Canyoneering Route Description

Devil's Thumb - 4A (B) III
Ticaboo Mesa, Utah.

Quick Facts

10-30-10, 3 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 6.75 hours) Pictures Icon
03-16-13, 4 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 6 hours)
11-29-14, 4 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 6.5 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 5 to 8 hours
Distance - 3.0 miles Total, 0.4 miles Technical
Rappels if using Standard Entry - 4 Rappels, Longest Rappel 55 feet.
Rappels if using Hangnail entry - 6 Rappels, Longest Rappel 165 feet.
Elevation Range - 4965 - 4115 Feet
Shuttle Required -No Vehicle - High Clearance (possibly 4WD if road conditions are bad) Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Standard Entry
Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 55 feet and 50 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.

Hangnail Entry
Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 100 feet, Sandtrap, Potshot and 50 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.

If the canyon is expected to be full of water, a 3mm wet suit is recommended as a minimum since it can get pretty chilly in there.  If it is scorching hot weather you may be able to get by with no wet suit.

General Comments

Devil's Thumb Canyon is rated a 4 due to a few anchor challenges.  If you are used to just walking up to a rappel and having it set up and ready, this may not be the canyon for you.  Bring along with you the desire to solve a puzzle or two while here.

Devil's Thumb Canyon is a fun route that should take only half a day but will leave you feeling like you got your money’s worth.

There are two possible entries to Devils Thumb, the standard entry and the hangnail entry.  Both entries have about 400 feet of technical canyon before they converge into the same route.  Both entries are fun and both are roughly the same length.  Choosing one over the other will result in little to no difference to the time or distance of the route.  However the Hangnail fork will add a little more technical challenge and you will need longer rope, a potshot and a Sandtrap.

While going over to look at the alternate entry we had heard about, Malia thought a good name for it would be the Hangnail Fork of Devils Thumb.  Since it is a small variance to the standard route the name seemed to fit and we stuck with it.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

Note:
There are a lot of roads in the Ticaboo Mesa area.  It is difficult to make driving directions simple so a good look at a map is recommended before driving out there the first time.

The parking spot for the Dante's is about 11.3 miles from the highway on dirt roads.

The junction of highways 95 and 276 is about 26 miles south on highway 95 from Hanksville Utah. 

From the junction of highways 95 and 276, drive south on highway 276 for 25.6 miles to the turn off for a dirt road on the left (east) side of the road (extTicaboo1).  This exit is between mile markers 25 and 26.  Turn left (east) onto the dirt road and drive east.

About 1.5 miles down the dirt road is a junction (TicabooDP-01) to a side road on the right going south.  Continue past the junction driving east on the dirt road.  If you were headed to the Smith Fork area you could turn right and head south here.

About 2 miles farther will be another road junction (TicabooDP-02) for a faint side road on the right going south.  Continue past the junction driving east on the dirt road.

About 0.3 miles farther is a road junction (TicabooDP-03) to a side road on the left.  Veer right and continue past the side road.  This is about as far as a low clearance vehicle show go on this road.  From this point forward there will be intermittent spots of  rough road.

Just after this side road is a fork in the road.  The forks rejoin after a few hundred feet so you can use which ever you like.

The major drainage the road crosses just after the fork is part of the upper portion of Smith Fork.

About 1.7 miles farther will be a junction (TicabooDP-04) to a side road on the right running south.  This road junction is close to Wild Horse Spring.  Continue past this junction and drive north east.

About 0.3 miles farther is a junction (TicabooDP-05) for a side road on the left going north over to Colt Spring.  Continue past this junction driving north east.

About 0.5 miles farther is a junction (TicabooDP-06) for a side road on the left going north.  Veer right to continue past the junction driving north east.

About 0.9 miles farther is a junction (TicabooDP-07) for a side road on the right going southwest.  Turn right and follow this side road toward Seven Mile Creek area.

Note:
You can optionally continue straight at this junction for an alternate route.  The alternate route is a little shorter but the road is rough make it a route that can take a little more time.

About 700 feet farther is a fork in the road (extWarmSpring).  At this fork stay left to continue toward the East Branch of Seven Mile Creek.

About 0.4 miles farther is another fork in the road (ext7MileCkEB).  Veer left (east) to continue toward the Dante's.

About 1.1 miles farther is a junction where a side road joins in from the southwest (TicabooDP-08).  Veer left (east) to continue toward the Dante's.

