Canyoneering Route Description

Shenanigans Canyon - 3B III
North Wash, Utah.

Quick Facts

05-01-10, 4 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 8 hours) used the Kelsey exit. Pictures Icon
05-21-11, 4 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 8.5 hours) used the Kelsey exit. Pictures Icon
10-20-12, 4 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 6.25 hours) used the Kelsey exit. Pictures Icon

Time Required - 7 to 9 hours
Distance - 4.5 miles Total, 1.6 miles Technical
Rappels - 3 Rappels, Longest Rappel 50 feet.
Elevation Range - 5440 - 4520 Feet
Shuttle Required -Yes 1.8 Miles Vehicle - Passenger Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Warning:
The gear choices for a skinny slot are very different than what is normally taken in a canyon with lots of elbow room.  With Skinny slots you need to think small – minimal – and maybe even disposable where clothing is concerned.  

Rappelling and anchor gear, ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 50 feet and 50 feet of 1” webbing for sling replacement.  Although there is a pool at the bottom of rap 3 and you may end up falling in a wet suit is not needed unless it is pretty cold out.  The swim is short (if you happen to fall in) and there is plenty of open canyon after the rap to catch some sun to warm up.

General Comments

Warning:
Before going into this canyon, please take a moment to look at the warning page for skinny canyons.  

Shenanigans is one of the forks of Butler Canyon.  Butler canyon is also referred to as Mile 28.1 Canyon.  

The distance between entry and exit vehicles is a little less than 2 miles of dirt road.  Shenanigans could easily be done as a loop hike if only one vehicle were available.  

If you are claustrophobic this canyon is not a good choice.  The Fourth Narrows is very narrow and tight.  There are times when turning your head to look back is impossible.  You may need to let air out of your lungs to get you chest cavity to shrink so you can fit through portions of the forth narrows.  This canyon is not for you if you are too large.  It is difficult to give an exact way of telling if you are too large or not.  Read the note on skinny canyons to get a better idea.  It is a good idea to do the Middle Fork of Leprechaun Canyon before doing Shenanigans.  Both canyons are similar in tightness but Middle Lep does not sustain the tight for as long making it a good test run.  

This route description covers Shenanigans using the Kelsey exit out which bypasses the lower non-technical portion of Butler Canyon.  The lower section is beautiful and a hike up from the bottom is recommended.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the junction of highway 95 and highway 276 (about 25.5 miles south of Hanksville), drive north on highway 95 about 0.7 miles to a dirt road turn off (extCedarPntRd).  The dirt road is called Cedar Point Road on some maps and is known by some as Turkey Knob Road.  Cedar Point road is graded making it passable for passenger cars although heavy rains might change that from time to time.  Turn right (east) onto Cedar Point Road.  

Drive east on Cedar Point Road about 3.9 miles to a junction known to some as “The Four Way” (extTheFourWay).  You will pass a few turn offs to other dirt roads along the way to “The Four Way” (one at 1.8 miles, another at 1.9 miles and another at 2.8 miles).  Just stay on the obviously large better maintained road and pass these turns.  

From “The Four Way”, continue north east on Cedar Point Road about 1.5 miles to a junction where another dirt road crosses (pkShenaniganTp).  There is a lot of space here to park your vehicle to start the route.

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

From the junction of highway 95 and highway 276 (about 25.5 miles south of Hanksville), drive north on highway 95 about 0.7 miles to a dirt road turn off (extCedarPntRd).  The dirt road is called Cedar Point Road on some maps and is known by some as Turkey Knob Road.  Cedar Point road is graded making it passable for passenger cars although heavy rains might change that from time to time.  Turn right (east) onto Cedar Point Road.  

Drive east on Cedar Point Road about 3.9 miles to a junction known to some as “The Four Way” (extTheFourWay).  You will pass a few turn offs to other dirt roads along the way to “The Four Way” (one at 1.8 miles, another at 1.9 miles and another at 2.8 miles).  Just stay on the obviously large better maintained road and pass these turns.  

From “The Four Way” turn right (south) onto another dirt road (not as well maintained) and drive about 0.3 miles to a flat spot alongside the road to park (pkNoKidding1).  If your vehicle is not able to get down this short road to get to the parking spot you can optionally park back at “The Four Way”.   If you have the clearance there is more parking about another 700 feet down the road (pkNoKidding2).

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

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

Details

The Approach:
From where you parked to start the route (pkShenaniganTp), walk down the dirt road heading east.  The road starts out with nice hard packed dirt and quickly becomes a deep soft sandy mess.  The sand could give most vehicles a lot of trouble which is why parking back at the junction is the best idea.  

