Canyoneering Route Description

Wayne's Wonderland Canyon - 4B III
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.

Quick Facts

09-13-14, 8 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 7 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 6 to 8 hours
Distance - 0.7 miles Total, 3.2 miles Technical
Rappels - 5 Rappels, Longest Rappel 200 feet.  A rope slightly longer than 200 is recomended.
Elevation Range - 5230 - 6140 Feet
Shuttle Required - No Vehicle - Passenger Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 200 feet and 60 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  A rope of a little more than 200 feet is recommended.  Wetsuits are generally a good idea even when warm.  Sandtrap.  Potshot (just in case). 

A watertrap is NOT needed but can be put to good use for practice in a couple spots if you happen to have one.

General Comments

Wayne's Wonderland is a fun scenic route worth the visit. The approach offers big open views over the area while the canyon offers some pothole fun and scenic slots below with a few anchor challenges.

The approach up to the mesa top will require some route finding skills to navigate the cliff bands to the top.

The keeper in the slot just before the final rap could be challenging in the right conditions.  It may be a good idea to have a potshot on hand just incase but you will likely not need it.

Note / Warning:
Rap 3 is the biggest drop in the canyon and is a true 200 feet if you extend the anchor to the lip. A rope slightly longer than 200 feet is recommended.

Or rap 3 has a large pothole / ledge about 110 feet down where you could set a second rappel but a watertrap would likely be the best choice there. Another option is to join ropes together and pass the knot while on the large ledge. To do this a retrievable anchor like a Sandtrap or Smooth Operator will need to be used to eliminate the need for the knot to pulled through a rappel ring. A Sandtrap works best here.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From Torrey Utah at the junction of highways 12 and 24 drive east on highway 24 for 9.7 miles to the turn off on the right (south) for the Capitol Reef Visitor Center.  Pass the turn off and continue east on highway 24 for another 4.5 miles to a pull out on the right (south) side of the road for the lower Grand Wash trailhead.  This is just after passing Grand Wash and just before reaching mile marker 84.  Park in the Grand Wash trailhead (tGrandWashLwr).

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

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

Maps - - - - GPS coordinate information listed at the bottom of this route description.

For information about my waypoint naming convention and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Map Link Icon
Click the links for maps of the route.
Map of the entire route.
Map zoomed in on part of approach.
Map of the technical section.

Details

The Approach:
From lower Grand Wash trailhead (tGrandWashLwr) walk east on highway 24 for about 0.32 miles to a wide wash on the right (south) where you can see a steeply sloped ravine about 400 feet from the road running up to the southeast.  The bottom of Wayne's Wonderland is about 900 feet after leaving the parking area which you will pass by on as you start the approach.

When you get to the wide wash (jWayneWndr) turn right leave the road and hike southeast up the wash for about 450 feet to the base (WayneWndr01) of a rubble filled ravine running up the left side of the wash. You can see all the way up the ravine from the road.

Example Pic.

Go up the ravine to the top out (WayneWndr02) about 500 feet away.  From the top out continue southeast dropping down into a drainage / wash then begin walking up the wash.

About 400 feet southeast up the wash veer left to leave the wash going up to the southeast looking for a weakness on the left allowing you to scramble up onto the slickrock above.

When up on the slickrock above the wash (WayneWndr03) route find your way southeast up along sloped slickrock then up a dirt and rock slope to its top out about 900 feet away.

Example Pic.

From the top of the dirt and rock slope (WayneWndr04) continue scrambling up slickrock for about 200 feet to get as high as you can to get to a weakness in the cliff band allowing access to a shelf / ledge.

When you have scrambled as high as possible (WayneWndr05) turn left to walk north along a slanted ledge / shelf.

Example Pic.

About 100 feet along the shelf / ledge you will go around a point (WayneWndr06) and continue north along the shelf.

Another 250 feet along the shelf is a weakness (WayneWndr07) where you can scramble up to the next higher ledge / shelf.  On the next shelf continue north about 60 feet to another weakness where you can scramble up one more level then continue north to where you can scramble up to the mesa top near the end of a point.

Once up on the mesa top (WayneWndr08) turn right and walk south along the mesa through rolling desert while roughly following along the edge of the cliff.

About 0.34 miles along the mesa will be a small slope to walk to the top of (WayneWndr09). Continue southwest then west roughly following the edge of the mesa for about 0.5 miles to a spot where you can walk out on a wide point jutting out north from the mesa.