About 0.4 miles farther is a junction where a side road joins in from the southwest (extTicabooMesa).  Stay left and follow the road as it turns and begins to head north.

About 1 mile farther is a major road junction (extDantes).  Turn right (southeast) to continue toward the Dante's. 

About 1 mile farther is a junction where a road joins in from the left (extTicabooCamp).  Continue straight (southeast) toward the Dante's.

About 0.2 miles farther the road dead ends (tDanteCanyons1).  Park here to start the Dante Canyon routes.

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 Drive overview.
Map of the Drive segment 1 Zoomed in.
Map of the Drive segment 2 Zoomed in.
Map of the Canyons overview.
Map of the Dante Canyons section 1 Zoomed in.
Map of the Dante Canyons section 2 Zoomed in.
Map zoomed in of the Devils Thumb.

Details

The Approach:
From the trailhead (tDanteCanyons1) walk south west into the desert.  A social trail has started to develop and it is a good idea to continue to use the trail to minimize the impact on the area.  About 250 feet from the parking area the social trail will drop down into a small shallow drainage (wDanteEntRP-01).

Follow south east down the small drainage about 100 feet to where the drainage meets a steep drop down a sandstone wall (wDanteEntRP-02).  This is a steep drop of about 20 feet to another level of dirt desert floor.  

After dropping down the sandstone slope follow a worn path east along the dirt for a little over 200 feet to get over to the next section of wide open slick rock (wDanteEntRP-03).  Staying on the path already carved out along the dirt floor will help keep foot traffic off of the crypto biotic soil in the area.

Once on the wide open slick rock (wDanteEntRP-03) turn right and walk south west along the slick rock.  As you walk along the slick rock stay about 300 feet away from the dirt cliff band above to the north west and route find your way to avoid major drops to the south east.  About 1000 feet along the slick rock will be the start (wDevils-RP-01) of a small slot forming in the slick rock running to the south.  This slot dumps into the side of Purgatory Canyon.

To continue toward the head of Devil's Thumb Canyon, continue south west about 800 more feet to where the slick rock goes from smooth to having more course features with a few sections of rocks and dirt (wDevils-RP-02).  Scramble down to the next lower sandstone ledge here.

Continue south west about another 850 feet to a larger slot forming and running down toward the east.  On the south side of this slot will be a large vertical wall of about 30 feet or higher and a few pot holes running in the drainage at the base of the wall.  The top of where this slot is forming is the top entry for Devil's Thumb Canyon (yDevilsThumbTp).

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:

Note / Navigation:
There are two possible entries to Devils Thumb, the standard entry and the hangnail entry.  Both entries have about 400 feet of technical canyon before they converge into the same route.  Both entries are fun and both are roughly the same length.  Choosing one over the other will result in little to no difference to the time or distance of the route.  However the Hangnail fork will add a little more technical challenge and you will need longer rope, a potshot and a Sandtrap.

Standard Entry to Devils Thumb:
From the top of Devil's Thumb Canyon (yDevilsThumbTp), walk east along side of the series of pot holes in the slot at the base of the wall and down climb into the slots where convenient.

Shortly down canyon from the head is a sloped down climb in the slot of about 20 feet.  This drop looks very intimidating from the top but is not as hard as it looks.  It is a good idea to give all but the last person down a hand line.  The last person down should be the better down climber of the group.  The down climb is a flaring down climb and can be down climbed with control until the last 5 of 6 feet where you may want to jump across a pool at the bottom.  The pool at the bottom of the down climb could be up to thigh deep if full of water.

Continue down canyon by stemming and scrambling down along the slot and small pot holes.

Rap 1 (dDevils-R1), about 325 feet from the head of the canyon is anchored from a choke stone in a small pot hole at the top of the rap and Rap 1 drops about 55 feet down a sloped wall.  The choke stone anchor could be washed out during floods.  Keep in mind a new rock may have to be farmed from somewhere up canyon or down canyon if one is not found here.  There is a small pot hole pool at the bottom of rap 1 that is avoidable so you don’t need to get wet… yet.

Just after rap 1 in the main canyon where the Standard Entry and the Hangnail Entry converge (jHangnailBt).  If you did the Standard Entry skip down to the confluence to continue the route description.