About 0.3 miles the road crosses a wide open wash which is the wash leading down toward Monkey Business.   

Another 0.4 miles along the road is another major wash.  That wash is the top of Shenanigans.  Leave the road about 250 feet before crossing the wash (wShenanyRP-01) rather than walk all the way over to it.  Leave the road by turning right (south) and following a few micro drainages as they wander about 0.2 miles down to the main wash of Shenanigans where you will find a drop in the wash of about 20 feet (yShenanigansTp) which is marked as the top entry for Shenanigans Canyon.

The Canyon / Technical Section:
Bypass the drop at the head of Shenanigans Canyon (yShenanigansTp) by traversing around LDC.  Follow along the ledge along the left (south east) side of the drainage.   

About 400 feet along the ledge you will see another drop in the wash with a tight narrow slot starting about 60 feet down canyon of that drop.  The start of the tight slot below the drop is where rap 1 is located.   

To get down to rap 1 at the start of the tight slot, continue along the left side ledge about 100 feet down canyon beyond the start of the tight slot.  There you will find a place to down climb (wShenanyRP-02) to the top of the narrow slot.  

Rap 1 (dShenanyR1) is a little over 500 feet from the head of the canyon.  Rap 1 is anchored from a large rock near the top of the rappel.  Rap 1 drops about 50 feet down a sloped fluted pour off down into a narrows.  Keep your eye out for a large choke stone wedged over head part way down the rappel.   There are two other options for descending rap 1 other than rappelling.  The first option is to down climb the rappel.  The down climb looks intimidating but is quite easy if you are tall and are ok with sliding your clothes down the sandstone.  The other option is to bypass rap 1 with a down climb LDC. 

There are a couple ways to down climb LDC of rap 1 but the walls can be coated with sand making things slick.  The slick sections have lots of places for hand holds to make it safer but care should be taken not to slip on the sand blown all over the walls.  

Down canyon of rap 1 is the first section of narrows.  In the first narrows are sections of easy walking between walls on a sandy floor, tighter sections with walls that widen and slope outward where you need to stem between the walls to move along and a few easy down climbs.  Nothing overly tight here but you do get a small taste of what is in store for you.  

Just before reaching the end of the first narrows will be a large boulder fallen in the canyon and wedged between the walls sitting on the canyon floor.  There is a hole under the boulder where you can slip through to continue down canyon.  

The end of the first narrows (wShenanyRP-03) is about 0.3 miles down canyon of rap 1.  After the first narrows is a section of slightly more open travel.  Along the more open area after the first narrows is a short (100 or 200 feet) section of narrow walls which is the second narrows.  The walls are not very high so it doesn’t feel like it should be called the second narrows.  

The start of the third narrows (wShenanyRP-04) is about 400 feet from the bottom of the first narrows.  The third narrows gets a little tighter than the first narrows.  Some sections are too tight to walk on the canyon floor.  You will need to continue down canyon by stemming between the walls a few feet off the ground where things are a bit wider.  Along the way are more down climbs.  The easiest way down these down climbs, in most cases, is to use friction between any and all convenient body parts (hips, knees, elbows, back, butt, shoulders ….) and the wall then sliding down.  This method tends to tear up your clothes and pads.  So be prepared to have things a little shredded.   

There is a slanted section in the third narrows where the walls are slanted to the right.  This slant makes it impossible to stand up straight so walking is difficult or impossible.  You will need to use hands or shoulders to bounce your upper body along the wall as you walk with your feet.  Looking down the slanted section looks as though it should be pretty simple to get through.  Simple yes.  Easy, not really.  It takes a fair amount of work to get through here while trying to keep your upper body moving along.   

Shortly after the slant section the canyon gets a more open feel a short distance over head as the walls slant out.  In this section you can either stay low and squeeze between the walls or you can go a little higher and stem your way over this section.  

The third narrows is about 0.4 miles long.  As the third narrows ends (wShenanyRP-05) the walls drop to about 5 or 6 feet high as you still walk a narrow section.  If you would like a lunch stop this is a good place to do it.  When the walls drop to about 5 feet high, scramble up on the left (east) side and walk the slick rock to find and alcove (AlcoveShenany) that provides good shade during most of the day along the high canyon walls.  