When you get to the ridge (WayneWndr10) pass the ridge and continue southwest route finding your way about 300 feet to the top of a ravine running down from the mesa.

From the top of the ravine (WayneWndr11) route find your way northwest down the rubble filled ravine. Getting down into the top portion of the ravine can be awkward as you find a way to downclimb down slopes with a lot of large loose flat rocks. The LDC (west) side of the ravine provides the best entry. The first 300 feet of the ravine is steep leading down to a shelf to bypass and becomes more gently sloped after the shelf.

About 300 feet down the ravine (WayneWndr12) is a shelf of about 15 feet in the ravine which can be bypassed RDC to avoid the crypto on the LDC side. The ravine becomes more gently sloped after bypassing this shelf.

About 600 feet farther the ravine down from the rim meets the main drainage and a drop of about 35 feet that is easily bypassed on the LDC side.  This is where the technical portion begins (yWayneWndrTp).

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
From the start of the technical section (yWayneWndrTp) bypass the 35 foot drop and walk a little over 200 feet to the top of a narrow slot (WayneWndr13) to downclimb through.   The slot has two elevator / stem style downclimbs of about 15 and 20 feet each down to pools that can be waist to swimmer depth depending on levels. Then an easy 8 foot down downclimb to wide easy walking.

After the short walk is the top of another slot (WayneWndr14) to downclimb through with 3 elevator / stem style downclimbs of about 15 feet each. After the 3 downclimbs is the top of rap 1.

Rap 1 (dWayneWndrR1) is anchored from a cairn anchor about 25 feet back from the drop and drops about 25 feet down a slope.  Optionally a back drag anchor could be used here.   Walk about 250 feet down to rap 2.

Rap 2 (dWayneWndrR2)  anchored LDC from large boulders and drops about 25 feet down the LDC wall. After rap 2 is easy walking in deep slot for a little over 200 feet to 2 downclimbs of about 6 to 8 feet before reaching the start of a pothole section.

The pothole section (WayneWndr15) is a about 100 feet long section of shallow potholes that are easy to play through down to rap 3.

Rap 3 (dWayneWndrR3) anchored using a sandtrap and drops a total of 200 feet over two stages with a large pothole about 110 feet down that you can walk around in. Be sure to set the anchor for rap 3 so the rope starts at the lip of the drop to make it a 200 foot drop.  Setting the anchor back too far will create the need for more rope. Optionally rap 3 can be done as 2 rappels by anchoring at the midpoint pothole using a watertrap or sand trap depending on conditions.

Note:
For rap 3, a second rope can be tied on at the midpoint pothole and the knot passed while in the midpoint pothole. This will be helpful if you are unsure your ropes reach. This can not be done with a traditional pull anchor as the knot will need to pass through the rap ring above. If tying ropes together a sandtrap or releasable anchor like the Smooth Operator needs to be used.

After rap 3 are a few shallow potholes and one drop of about 8 feet that will require partner assist before getting to rap 4.

Rap 4 (dWayneWndrR4) anchored about 20 feet back using a deadman anchor and uses about 160 feet of rope going down a slope, over a large pothole then down a slightly sloped shallow crack.  At the bottom of the rap the canyon turns hard right to travel northeast.

About 150 feet down canyon to the start (WayneWndr16) of a narrow section with 2 or 3 downclimbs of 8 to 10 feet each and a few pools that could be swimmers if full.

Next is a short open section (WayneWndr17).  Over the next 700 feet the canyon has a mix of short open spots and narrow slots with a couple downclimbs of about 8 feet and a few pools that can be swimmers when full.

Just before getting to the final rap is the start of a 140 foot long pothole section (WayneWndr18) leading down to the final rappel. There is one pothole in this section that can be a keeper in the right conditions. A swimming partner assist works well to get the first person out. Just before reaching the final rap is a steeply sloped downclimb of about 6 feet that may also require a partner assist.

Rap 5 (dWayneWndrR5) anchored using rocks in the pool or optionally a watertrap and drops about 40 feet. If no rocks are present you can send someone down on meat and farm them from below. Another option would be to anchor from a large rock under water in the pothole just up canyon.

After rap 5 walk about 800 feet to highway 24.

The Exit:
From the bottom of Wayne's Wonderland where it meets highway 24 (yWayneWndrBt) turn left and walk back to the lower Grand Wash trailhead (tGrandWashLwr).