Hangnail Entry to Devils Thumb:
From the top of the Standard Entry do not walk down along the base of the vertical wall.  Instead walk up to the upper end of the vertical wall (Hangnail01) then route find your way southeast beyond the vertical wall about 175 feet to where another wide drainage begins to form (Hangnail02) and you can scramble in.

About 100 feet down canyon is what I have marked as the top of the Hangnail Fork of Devils Thumb (yHangnailTp). An easy 5 foot downclimbs starts into a series of potholes.  Travel over / around a few small potholes down to a larger pothole about 12 feet across that is easily bypassed on the LDC side. Rap 1 starts from the other side of the large bypassed pothole.

About 100 feet down canyon is a pothole about 12 feet across (Hangnail03) and is easy to bypass on the LDC side. On the other side of the pothole is a 15 foot drop to a large pothole and you can see the canyon begins to drop quickly ahead.

Rap 1 - Hangnail Fork of Devils Thumb. Anchored using a potshot and drops about 15 feet into a sand / mud filled pothole with an overhung lip on the exit end then continues over one more small pothole then drops another 20 feet using about 65 feet of rope travel.

Note:
When we were there in Nov. 2014 the pothole below the start of rap 1 was sandfilled had a drop of 15 feet into it and the exit end was about 6 feet high, had an overhanging lip and was escapable with a partner assist. Keep in mind the pothole was sand filed and could become more difficult to exit if sand scours out.

After rap 2 walk about short distance down canyon to rap 2.

Rap 2 (dHangnailR2) is anchored using a Sandtrap and uses about 100 feet of rope dropping 20 feet down a vertical wall to a pool that can be waist deep, then another drop of about 15 feet, followed by one more drop of about 20 feet down an almost vertical wall. If the potholes are full of water and you need to set the Sandtrap back farther you may need 30 more feet of rope.

From the bottom of rap 2 go through a few small shallow potholes over to where the canyon begins to drop steeply down a wall down into the main canyon below where you find rap 3.

Rap 3 (dHangnailR3) is anchored from boulders or from an arch like feature on the RDC side and drops about 165 feet down a sloped wall into the main canyon where the two entry routes converge. If using the arch feature DO NOT pull your ropes around it. Either leave webbing on the anchor or use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator.

When at the bottom of rap 3 you are in the main canyon where the Standard Entry and the Hangnail Entry converge (jHangnailBt).

Down canyon of the confluence of the Standard and Hangnail Entries (jHangnailBt) starts a series of pools to get around, or through.  One of the pools just after rap 1 will definitely be a swimmer for about 15 feet if full.  That pool has a drop of about 6 feet to get down to it making it difficult to ease into it.   

After the few pools, the canyon stays pretty level and gets narrow and twisty.  The canyon here has a lot of water holding capacity and can be a muddy mess if you travel in the water down on the canyon floor.  It is easier and cleaner to stay just over the water and stem between the walls in a few spots.   

In this narrow section there is one drop of about 8 feet that can be a little tricky that drops into a pool that will be a swimmer if full.  On the other side of the pool is the top of rap 2.   

Rap 2 (dDevils-R2) is anchored from a choke stone and drops about 15 feet to a waist deep pool.  The pool at the bottom of Rap 2 could become deeper if the mud and gravel at the bottom of the pool wash out.  

After rap 2 is another short section of scrambling through the narrow area then a drop of about 8 feet to a waist deep pool.  This drop can be difficult and will likely require a partner assist for the last person after they have given others a meat anchor.  On the other side of that pool is the top of rap 3.  

Rap 3 (dDevils-R3) is about 750 feet down canyon of rap 1.  Rap 3 can be anchored using a knot chock anchor LDC about 10 feet up.  The bottom of the crack for the knot chock is a little wide at the bottom, so it is a good idea to place a rock down in the crack first to keep the webbing up in the narrow portion of the crack.  Try to ease over rap 3 and keep the rope low to keep the anchor webbing in the proper location.  Rap 3 drops about 30 feet down a vertical wall by a hanging garden.  Rap 3 drops out of the narrow section and into a much wider section of canyon.  

Note:
Rap 3 can be anchored from a dead man in the pool at the top of the rap if there is little water and enough material.  Too much water or not enough material can make this a difficult anchor to complete.  The better option is the knot chock anchor described above.  