The fourth narrows coming up is tighter than the third narrows and stays narrow for quite some distance in places.  If you decide you do not want to continue into the fourth narrows now is the time to back out.  I do not know the route out from here so I cannot give a description for it.  The most obvious place out would be up the left (east) side of the canyon wall.  Once at the top it should be pretty easy to walk back up canyon to the start.  Traveling down canyon along the top would be possible but dropping back to the canyon below the fourth narrows would not be a good idea since the walls are high and sheer.  If you decide to escape up the left side, traveling back toward the head of the canyon would be the best option.  

The section between the bottom of the third narrows and the top of the fourth narrows stays narrow but the walls are low giving views around you.  The canyon here is very wide open and free feeling.   

The start of the fourth narrows (wShenanyRP-06) is where you drop down into more tight narrows with high walls and is a little over 300 feet down canyon after the end of the third narrows.  

The fourth narrows starts with some narrow high wall making travel slow.  Portions of the first part are too narrow at the bottom to walk so it is necessary to stem up a few feet and travel down canyon by stemming along.  The walls in this first part are very twisty and winding and present a few down climbs along the way to keep it interesting.  The twists are so tight it feels like you are in a labyrinth.   

Rap 2 (dShenanyR2) is about 300 feet into the fourth narrows.  There is no obvious anchor for rap 2.  It is possible to bypass rap 2 via the Grimm Crawl.  One person in the group will need to be a meat anchor and belay all that want to rappel.  After everyone has rappelled, the last person must do the Grimm Crawl to bypass rap 2.  Optionally everyone can do the Grim Crawl and not rap at all.  Rap 2 drops about 40 feet to the canyon floor in an area that feels like chamber rather than a canyon.  

The Grimm Crawl is a slightly slanted shelf RDC with a low ceiling.  Crawling out onto the start of the shelf grabs your attention.  The slant is such that it feels like you might roll off the 40 foot drop.  The low ceiling does not allow even a hands and knees crawl.  To get out onto the ledge one needs to slither like a snake jamming an arm in the crack as extra friction.  Once well onto the shelf it is and easy crawl to the other end.  Once at the other end of the shelf, down climb by stemming between the walls and working about 45 feet down to the canyon floor among a lot of choke stones.  Be careful dropping below one of the large choke stones.  It feels like you can just stem straight down but you soon find the walls bell out and you need to stem down canyon a little.  

The canyon stays narrow and provides more twisted walls and down climbs for a couple hundred feet down canyon of the Grimm Crawl before getting to the narrowest section in the canyon.  This section is what all the warnings are about.  Read the warnings about this section.  If you don’t think you will fit…..Don’t go in!!  

The narrowest section is only about 10 inches wide on average and has sections closer to 7 inches wide.  The canyon maintains this width for about 40 feet up and continues for almost 200 feet.  If you are claustrophobic, this canyon is also not for you!  

Note:
At the time I first went through Shenanigans I was about 180 lbs, 6 foot even and considered and medium thing build.  A friend on the trip with us was about the same overall size and shape.  Turns out he is a bit more barrel chested than I am.  I was able to slide and squeeze through with relative ease.  On the other hand my friend was able to get through but he had to work harder to squeeze through and needed to climb up and go low in sections to find a spot that would accommodate him.  So simply being about 180 pounds and height weight proportionate only gives an approximate starting point for being able to fit through Shenanigans.  

After the narrowest portion spits you out there is a section of rock fall debris (wShenanyRP-07).  The rock fall debris is at the start of more tight stuff but the walls bell out about 10 feet above ground level.  Through this next section you have the option of dropping down the canyon floor and sliding through more narrow walls or you can stem and stay high.  Staying high is more physically demanding but is easier and faster travel.  

Rap 3 (dShenanyR3) is about 600 feet down canyon of the rock fall debris.  Just before reaching rap 3 are a couple drops of about 50 feet each.  Webbing has been slung here allowing one to rap if desired.  You can stem down using the feet and back method.  Or you can take the fun way and treat these drops like and elevator.  Wedge yourself between the walls facing down canyon using hips, knees spread, shoulder or elbows.  Then relax the tension a little to start the slide and start the elevator……eeeee.  

At the bottom of the drops is rap 3.  Rap 3 is anchored from a choke stone wedge between the walls about 12 feet overhead.  Stem up between the walls to set up the rap.  Rap 3 drops about 50 feet from the anchor to a pool below.  The pool below rap 3 will be a swimmer unless you can walk the ledge LDC at the bottom.  The ledge may be under a few inches of water depending on how much water is in the pool.  The ledge is not wide like a walk way.  It is a series of small ledge like features that you can catch with the edge of your shoe and walk on IF you are very careful.  If you slip it may be swim time.  The first step of the ledge is about 5 feet out along the wall so the first step is a bit of a stretch. The walls bow out at the bottom of rap 3 which give it a room or hallway like feel.  

