Canyoneering Route Description

Crack Canyon - 2A II
San Rafael Swell, Utah.

Quick Facts

09-05-12, 2 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 3.5 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 3 to 4 hours
Distance - 8.2 miles Total, No Technical
Rappels - N/A Rappels, Longest Rappel N/A feet.  No rappels but does have a small amount of scrambling.
Elevation Range - 5490 - 5000 Feet
Shuttle Required - No Vehicle - Passenger - High Clearance if bad road conditions Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

No gear should be needed but it may be a good idea to have a 15 foot piece of rope or webbing along if you have a very weak scrambler in your group.  There is one 8 foot drop to go down and back up.  Only moderate effort is needed but weak scramblers may enjoy a handline from a friend.

General Comments

I was in the Hanksville area to meet friends for canyons over the next couple days but arrived early and was looking for something to do. While talking to someone at the gas pumps at Hollow Mountain gas station, he invited me to join him for Crack Canyon. Thanks to Justin (sorry forgot the last name) for inviting me along and providing fun conversation for half a day.

On the drive into the Crack Canyon Trailhead there are a lot of side roads leading off to the side. The directions into the trailhead do not cover all the side roads. Be aware of distances described and pass side roads not mentioned in the driving directions.

Crack Canyon is a short hike down the wash of Crack Canyon that goes through a few very scenic narrow slot sections. After the last narrows you can wash walk another 0.8 miles down to a drop of about 30 feet which makes a good landmark for a turn around point. Bypassing the large drop on the LDC side is possible and leads to wash walking for miles south out toward Goblin Valley State Park. The return is reversing back up the canyon to your car.

There is one drop of about 8 feet that is easy to get down but may be moderately difficult to get back up. As you go down canyon evaluate that drop and determine if you can get back up it before committing to the canyon below. The rest of the canyon is mostly walking with a few short easy scrambles.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the junction of Highways 24 and 95 in Hanksville Utah, drive north on Highway 24 about 19.5 miles to a turn off on the left (west) onto Temple Mountain Road (exGoblinValley).  The signs marking this turn for Goblin Valley State park are large and easy to see. 

Turn left and follow Temple Mountain Road 5.15 miles to a left (south) turn onto Goblin Valley Road (exGoblinVlyRd).

Continue straight (west) passing the Goblin Valley turn off and continue west on Temple Mountain Road.

About 1.3 miles farther the pavement ends (TempleMntRd01).

About 0.82 miles farther is a fork in the road (exChuteCynRd).  Turn left at the fork to travel southwest on Chute Canyon Road.

About 1.6 miles farther is a side road on the left (exChuteSide01).  Stay straight and continue on Chute Canyon Road.

About 1.9 miles farther is a side road on the right (exChuteSide05).  Stay straight and continue on Chute Canyon Road.

About 0.61 miles farther is the Crack Canyon trailhead with signage off on the right side of Chute Canyon Road (tCrackCynTH).  Park here to start the route. 

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is needed.  This is done as an out and back 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 drive into the route.
Map of the entire route.

Details

The Route:
From where you parked your car (tCrackCynTH) walk south down the path about 500 feet to where it meets the Crack Canyon wash then continue southwest down the wash.

About 0.36 miles from the car will be a dirt road (Crack01) on the right (west) goes up and over to cut off a short portion of the wash.

About 700 feet farther is a road (Crack02) off to the right (west). Continue down the wash.

About 0.4 miles farther is a fence (Crack03) and signage indicating no vehicles beyond this point.

About 0.24 miles farther a sandstone narrows begins (Crack04).

About 0.24 miles farther is a long corridor (Crack05) with very scenic sculpted walls.

About 0.36 miles farther is a drop of about 8 feet (Crack06) that is easy to get down and moderately difficult to get up on the way back up canyon.

About 0.23 miles farther is the start of a narrow (Crack07) scenic slot about 300 feet long then opens to wide wash again.

About 0.34 miles farther is you will be starting into (Crack08) deep, narrow and very scenic section of canyon about 800 feet long.

About 0.57 miles farther is the start of a shallow narrow slot (Crack09) about 300 feet long. This is the last narrows. After here the canyon widens out to wider wash to walk. If you continue for about 0.8 miles from here you will walk wide wash until you get to a drop of about 40 feet that you can bypass LDC and wash walk for miles. If you only came to see the slots / narrows of Crack Canyon you can turn around now.