Down canyon of rap 3 the canyon opens up a lot and you can travel on either side of the canyon along the rim.  On the LDC side is a huge ledge that makes for a good break spot to catch some sun if you are there at the right time of day for it.  There are some interesting items to look over on the ledge on the RDC side of the canyon.  

Continue down canyon of rap 3 along the ledge on the RDC (right down canyon) side.  The ledge is above some pot holes in a slot.  The first few pot holes can be avoided by walking along the ledge on the RDC side then scrambling down a slope with enough features to safely get down.  

Once at the bottom of the slope and back to the canyon floor there will be a very large pot hole of about 30 feet long.  If the pothole is full of water you can slide down to it, swim to the other end and climb out.  If the pothole is empty it will likely be a keeper pothole depending on how deep it is.  I have only seen this full so I do not know how deep it is.

Note:
This large pothole can be bypassed on the LDC side by traversing the steeply sloped side wall.  The difficulty of the traverse is not difficult but the exposure and the grade of the slope make it scary.  Also of note there is a crack like feature in the canyon floor near the top of this large pothole that might be able to be used as an anchor using a knot chalk and some creativity.

On the other side of the large pothole is another small pothole that can be bypassed by scrambling around the LDC side as well.  On the other side of the smaller pothole is the top of rap 4.  

Rap 4 (dDevils-R4) is a little more than 200 feet down canyon of rap 3 and is the final rappel on the route.  The actual drop for rap 4 is about 20 feet but you will need about 55 feet of rope travel to get from the anchor to the ground.  Rap 4 is mostly free hanging and drops next to a hanging garden.  

Rap 4 could be anchored from a dead man anchor down in the pothole at the top of rap 4 by farming rocks from down canyon.  But if the pot hole is full of water this anchor option is difficult to make safely.  The other option is to anchor from a choke stone placed in a crack about 35 feet up the LDC side of the canyon.  If the anchor rock and webbing have somehow disappeared a new rock can be farmed from down canyon by sending someone down on a meat anchor to look for rocks.  The actual drop of rap 4 is about 20 feet but you will need about 55 feet of rope travel back to the anchor.  Climbing up to the anchor for rap 4 is a bit exposed and has some loose rock.  Be careful climbing up to the anchor.

At the bottom of rap 4 there is a side canyon joining in from the right (south west).

Walk about 750 feet east down canyon to a canyon joining in from the left (north).  This side canyon is the bottom of Purgatory and is what I am using as the end point for Devil's Thumb Canyon (yPurgatoryBt).

The Exit:
From the bottom of Purgatory (yPurgatoryBt), turn left and continue east down the main drainage.  Walk about 0.25 miles down to the confluence with another drainage (wDanteExtRP-01) joining in from the left (north).  This side drainage is the bottom of both Inferno Canyon and Limbo Canyon.

From (wDanteExtRP-01) walk about 140 feet north up the Inferno / Limbo drainage to a spot where you can easily start walking up (wDanteExtRP-02) the dirt slope to the cliff band to the right (east).

From (wDanteExtRP-02) walk up the dirt slope about 200 feet to the base of the cliff band and scramble up a drainage looking indent in the cliff band.  After scrambling to the top of the indent (wDanteExtRP-03) you will be topped out on a large ledge.  

Once on the large ledge turn right (south) and traverse along the ledge for about 200 feet around the tip of a point along the ledge to the start of a bowl shaped indent (wDanteExtRP-04).  

Walk up the bowl shaped indent and climb up the ledges to get to the top of the bowl and traverse north a little over 100 feet up onto the ridge (wDanteExtRP-05).  This ridge is running between Limbo Canyon which is on the left (north west) and Paradiso which is on the right (south east).  

Once up on the ridge (wDanteExtRP-05) walk north east on the sandstone ridge.  Continue north east up the ridge for about 650 feet to a small knob to go up over or around (wDanteExtRP-06).  

From the knob continue north east about 350 feet to the start of steep section of the sandstone ridge to scramble up (wDanteExtRP-07).  On the climb up, there is a good view to the right (east) down into Paradiso.  The top out of the climb is about 75 or 100 feet from the bottom of the climb / scramble.  From the top out continue up the slope to about 200 feet then drop down into a drainage running across the ridge (wDanteExtRP-08).  

