Canyoneering Route Description

Yankee Doodle Hollow - 3B I
Dixie National Forest (Pine Valley Dist.), Utah.

Quick Facts

10-17-10, 6 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 2 hours) Pictures Icon
08-12-12, 5 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 1.75 hours)
10-14-13, 3 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 3.25 hours)
06-29-14, 6 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 1.5 hours)

Time Required - 2 to 3 hours
Distance - 0.7 miles Total, 0.4 miles Technical
Rappels - 1 Rappels, Longest Rappel 50 feet (but bring a 200 foot rope)
Elevation Range - 4350 - 4120 Feet
Shuttle Required -No Vehicle - Passenger Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, one 200 foot rope and 30 feet of 1 inch webbing to assist with down climbs.  During hot weather a wet suit will likely not be needed.  During cooler days a 3mm wet suit should be ok for most people.

General Comments

Yankee doodle is a quick treat and has the Zion flavor to it.  The only mandatory rappel is at the head of the canyon.  Since the head is only 170 feet from where you park it is a nice option to leave the rope at rap one and not haul it through the canyon.  It is a short walk to retrieve it after the route.  If you are in the area and have a couple hours you owe it to yourself to check this little gem out.  

There are a few down climbs along the way that some people will want assistance with.  For that have a length of webbing with you to assist where needed.  Since this canyon is guided frequently you will find bolts in most places you think you need to assist someone with a down climb.  You will even find a few bolts that make no sense.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the junction of I15 and Highway 9 just north of St. George Utah: Drive north on I15 7.8 miles to exit 22 for the town of Leeds.  Then follow the frontage road 1.6 miles through Leeds to Silver Reef Road.  Turn left (west) and drive under the freeway.  

If you are driving south bound on I15 you will take the Leeds exit which will place you right down to the Silver Reef Road.  You will not need to drive a frontage road.  

After driving under the free way continue west on the Silver Reef Road.  1.5 miles from the freeway the pavement will end (wPineVlyDP-01) shortly after the road name changes to Oak Grove Road.

About 450 feet after the pavement ends will be a road to the left.  Stay right and continue on Oak Grove Road.  

After another 1.5 miles will be a fork in the road (wPineVlyDP-02).  Stay left at the fork.  This is where you will leave Oak Grove Road.  

Another 0.7 miles and the road tops out (wPineVlyDP-03) where there is a huge turn out to park a few cars and get a good view of the surrounding area.  

Follow the road as it winds down the other side of the top out.  2.3 miles down from the top out the road will pass through a ranch area with fences on both sides of the road (wPineVlyDP-04).  

Drive 0.3 more miles where you will cross over a cattle guard (wPineVlyDP-05).  

Drive 0.4 miles past the cattle guard to an un-marked road (pkBoltergeist) going left (southeast).  This is where you would park if starting the Boltergeist route.  

Drive 0.7 miles after the parking for Boltergeist to where Heath Wash crosses the road (wPineVlyDP-06).  

Drive another 0.6 miles to where the road crosses Big Hollow (wPineVlyDP-07).  

Then drive 0.9 miles to the parking for Yankee Doodle Canyon (PkYankeeDoodle).  There is a turn out here on the right (north) side of the road where 2 to 4 vehicles can park.  This is about 240 feet east of where Yankee Doodle Hollow Creek crosses the road.

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is needed.  This is done as a loop route.


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 drive into the route.
Map of the entire route.


The Approach:
From the parking spot (PkYankeeDoodle), cross over to the south side of the road and walk about 170 feet south over to the head of the canyon (yYankeeDodleTp).

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
The mandatory rap of Yankee Doodle Canyon is right at or near the head of the canyon (yYankeeDodleTp).  There are multiple options for rappelling here.  

The suggested rappel is to use a tree on the LDC side about 40 feet down canyon of the head.  Use a single 200 foot rope and rappel down about 30 feet to the floor then walk down canyon to the top of a larger drop where you will find some bolted anchors LDC.  Continue the rappel past the bolted anchors and down the drop about 70 feet to the canyon floor.  The 70 foot drop is down a smooth almost vertical wall that is fluted and sculpted all around it. If you us the full length of a single 200 foot rope and rap from the tree down past the second drop you will have a lot of rope left over at the bottom.  I am not sure of how much left over there will be so bring a standard 200 foot rope.  Do not set up a pull cord for the rope.  Instead stretch the rope out at the bottom so there are no bends in it.  When you finish the canyon you can walk the 170 feet back to the top of the rap and pull the rope up before going home.  

The rest of the canyon should need no rope.  A length of webbing should be hauled down canyon with you though to assist people with hand lines where needed.  

Other options for rapping into the head:
Optionally you can down climb a chute on the LDC side about 100 feet down canyon from the head.  After down climbing the chute (sloped and lots of hand holds) you can walk over to the top of the 70 foot drop and rap in.  Take the rope with you or leave it and come back to claim it after the route by climbing down the chute retrieving the rope then climbing back up the chute.  This drop is anchored from two bolted hanger LDC or you can use one of a few small boulders at the top of the rap (no bolts required).  

Another option is to walk about 150 feet down canyon of the head along the rim on the RDC side.  When the rim cliffs out you can down climb and use any one a few bolted anchors set about the area.  

After dropping down to the canyon floor below the 70 foot near vertical wall (no matter which option you used) start down canyon.  It is a good idea to have a 30 foot length of webbing on hand to assist others with down climbs if needed.  

Down canyon of rap 1 are a few boulders to scramble over, under or around and a few small easy down climbs.  There are 3 down climbs of about 10 to 15 feet are spread out over the first 0.25 miles.  Two of these down climbs drop to pools in long narrow slots and can be deep wades or swims depending on water levels.  