About 0.47 miles farther is a very large side drainage (Crack10) joins in from the RDC (west) side.

About 0.23 miles farther is a shelf (Crack11) in the wash about 4 to 6 feet high.

About 200 feet down canyon is a drop in the wash of about 40 feet (Crack12). This is a good landmark for a turn around point. If you want to bypass this drop and continue down canyon you can bypass around on the LDC side and drop down to the canyon floor again about 300 feet down canyon by route finding down semi steep slopes. 

The Exit:
Reverse the canyon back to your car.

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.

Crack Canyon (1) - Drive in to Trailhead
  1. exGoblinValley          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.63072   W -110.56675        Elev: NaN Feet
    Exit for Temple Mountain Road off highway 24. This is also the turn off for Goblin Valley State Park..
  2. exGoblinVlyRd          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.65338   W -110.65455        Elev: NaN Feet
    Exit where Goblin Valley Raod leaves Temple Mountain Road and goes west to Goblin Valley State Park.
  3. TempleMntRd01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.66314   W -110.67379        Elev: 5,310 Feet
    Pavement ends and dirt road continues northwest.
  4. exChuteCynRd          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.66748   W -110.68759        Elev: 5,390 Feet
    Exit off of Temple Mountain Road onto Chute Canyon Road. Temple Mountain Road continues northwest and Chute Canyon Road branches off to the southwest.
  5. exChuteSide01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.65578   W -110.71115        Elev: NaN Feet
    Side road to the left (south) on the drive from Temple Mountain Raod. To stay on Chute Canyon Road stay right at the fork.
  6. exChuteSide05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.64925   W -110.73774        Elev: NaN Feet
    Side road going off to the right (southeast). To stay on Chute Canyon Road continue straight (southwest)
  7. tCrackCynTH          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.64290   W -110.74524        Elev: 5,490 Feet
    Trailhead for Crack Canyon is on the south side of Chute Canyon Road. Walk south down the path about 500 feet to where it meets the Crack Canyon wash then continue southwest down the wash.
Crack Canyon (2) - Route
  1. tCrackCynTH          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.64290   W -110.74524        Elev: 5,490 Feet
    Trailhead for Crack Canyon is on the south side of Chute Canyon Road. Walk south down the path about 500 feet to where it meets the Crack Canyon wash then continue southwest down the wash.
  2. Crack01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.63924   W -110.74121        Elev: NaN Feet
    Dirt road on the right (west) goes up and over to cut off a short portion of the wash.
  3. Crack02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.63831   W -110.73955        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road off to the right (west). Continue down the wash.
  4. Crack03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.63432   W -110.74153        Elev: NaN Feet
    Fence and signage indicating no vehicles beyond this point.
  5. Crack04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.63174   W -110.73962        Elev: NaN Feet
    Sandstone narrows begin.
  6. Crack05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.62881   W -110.73861        Elev: NaN Feet
    Long corridor with very scenic sculpted walls.
  7. Crack06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.62558   W -110.73816        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop of about 8 feet that is easy to get down and moderately difficult to get up on the way back up canyon.
  8. Crack07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.62340   W -110.73672        Elev: 5,187 Feet
    Start of a narrow scenic slot about 300 feet long then opens to wide wash again.
  9. Crack08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.61986   W -110.73374        Elev: NaN Feet
    Starting into deep, narrow and very scenic section of canyon about 800 feet long.
  10. Crack09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.61511   W -110.72968        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of a shallow narrow slot about 300 feet long. This is the last narrows. After here the canyon widens out to wider wash to walk. If you continue for about 0.8 miles from here you will walk wide wash until you get to a drop of about 40 feet that you can bypass LDC and wash walk for miles. If you only came to see the slots / narrows of Crack Canyon you can turn around now.
  11. Crack10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.60905   W -110.72699        Elev: NaN Feet
    Very large side drainage joins in from the RDC (west) side.
  12. Crack11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.60746   W -110.72416        Elev: NaN Feet
    Shelf in the wash about 4 to 6 feet high.
  13. Crack12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.60793   W -110.72388        Elev: 5,000 Feet
    Drop in the wash of about 40 feet. This is a good landmark for a turn around point. If you want to bypass this drop and continue down canyon you can bypass around on the LDC side and drop down to heh canyon floor again about 300 feet down canyon by route finding down semi steep slopes.