The drainage crossing the ridge (wDanteExtRP-08) has a sharp drop off on the right (east) dropping down toward Paradiso Canyon.  Walk over very close to this drop off and find a way to scramble up the other side (north) to continue along the ridge.  This spot will be more of a climb than a scramble but an easy climb.

After getting up out of the drainage crossing the ridge, continue north up the ridge about 200 feet to the stat of a steep section of slick rock to climb (wDanteExtRP-09).  The scramble up the slick rock here is not difficult but hands will be needed.  The scramble goes for about 400 feet to the top out then continues another 100 feet or so and drops down into another drainage running across the ridge (wDanteExtRP-10).  At the top out of the climb you can see the cars parked at the trailhead about 0.6 miles to the northwest if you look close.

The drainage crossing the ridge (wDanteExtRP-10) pours off to the right (east) down into Paradiso and to the left (west) down into Limbo.  Cross over the drainage and scramble up a sandstone nose to continue up the ridge.  

About 200 feet after getting up out of the last drainage the climb will top out and start to curve left to the northwest.  Continue about another 400 feet and find a way to drop down into the next drainage crossing the ridge (wDanteExtRP-11) that is kind of deep and narrow with a sandy floor as you continue northwest.  After dropping down into this drainage follow it northwest about 250 or 300 feet to where it opens up in a very large flat sandy ledge or landing (wDanteExtRP-12).  

Continue across the sandy landing and continue along the narrow drainage.  A little over 500 feet after crossing the large sandy landing area the route will cross over another drainage (jLimbo).  This is the drainage leading down to Limbo.  

After crossing the drainage that leads down to Limbo (jLimbo), continue northwest across the sandstone.  About 700 feet after crossing the drainage to Limbo, the route will cross over yet another drainage that leads south down to Inferno Canyon (jInferno).  

After crossing over the drainage down to Inferno, will be a large wide open ledge or shelf.  Walk along the ledge as it curves southwest then to the right to the north.  Walking along this shelf or ledge will skirt around a prominent point on a cliff band and over to the head of Purgatory Canyon (yPurgatoryTp).  The head of Purgatory is about 1000 feet after crossing the drainage leading down to Inferno.

Note:
If you are exiting after completing Purgatory, please take a moment to walk down to rap 1 and retrieve your anchor webbing and rapid.  If you are completing another canyon and feel like taking the time you can walk over and see if any is left there you can clean up.

Continue northwest from the top of Purgatory across the sandstone.  Traverse along the sandstone on whatever feels like a natural route staying high but well below the cliff band on the right (north).  About 450 feet after crossing the top of Purgatory Canyon you will cross over a small drainage which is a minor fork of the top of Purgatory (wDanteExtRP-13).

After crossing the small drainage leading down toward Purgatory, walk west about 150 feet to the base of the cliff band where you can find a spot to climb out (wDanteExtRP-14).  This spot to climb out may be difficult when wearing a heavy pack.  This spot is steep and has only a few hand holds for about 15 feet up the slick rock band.  

After climbing up the steep 15 foot section of the sandstone cliff band, traverse up the dirt slope traveling south to get to the top of the climb near the trailhead. Then walk a few hundred feet across the flat desert to the trailhead (tDanteCanyons1).

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.