About .25 miles down canyon from the head the canyon widens out for a short section (wYankeeRP-01).  At this wider point is a crack like drainage dropping down the LDC wall and a monolithic sized boulder on the canyon floor on the RDC side.  

Next is a short walk in the wider canyon before it closes up again and leads to more narrow areas.  

A short distance down this next narrow section is a drop of about 12 feet (or more depending on water level) to a pothole.  If you down climb to the pothole you will be greeted with amazingly deep water and need to swim to get out the other side.  If water levels are low this may be difficult.  

Instead bypass the pothole by climbing up and over on the LDC side then walking down a ramp to the other side of the pothole.  To get up on the left side are a couple of moki steps but this will likely not be enough since your feet will be wet and sandy.  Someone can spot your feet from below to help you up.  Once someone is up and over they can lend a hand with a length of webbing to those that follow.  When you get to the top of the first part of the climb around you will find a couple bolts possibly placed by guides to assist people with this tricky spot.  After climbing up and around, walk down a ramp leading to the down canyon side of the pothole.  On the other side of the pothole is a long pool to wade through.  

Next is a nice easy walk down a flat bottomed floor for a few hundred feet to where the canyon starts to widen out a lot.  

As the canyon starts to widen out your exit will be up the very large, very obvious side canyon or drainage joining in from the left (north west).  Just before reaching the drainage you will see a sloped slick rock ramp that looks pretty easy to scramble up.  This is your ramp out of the canyon (yYankeeDodleBt) and is on the left side while looking up the side drainage.  This is about 500 feet before the confluence with Heath Wash.  As a visual cue for the ramp up look for a tall pine tree at the base of the ramp up with a lot of its roots exposed running along the slick rock.

The Exit:
Start up the exit ramp (yYankeeDodleBt) right next to the tree with exposed roots.   

As you get higher follow the natural line and traverse to the right over toward the side drainage.  You will find several shallow moki steps to assist along the way (they are shallow and minimally helpful).   

As you traverse over you will get to a spot where the route levels off at a sort of landing.  This is about 100 feet up the ramp from the canyon floor (wYankeeRP-02).  

From the landing, scramble up the slick rock on the left to get to a well worn use trail.  This scramble up can be difficult and may require you to help each other for the first few feet of it.  

After getting up to the use trail follow it up (steeply at first then leveling off) to the road about 700 feet from the landing (jYankeeExit).  

When you reach the road turn left (west) and walk about 1000 feet back to your vehicle.  Remember to go get the rope you left at the rappel by the head of the canyon.

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........
YankeeDoodle 1 - Drive in to Trailhead
  1. extSilverReef          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.24437   W -113.35337        Elev: 3,563 Feet
    Exit from I-15 to Silver Reef Road in Leeds UT.
  2. wPineVlyDP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25973   W -113.36945        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road changes names near hear from Silver Reef Road to Oak Grove Road. Pavemet also ends here.
  3. wPineVlyDP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27133   W -113.38667        Elev: 4,440 Feet
    Stay left at the fork on the drive in to Yankee Doodle Canyon area.
  4. wPineVlyDP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27223   W -113.39731        Elev: 4,820 Feet
    Road tops out here and has a big turn out for a few cars to park.
  5. wPineVlyDP-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25790   W -113.42530        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road passes through a ranch area with fences on bothsides of the road.
  6. wPineVlyDP-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25523   W -113.42883        Elev: NaN Feet
    Cattle gaurd in the road.
  7. pkBoltergeist          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25088   W -113.43272        Elev: 4,270 Feet
    Park here for the start of the Boltergeist route. There is an unsigned road leaving to the southeast or left side of the road on the drive in.
  8. wPineVlyDP-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.24638   W -113.44229        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road crosses over Heath Wash.
  9. wPineVlyDP-07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.24325   W -113.45198        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road crosses over Big Hollow.
  10. PkYankeeDoodle          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.23702   W -113.45343        Elev: 4,330 Feet
    Park here for the start of the Yankee Doodle Route. There is a turn out on the right (north) side of the road.
YankeeDoodle 2 - The Canyon,
  1. PkYankeeDoodle          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.23702   W -113.45343        Elev: 4,330 Feet
    Park here for the start of the Yankee Doodle Route. There is a turn out on the right (north) side of the road.
  2. yYankeeDodleTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.23661   W -113.45313        Elev: 4,315 Feet
    Top entry for Yankee Doodle Canyon. This is also where the mandtory rap is located. There are multiple options for the rapel. A 200 foot rope is recommended will get you past the 30 foot and 70 foot drops all in one shot.
  3. wYankeeRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.23548   W -113.45061        Elev: NaN Feet
    Canyon widens out a little where there is a crack like drainage comming down teh LDC wall and a huge monolithic sized boulder on the RDC side of the canyon floor.
  4. yYankeeDodleBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.23576   W -113.44814        Elev: 4,130 Feet
    Bottom exit of Yankee Doodle. There is a ramp here up the left side of a side drainage to climb up.
YankeeDoodle 3 - Exit
  1. yYankeeDodleBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.23576   W -113.44814        Elev: 4,130 Feet
    Bottom exit of Yankee Doodle. There is a ramp here up the left side of a side drainage to climb up.
  2. wYankeeRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.23591   W -113.44841        Elev: NaN Feet
    Landing along the exit ramp on the way out.
  3. jYankeeExit          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.23686   W -113.45022        Elev: 4,360 Feet
    Where the exit climb out of Yankee Doodle Canyon meets the road.
  4. PkYankeeDoodle          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.23702   W -113.45343        Elev: 4,330 Feet
    Park here for the start of the Yankee Doodle Route. There is a turn out on the right (north) side of the road.