Down canyon of rap 3 the canyon opens up to and is mostly easy wash walking along a very scenic canyon.   

About 0.3 miles down canyon of rap 3 is a side canyon that joins from right (west) which is where the Monkey Business route joins in (hnanyMonkyBt).  This is marked as the bottom exit for both routes.

The Exit:
About another 0.6 miles down canyon is another canyon joining in from the left (east) which is where the Foolin Around route joins in (yFoolinBt).  

About another 0.3 miles down canyon is another smaller side canyon joining in from the right (east) which is the canyon you will use if exiting up the Kelsey Exit for Shenanigans (jKlsyExtShnany).  

Turn right (west) and start into the side canyon for the Kelsey exit.  About 500 feet up the canyon you will find another canyon dropping down from the right (north east).  This small canyon dropping in is the bottom exit of No Kidding (yNoKiddingBt).  Stay left and continue up canyon passing the bottom of No Kidding.  

Another 450 feet up canyon, the climb gets significantly steeper (wShnanyKelRP-1).  Looking up the final steep portion of the climb up the canyon there is a thin slot looking section on the left and a wider ravine looking section on the right (north).  The route out up the final steep part stays on the right (north) side and follows up the wider ravine looking section.  

The steep part of the exit starts out with some rocks to scramble up and over.  From there it is a combination of scrambling up rock sections and trudging up steep loose dirt.  

A little over 300 feet up from the start of the steep part of the climb out is a soft sandy section running along the left (south) side of the ravine.  Looking up the ravine above this sandy area it looks like the route out will get much more difficult.  From the top of the sandy area, do not continue up.  Instead cut right (north) across to the other side of the ravine and look for a chute that provides a much easier climb up.  

From the bottom of the chute, go up about another 100 feet and look for an easy traverse to the right (wShnanyKelRP-2).  Do not continue up the ravine.  Instead traverse right (north) and work over to a wide open slick rock area running north east along the base of a cliff face.  

Walk north east about 300 feet along the slick rock to a series of small potholes running along the slick rock to the south east.  Continue a little over 100 feet beyond the series of small potholes to another drainage with a series of deeper potholes which is the drainage for No Kidding (yNoKiddingTp).  

Once at the drainage for No kidding, climb up a fairly steep section of slick rock to the west.  About 300 feet up the climb tops out to a more level section (wShnanyKelRP-3).  

From the top out where the climb levels out, turn slight right (north west) and follow the natural flow of the ridge slightly up hill along slick rock then dirt.  About 500 feet further is another short slick rock slope.  Climb to the top of that slope (wShnanyKelRP-4).  From the top of this slope the exit vehicles can be seen across the open desert about 0.5 miles to the northwest.  

Work your way northwest toward the exit vehicles parked on the dirt road (pkNoKidding).  To get there follow whatever route makes travel easier.  There will be a few ups and downs in shallow gullies along the way.

GPS Waypoint Information

Elevations are approximate.  Waypoints with no elevation data will display NaN in place of the elevation.

The first letter of a waypoint denotes the type of point. 
pk=Parking Spot,  t=Trailhead, y=Technical top and bottom of canyons, d=Rappel,
w=generic point,  s=Scenic spot, j=Junctions of trails or canyons, p=Peak.

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.