Devil's Thumb (1) - Drive to Trailhead
  1. extTicaboo1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.69720   W -110.67138        Elev: 4,520 Feet
    Exit off of highway 276 to get to the Ticaboo Mesa area. Turn east and leave the highway on a dirt road. Near Mile post 25.
  2. TicabooDP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68607   W -110.65188        Elev: NaN Feet
    Continue straight for the main area of Ticaboo Mesa. Or Turn right (south) here for an alternate route over toward the Smith Fork Canyons.
  3. TicabooDP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67981   W -110.62886        Elev: NaN Feet
    Road junction with faint road running to the south. Continue straight (east). Road to the south is about 1.25 miles long and goes down toward Cane Spring Well.
  4. TicabooDP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68038   W -110.62628        Elev: 4,565 Feet
    Exit to a spot to camp if the roads ahead are too rough.
  5. TicabooDP-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67963   W -110.60429        Elev: NaN Feet
    Junction for a road going south. Continue straiaght (north east) to continue toward Ticaboo Measa. This road junction is near Wild Horse Springs.
  6. TicabooDP-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68389   W -110.60153        Elev: NaN Feet
    Junction for a side road on the left going north. Continue north east toward Ticaboo Mesa. The road going north is BLM Road 13440 aobut 0.4 miles long and goes over toward Colt Spring.
  7. TicabooDP-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68667   W -110.59547        Elev: NaN Feet
    Junction for a side road going north. The Road north is BLM Road 13540 and goes out toward Upper South Fork Ticaboo.
  8. TicabooDP-07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.69529   W -110.58385        Elev: NaN Feet
    Turn off for a side road on the right. Turn right onto the side road and drive southwest.
  9. extWarmSpring          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.69362   W -110.58484        Elev: NaN Feet
    Stay right to go toward the main drainage of Seven Mile Creek and Warm Springs Canyon. Or Stay left to go toward the East Branch of Seven Mile Creek and Ticaboo Mesa.
  10. ext7MileCkEB          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.69147   W -110.58014        Elev: NaN Feet
    Turn right (more south) to continue toward the East Branch of Seven Mile Creek. Or veer left to continue toward Ticaboo Mesa.
  11. TicabooDP-08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68412   W -110.56389        Elev: NaN Feet
    Junction where a rod joins in from southwest. Veer left and continue east toward the Dantes.
  12. extTicabooMesa          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68397   W -110.55581        Elev: NaN Feet
    Juntion where a road joins in from the south. Stay left and follow the road north to continue out toward the Dante Canyons. Or Turn Right and follow the road South to continue out toward Fiddlestix Canyon. The road to the south eventually loops around to meet the road by Seven Mile Creek.
  13. extDantes          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.69594   W -110.55323        Elev: 4,995 Feet
    Major junction. Trun right (southeast) to go toward the Dante's.
  14. tDanteCanyons1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68666   W -110.53627        Elev: 4,965 Feet
    Trailhead for the Dante Canyons.
Devil's Thumb (2) - Approach
  1. tDanteCanyons1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68666   W -110.53627        Elev: 4,965 Feet
    Trailhead for the Dante Canyons.
  2. wDanteEntRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68607   W -110.53681        Elev: 4,960 Feet
    Drop into a small drainage here then follow down it to the south east.
  3. wDanteEntRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68590   W -110.53665        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop of about 20 feet down a steep section of a sandstone wall to more dirt desert floor.
  4. wDanteEntRP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68575   W -110.53588        Elev: 4,845 Feet
    Path through the dirt meets wide open slick rock here.
  5. wDevils-RP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68299   W -110.53728        Elev: NaN Feet
    Near the top of the start of a slot forming in the sandstone running down and south toward the side of Purgatory Canyon.
  6. wDevils-RP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68151   W -110.53924        Elev: NaN Feet
    Slick rock goes from smooth to having more rough features and sections of rock and dirt. Scramble down to the next lower ledge here.
  7. yDevilsThumbTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67947   W -110.54019        Elev: 4,575 Feet
    Top of Devil's Thumb Canyon which is a slot forming that runs to the east and has a large vetical wall along its south side.
Devil's Thumb (3) - Standard Entry
  1. yDevilsThumbTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67947   W -110.54019        Elev: 4,575 Feet
    Top of Devil's Thumb Canyon which is a slot forming that runs to the east and has a large vetical wall along its south side.
  2. dDevils-R1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67915   W -110.53913        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 - Devil's Thumb Canyon. anchored from a choke stone in a small pothole at the top of the rap and Rap 1 drops about 55 feet down a sloped wall. The choke stone anchor could be washed out during floods.  Keep in mind a new rock may have to be farmed from somewhere up canyon or down canyon if one is not found here. 