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.

Wayne's Wonderland (1) - Approach
  1. tGrandWashLwr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27800   W -111.19214        Elev: 5,240 Feet
    Grand Wash trailhead down by highway 24 just west of mile marker 84. To go to Waynes Wonderland Canyon walk east on highway 24 for about 0.32 miles to a wide wash on the right (south) where you can see a steeply sloped ravine about 400 feet from the road running up to the southeast. The bottom of Wayne's Wonderland is about 900 feet after leaving the parking area which you will pass by on as you start the approach.
  2. yWayneWndrBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27738   W -111.18913        Elev: 5,240 Feet
    Bottom of Waynes Wonderland where the route meets highway 24. Just east of mile marker 84.
  3. jWayneWndr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27838   W -111.18668        Elev: 5,230 Feet
    To go to Waynes Wonderland leave the road and hike southeast up the wash for about 450 feet to the base of a rubble filled ravine running up the left side of the wash. You can see all the way up the ravine from the road.
  4. WayneWndr01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27763   W -111.18554        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of a rubble filled ravine running up to the southeaast. Go up the ravine to the top out about 500 feet away.
  5. WayneWndr02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27651   W -111.18454        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of the rubble filled approach ravine. To continue to Waynes Wonderland continue southeast dropping down into a drainage / wash then begin walking up the wash. About 400 feet southeast up the wash veer left to leave the wash going up to the southeast looking for a weakness on the left (east) allowing you to scramble up onto the slickrock above.
  6. WayneWndr03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27554   W -111.18167        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of a weakness where you can scramble up onto the slick rock above a wash. Route find your way southeast up along sloped slickrock then up a dirt and rock slope to its top out about 900 feet away.
  7. WayneWndr04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27348   W -111.18007        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of a dirt and rock slope. Continue scrambling up slickrock for about 200 feet to get as high as you can to get to a weakness in the cliff band allowing access to a shelf / ledge.
  8. WayneWndr05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27351   W -111.17930        Elev: NaN Feet
    After scrambling as high as you can on the cliff band turn left to walk north along a slanted ledge / shelf.
  9. WayneWndr06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27378   W -111.17938        Elev: NaN Feet
    As you walk north along the slanted ledge / shelf you will go around a point here. Continue north along the shelf.
  10. WayneWndr07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27446   W -111.17918        Elev: NaN Feet
    A weakness where you can scramble up to the next higher ledge / shelf. On the next shelf continue north about 60 feet to another weakness where you can scramble up one more level then continue north to where you can scramble up to the mesa top near the end of a point.
  11. WayneWndr08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27477   W -111.17875        Elev: 6,000 Feet
    Final scramble up to the mesa top out near the end of a point. To continue to Wayne's Wonderland turn right and walk south along the mesa through rolling desert while roughly following along the edge of the cliff.
  12. WayneWndr09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27025   W -111.17972        Elev: 6,110 Feet
    Walk up to the top of a small slope on the mesa. Continue southwest then west roughly following the edge of the mesa for about 0.5 miles to a spot where you can walk out on a wide point jutting out north from the mesa.
  13. WayneWndr10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26775   W -111.18841        Elev: 6,140 Feet
    Spot where you could trun right and walk out on a wide ridge to the north. To go to Wayne's Wonderland pass the ridge and continue southwest route finding your way about 300 feet to the top of a ravine running down from the mesa.
  14. WayneWndr11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26703   W -111.18901        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of a ravine to go down to get into Wayne's Wonderland. Route find your way northwest down the rubble filled ravine. Getting down into the top portion of the ravine can be awkward as you find a way to downclimb down slopes with a lot of large loose flat rocks. The LDC (west) side of the ravine provides the best entry. The first 300 feet of the ravine is steep leading down to a shelf to bypass and becomes more gently sloped after the shelf.
  15. WayneWndr12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26772   W -111.18963        Elev: NaN Feet
    Shelf of about 15 feet in the ravine which can be bypassed RDC to avoid the crypto on the LDC side. The ravine becomes more gently sloped after bypassing this shelf.
  16. yWayneWndrTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26877   W -111.19096        Elev: 5,890 Feet
    Top of Wayne's Wonderland where the ravine down from the rim meets the main drainage and a drop of about 35 feet that is easily bypassed on the LDC side.
Wayne's Wonderland (2) - Canyon and Exit
  1. yWayneWndrTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26877   W -111.19096        Elev: 5,890 Feet
