 Feet
    Park here for the start of the Duckett Slot route.