Shenanigans (1) - Drive in to Trailhead - (and drop exit vehicle)
  1. extCedarPntRd          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03375   W -110.57510        Elev: 4,690 Feet
    Exit for Cedar Point Road. Some refer to it as Turkey Knob Road since it is not singed and is near Turkey Knob.
  2. wCdrPntDP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.04365   W -110.54989        Elev: NaN Feet
    Small road spur leaves Cedar Point Road to the south.
  3. wCdrPntDP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.04506   W -110.54855        Elev: 5,020 Feet
    Dirt road leaves Cedar Point road to the north.
  4. wCdrPntDP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.05152   W -110.53746        Elev: NaN Feet
    Dirt road leaves Cedar Point road to the south.
  5. extTheFourWay          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.04852   W -110.51810        Elev: 5,272 Feet
    A spot where roads cross Cedar Point Road. This spot is known to some as "The Four Way"
  6. pkNoKidding1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.04433   W -110.51793        Elev: 5,225 Feet
    A wide area to the left side of the dirt road that can be used as parking when doing canyons in the area. This is where you would start and end for the No Kidding Route. It is also where you park if using the Kelsey exit for any of the Butler Canyons like Shenanigans.
  7. pkShenaniganTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.06441   W -110.50026        Elev: 5,440 Feet
    A spot where a road crosses Cedar Point Road. This is where you park to start the route into Shenanigans.
Shenanigans (2) - Approach and The Canyon.
  1. pkShenaniganTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.06441   W -110.50026        Elev: 5,440 Feet
    A spot where a road crosses Cedar Point Road. This is where you park to start the route into Shenanigans.
  2. wShenanyRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.06393   W -110.48779        Elev: 5,430 Feet
    Leave the road about 250 feet before reaching the main wash of Shenanigans to cut down on travel distance.
  3. yShenanigansTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.06137   W -110.48733        Elev: 5,370 Feet
    Top entry for Shenanigans Canyon. This is the top of a bowl shaped drop in the wash.
  4. dShenanyR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.06051   W -110.48873        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 - Shenanigans. Anchored from a large rock and drops about 50 feet. Can be down climbed by some or bypassed LDC.
  5. wShenanyRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.06033   W -110.48869        Elev: 5,330 Feet
    A place to down climb down the side of the canyon toward the top of a narrow slot where rap 1 will be.
  6. wShenanyRP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.05676   W -110.49204        Elev: NaN Feet
    End of the first Narrows.
  7. wShenanyRP-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.05601   W -110.49245        Elev: 5,060 Feet
    Start of the third narrows. The second narrows up canyon of here is narrow but not very deep and is only about 100 or 200 feet long.
  8. wShenanyRP-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.05106   W -110.49618        Elev: NaN Feet
    End of the third narrows.
  9. sAlcoveShenany          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.05048   W -110.49597        Elev: NaN Feet
    An alcove LDC after the third narrows that makes a good lunch break.
  10. wShenanyRP-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.05032   W -110.49652        Elev: 4,900 Feet
    Start of the fourth narrows.
  11. dShenanyR2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.04956   W -110.49688        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 - Shenanigans. Anchored from a person who will volunteer to be last. The last person then needs to bypass the rap by doing the Grimm Crawl then stemming down to the canyon floor. Optionally everyone can do the Grimm Crawl.
  12. wShenanyRP-07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.04766   W -110.49934        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rock pile just after the narrowest pat of the fourth narrows.
  13. dShenanyR3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.04655   W -110.50092        Elev: 4,840 Feet
    Rap 3 - Shenanigans. Anchored from a choke stone wedged about 12 feet overhead and drops about 50 from the anchor to a pool below.
  14. yShnanyMonkyBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.04433   W -110.50318        Elev: 4,740 Feet
    Bottom exit of both the Shenanigans and Monkey Business routes. Both routes meet here.
Shenanigans (3) - Exit
  1. yShnanyMonkyBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.04433   W -110.50318        Elev: 4,740 Feet
    Bottom exit of both the Shenanigans and Monkey Business routes. Both routes meet here.
  2. yFoolinArndBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03763   W -110.50477        Elev: 4,540 Feet
    Bottom exit of Follin Around where it joins the exit route of Shenanigans and Monkey Business.
  3. jKlsyExtShnany          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03473   W -110.50794        Elev: 4,520 Feet
    Junction of a small side canyon which is used for the Kelsey exit of Shenanigans.
  4. wShnanyKelRP-1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03528   W -110.51070        Elev: NaN Feet
    The canyon climb out gets significantly steeper here on the way out. The final steep portion of the route up out of the canyon stays to the right (north) up the ravine section not up the thin slot on the left.
  5. wShnanyKelRP-2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03568   W -110.51213        Elev: NaN Feet
    From here do not continue up the ravine. Instead traverse over to a large slick rock section running north east along the base of a cliff face.
  6. wShnanyKelRP-3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03671   W -110.51228        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of climb up slick rock after meeting with the No kidding route.
  7. wShnanyKelRP-4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.03762   W -110.51350        Elev: 5,110 Feet
    Top of another slick rock slope. From the top of this slope the cars can be seen about 0.5 miles to the north west.
  8. pkNoKidding2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.04245   W -110.51800        Elev: NaN Feet
    Alternate parking 700 feet further down the road for No Kidding if you have ho clearance.
  9. pkNoKidding1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.04433   W -110.51793        Elev: 5,225 Feet
    A wide area to the left side of the dirt road that can be used as parking when doing canyons in the area. This is where you would start and end for the No Kidding Route. It is also where you park if using the Kelsey exit for any of the Butler Canyons like Shenanigans.