    Top of Wayne's Wonderland where the ravine down from the rim meets the main drainage and a drop of about 35 feet that is easily bypassed on the LDC side.
  2. WayneWndr13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26932   W -111.19115        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of a narrow slot to downclimb through with two elevator / stem style downclimbs of about 15 and 20 feet each down to pools that can be waist to swimmer depth depending on levels. Then an easy 8 foot down downclimb to wide easy walking.
  3. WayneWndr14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.26964   W -111.19146        Elev: NaN Feet
    Another narrow slot to downclimb through with 3 elevator / stem style downclimbs of about 15 feet each. After the 3 downclimbs is the top of rap 1.
  4. dWayneWndrR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27009   W -111.19159        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 - Wayne's Wonderland. Anchored from a cairn anchor about 25 feet back from the drop and drops about 25 feet down a slope. Optionally a back drag anchor could be used here.
  5. dWayneWndrR2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27061   W -111.19205        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 - Waye's Wonderland. Anchored LDC from large boulders and drops about 25 feet down the LDC wall. After rap 2 is easy walking in deep slot for a little over 200 feet to 2 downclimbs of about 6 to 8 feet before reaching the start of a pothole section.
  6. WayneWndr15          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27093   W -111.19258        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of a 100 feet long section of shallow potholes that are easy to play through down to rap 3.
  7. dWayneWndrR3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27121   W -111.19263        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 3 - Wayne's Wonderland. Anchored using a sandtrap and drops a total of 200 feet over two stages with a large pothole about 110 feet down that you can walk around in. Be sure to set the anchor for rap 3 so the rope starts at the lip of the drop to make it a 200 foot drop.  Setting the anchor back too far will create the need for more rope. Optionally rap 3 can be done as 2 rappels by anchoring at the midpoint pothole using a watertrap or sand trap depending on conditions. Note: For rap 3, a second rope can be tied on at the midpoint pothole and the knot passed while in the midpoint pothole. This will be helpful if you are unsure your ropes reach. This can not be done with a traditional pull anchor as the knot will need to pass through the rap ring above. If tying ropes together a sandtrap or releasable anchor like the Smooth Operator needs to be used. After rap 3 are a few shallow potholes and one drop of about 8 feet that will require partner assist before getting to rap 4.
  8. dWayneWndrR4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27158   W -111.19276        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 4 - Wayne's Wonderland. Anchored about 20 feet back using a deadman anchor and uses about 160 feet of rope going down a slope, over a large pothole then down a slightly sloped shallow crack. At the bottom of the rap the canyon turns hard right to travel northeast.
  9. WayneWndr16          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27197   W -111.19291        Elev: NaN Feet
    A narrow section with 2 or 3 downclimbs of 8 to 10 feet each and a few pools that could be swimmers if full.
  10. WayneWndr17          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27368   W -111.19206        Elev: NaN Feet
    Short open walking section. Over the next 700 feet the canyon has a mix of short open spots and narrow slots with a couple downclimbs of about 8 feet and a few pools that can be swimmers when full.
  11. WayneWndr18          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27535   W -111.19101        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of a 140 foot long pothole section leading down to the final rappel. There is one pothole in this section that can be a keeper in the right conditions. A swimming partner assist works well to get the first person out. Just before reaching the final rap is a steeply sloped downclimb of about 6 feet that may also require a partner assist.
  12. dWayneWndrR5          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27572   W -111.19090        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 5 - Wayne's Wonderland. Anchored using rocks in the pool or optionally a watertrap and drops about 40 feet. If no rocks are present you can send someone down on meat and farm them from below. Another option would be to anchor from a large rock under water in the pothole just up canyon. After rap 5 walk about 800 feet to highway 24 to complete the route.
  13. yWayneWndrBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27738   W -111.18913        Elev: 5,240 Feet
    Bottom of Waynes Wonderland where the route meets highway 24. Just east of mile marker 84.
  14. tGrandWashLwr          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.27800   W -111.19214        Elev: 5,240 Feet
    Grand Wash trailhead down by highway 24 just west of mile marker 84. To go to Waynes Wonderland Canyon walk east on highway 24 for about 0.32 miles to a wide wash on the right (south) where you can see a steeply sloped ravine about 400 feet from the road running up to the southeast. The bottom of Wayne's Wonderland is about 900 feet after leaving the parking area which you will pass by on as you start the approach.