  3. jHangnailBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67909   W -110.53885        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of the Hangnail for of Devils Thumb where it meets the standard entry. From here starts a series of pools to get around, or through.  One of the pools just after rap 1 will definitely be a swimmer for about 15 feet if full.  That pool has a drop of about 6 feet to get down to it making it difficult to ease into it.    After the few pools, the canyon stays pretty level and gets narrow and twisty.  The canyon here has a lot of water holding capacity and can be a muddy mess if you travel in the water down on the canyon floor.  It is easier and cleaner to stay just over the water and stem between the walls in a few spots.    In this narrow section there is one drop of about 8 feet that can be a little tricky that drops into a pool that will be a swimmer if full.  On the other side of the pool is the top of rap 2 / rap 4 (depending on the entry used. 
Devil's Thumb (4) - Hangnail Fork
  1. yDevilsThumbTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67947   W -110.54019        Elev: 4,575 Feet
    Top of Devil's Thumb Canyon which is a slot forming that runs to the east and has a large vetical wall along its south side.
  2. Hangnail01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67955   W -110.54077        Elev: NaN Feet
    Upper end of the vertical wall, from here route find your way southeast beyond the vertical wall about 175 feet to where another wide drainage begins to form and you can scramble in.
  3. Hangnail02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67913   W -110.54052        Elev: 4,577 Feet
    The Hangnail Fork begins to form where you can scramble down in it here.
  4. yHangnailTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67897   W -110.54023        Elev: 4,600 Feet
    Top of the Hangnail Fork of Devils Thumb. An easy 5 foot downclimbs starts into a series of potholes. Travel over / around a few small potholes down to a larger pothole about 12 feet across that is easily bypassed on the LDC side. Rap 1 starts from the other side of the large bypassed pothole.
  5. dHangnailR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67892   W -110.53990        Elev: 4,541 Feet
    Rap 1 - Hangnail Fork of Devils Thumb. Anchored using a potshot and drops about 15 feet into a sand / mud filled pothole with an overhung lip on the exit end then continues over one more small pothole then drops another 20 feet using about 60 feet of rope travel. Note: When we were there in Nov. 2014 the pothole belwo the start of rap 1 was sandfilled had a drop of 15 feet into it and the exit end was about 6 feet high, had an overhanging lip and was escapable with a partner assist. Keep in mind the pothole was sand filed and could become more difficult to exit if sand scours out.
  6. dHangnailR2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67892   W -110.53958        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 - Hangnail Fork of Devils Thumb. Anchored using a Sandtrap and uses about 100 feet of rope dropping 20 feet down a vertical wall to a pool that can be waist deep, then another drop of about 15 feet, followed by one more drop of about 20 feet down an almost vertical wall. If the potholes are full of water and you need to set the Sandtrap back farther you may need 30 more feet of rope. From the bottom of rap 2 go through a few small shallow potholes over to where the canyon begins to drop steeply down a wall down into the main canyon below where you find rap 3.
  7. dHangnailR3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67893   W -110.53921        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 3 - Hangnail Fork of Devils Thumb. Anchored from boulders or from an arch like feature on the RDC side and drops about 165 feet down a sloped wall into the main canyon where the two entry routes converge. If using the arch feature DO NOT pull your ropes around it. Either leave webbing on the anchor or use a retrievable anchor system like the Smooth Operator.
  8. jHangnailBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67909   W -110.53885        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of the Hangnail for of Devils Thumb where it meets the standard entry. From here starts a series of pools to get around, or through.  One of the pools just after rap 1 will definitely be a swimmer for about 15 feet if full.  That pool has a drop of about 6 feet to get down to it making it difficult to ease into it.    After the few pools, the canyon stays pretty level and gets narrow and twisty.  The canyon here has a lot of water holding capacity and can be a muddy mess if you travel in the water down on the canyon floor.  It is easier and cleaner to stay just over the water and stem between the walls in a few spots.    In this narrow section there is one drop of about 8 feet that can be a little tricky that drops into a pool that will be a swimmer if full.  On the other side of the pool is the top of rap 2 / rap 4 (depending on the entry used. 
Devil's Thumb (5) - The Canyon after confluence of entries
  1. jHangnailBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67909   W -110.53885        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of the Hangnail for of Devils Thumb where it meets the standard entry. From here starts a series of pools to get around, or through.  One of the pools just after rap 1 will definitely be a swimmer for about 15 feet if full.  That pool has a drop of about 6 feet to get down to it making it difficult to ease into it.    After the few pools, the canyon stays pretty level and gets narrow and twisty.  The canyon here has a lot of water holding capacity and can be a muddy mess if you travel in the water down on the canyon floor.  It is easier and cleaner to stay just over the water and stem between the walls in a few spots.    In this narrow section there is one drop of about 8 feet that can be a little tricky that drops into a pool that will be a swimmer if full.  On the other side of the pool is the top of rap 2 / rap 4 (depending on the entry used. 
  2. dDevils-R2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67905   W -110.53689        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 - Devil's Thumb Canyon. Anchored from a choke stone and drops about 15 feet to a waist deep pool that may be deeper if washed out.
  3. dDevils-R3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67895   W -110.53654        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 3 - Devil's Thumb Canyon. Anchored from a knot chock LDC about 10 feet up. Rap 3 drops about 30 feet down a vertical wall with a hanging garden in a spot where the canyon widens out significantly.
  4. dDevils-R4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67864   W -110.53603        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 4 - Devil's Thumb Canyon. Drops abot 20 feet but is anchored from a choke stone anchor in a crack about 35 feet up from the top of the rap on the LDC side.
  5. yPurgatoryBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67875   W -110.53338        Elev: 4,175 Feet
    Bottom exit of Purgatory Canyon where it meets a larger drainge. The larger drainge is runnning down from the west to here and is the bottom of Devil's Thumb canyon.
Devil's Thumb (6) - Exit
  1. yPurgatoryBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67875   W -110.53338        Elev: 4,175 Feet
    Bottom exit of Purgatory Canyon where it meets a larger drainge. The larger drainge is runnning down from the west to here and is the bottom of Devil's Thumb canyon.
  2. wDanteExtRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67798   W -110.52923        Elev: 4,115 Feet
    This is the confluence where the route out of Dante 1 and Dante 2 meet the bottom of the Dante 3 route.
  3. wDanteExtRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67844   W -110.52927        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start up out of theDante 3 drainage here to walk up the dirt slope to the cliff band to the east.
  4. wDanteExtRP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67855   W -110.52855        Elev: NaN Feet
    Climb up from the bottom of the cliff band tops out on a large ledge here. To continue on the exit traverse south along the ledge.
  5. wDanteExtRP-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67822   W -110.52817        Elev: 4,230 Feet
    Start of a bowl shaped indent after passing the point on the traverse around the ledge. Climb up the bowl to the north to continue the exit.
  6. wDanteExtRP-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67852   W -110.52826        Elev: NaN Feet
    Up on the ridge after climbing up out of the bowl. Continue up the ridge to the north east.
  7. wDanteExtRP-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.67993   W -110.52696        Elev: NaN Feet
    A knob along the ridge to go up and over or around on the way up the ridge.
  8. wDanteExtRP-07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68062   W -110.52620        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of a steep section of the sandstone ridge to scramble up.
  9. wDanteExtRP-08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68121   W -110.52635        Elev: 4,420 Feet
    Drainage crossing the ridge. Walk over to the east end of this drainage where it sharply drops off into Dante 5. From there find a way to climb / scramble up the other side to continue north up the ridge.
  10. wDanteExtRP-09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68176   W -110.52642        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of a steep section of slick rock to climb up.
  11. wDanteExtRP-10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68299   W -110.52689        Elev: 4,545 Feet
    In a drainage the crosses the ridge shortly after the top out of a steep section to scramble up the ridge.
  12. wDanteExtRP-11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68438   W -110.52707        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop down into another drainage approximately here that is narrow and semi deep with a sandy floor as you continue northwest.
  13. wDanteExtRP-12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68473   W -110.52777        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drainage crossing the ridge opens up into a very large flat sandy ledge or landing area.
  14. jLimbo          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68569   W -110.52951        Elev: 4,670 Feet
    Route crosses a drainage here which is the drainage leading to the top of Limbo Canyon. If exiting one of the Dante's, continue west across the sandstone. If descending Limbo, go south down the drainage toward the top of Limbo Canyon.
  15. jInferno          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68642   W -110.53151        Elev: 4,785 Feet
    Route crosses a drainage here which is the drainage leading to the top of Inferno Canyon. If exiting one of the Dante's, continue west across the sandstone. If descending Inferno, go south down the drainage toward the top of Inferno Canyon.
  16. yPurgatoryTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68697   W -110.53362        Elev: 4,835 Feet
    Top entry for Purgatory Canyon.
  17. wDanteExtRP-13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68761   W -110.53510        Elev: NaN Feet
    Route crosses a small drainage which is a minor fork of the top of Purgatory Canyon.
  18. wDanteExtRP-14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68739   W -110.53560        Elev: 4,890 Feet
    If exiting the Dante's this will be the start of a climb out to get to up to the top of the shelf where the trailhead is. If droping down to some of the Dante's this will be the bottom of a steep down climb.
  19. tDanteCanyons1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.68666   W -110.53627        Elev: 4,965 Feet
    Trailhead for the Dante Canyons.