Canyoneering Route Description

Great White Sewer Canyon - 3A II (III)
Zion National Park, Utah.

Quick Facts

11-11-16, 3 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 8.2 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 4 to 6 hours
Distance - 1.8 miles Total, 0.3 miles Technical
Rappels - 8 Rappels, Longest Rappel 195 feet.
Elevation Range - 4350 - 5560 Feet
Shuttle Required - No Vehicle - Passenger Permit Required - Yes

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 195 feet and 60 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.

General Comments

While Great White Sewer Canyon does offer a fun short day, it is not an incredible canyon. The entry sequence will require some thought and a little extra care getting to rap 2. After the entry sequence the canyon is about 650 feet of ravine with a few short downclimbs before getting to the lower portion of the canyon. The lower canyon is less than 700 feet long with 5 rappels.

Multiple entry points could be used to get into Great White Sewer Canyon. Dropping right down the head of the canyon looked a bit dangerous with a big drop down loose rock and wedge trees. Also getting to the true head would involve getting up a short almost vertical section of rock. The spot we chose was to follow the trail up the ridge until it hit a vertical section of rock shortly before getting to the head of the canyon, then back track back down the ridge about 70 feet and down one level where we rappelled into the side of the canyon from one of many trees.

The entry down the side of the canyon gives a very big air feel as you look over the side. With the big air feel and there being a lot of trees and shrubs in the area we decided to use a traditional pull for the first rap down from the ridge rather than a retrievable anchor such as the Smooth Operator. In doing so we let webbing on a tree on the ridge. It turned out the first rap is rather short and we felt it would have pulled well with a retrievable anchor. If returning in the future I would remove the webbing from the tree and use a retrievable anchor at the first rap and leave no webbing. If anyone else feels inclined to remove the webbing on a visit to the area, it would be appreciated.

We thought we chose the most prudent entry route and saw no signs of previous travel but when we got to rap 3 we found a pretty old webbing anchor in place. The remainder of the canyon had webbing in place at a few of the anchors that appear to have been there for decades. We later found an old bolt at one station with RT stamped in it indicating ol' RT was indeed had been here many years earlier.

An interesting feature that may disappear one day.  Rap 5 was anchored from a tree with webbing that had been in place so long the tree had grown almost totally around the webbing. Since the canyon gets little to no sun the webbing was still in ok shape. If it is still there on future visits it is definitely something to look at and ponder.

As a working name we were calling this Great White Throne Canyon since it runs down along the side of The Great White Throne. Jokingly Hank Moon and Tracy Kwan said we can call it Great White Sewer Canyon if the canyon really sucked. The canyon did not turn out to be stellar but is worthy of a short canyon to do during the slow season. However when we got to the end Tracy exclaimed "It's a sign!!!" pointing at the large chunk of white concrete with a sewer grate in the middle of it. The drainage for this canyon runs right to the road then down this sewer grate in the middle of a large white section of concrete. From that moment on the name Great White Sewer Canyon stuck. 

Alternate Names:
After posting the route description on the site I was informed that this canyon has went by other names with other groups.  Some of the other names are Great White Flush, Gully of the Great White Throne and The Great White Crack. 

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

Park your vehicle at the Zion visitor center.  From there take the shuttle to the Weeping Rock stop to begin the route.

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is needed.  After exiting and returning to the Temple of Weeping Rock bus stop, ride the shuttle back to the visitor center.

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 of ridge approach and technical section.

Details

The Approach:
From the Weeping Rock bus stop (wBusWeepingRk) walk through the parking lot about 300 feet to the bridge which is the trail head for Weeping Rock and Observation Point (tObpntWpRk).

After crossing the bridge follow the right fork to go toward Observation Point.  Follow the trail about 0.6 miles up a series of switch backs to the junction for the bottom of Hidden Canyon (jHidnCynTrlBt).  At the junction leave the Observation Point trail and follow the right fork toward Lower Hidden Canyon.

Follow the trail about 0.3 miles to get into the bottom of Hidden Canyon after passing some chains mounted to the wall along side the trail.

When you get into the bottom of Hidden Canyon (yHiddenBt) look for a set of stairs cut into the rock on the other side of the drainage from the trail (west side). Walk up the stairs then veer right to follow a use trail forming that runs north out to the crest of the ridge.

After about 150 feet the use trail gets to the crest of the ridge (GtWtSewer01). Begin walking and scrambling southwest up the ridge. The first 700 feet of the route up the ridge is a mix of use trail and easy scrambling. As you follow south up the ridge Great White Sewer Canyon will be on the right (west) and hidden Canyon will be on the left (east).

About 70 feet up the ridge is a spot where the route meets a steep section of boulder to get up (GtWtSewer02). Veer right to go around the nose then find an easy scramble up. You will need hands and feet but is not difficult.

About 180 feet farther up the ridge is a saddle along the ridge (GtWtSewer03). Just before getting to this saddle the trail drops a few feet and veers to the left for an easy walk up to the saddle. if you veer right you will need to some scrambling to get up here.

About 480 feet farther up the ridge becomes less steep (GtWtSewer04) and is mostly good use trail and easy walking.

About 270 feet farther up is still good use trail and the ridge becomes almost level (GtWtSewer05).

About 500 feet farther up the ridge the use trail veers left to go around a vertical section of rock (GtWtSewer06) on the ridge and slowly fades out to not well used sheep trails. You can also make your way to the right of the ridge closer to Great White Sewer Canyon for a look around. At this point you are almost at the head of the canyon but would need to get up the vertical section of rock to get there. The drop in point we chose is to turn around and back track back down the ridge about 70 feet and down one level from here.

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
Rap 1 (GtWtSewerR1) is anchored from the largest tree along the crest of the ridge just before an easy scramble up one level on the ridge. The tree is about 20 feet back from the edge and drops about 60 feet to the base of a large tree where you can then stay on rope and walk a steep slope another 20 feet to the top of a small chute which you can then easily scramble down (in the up canyon direction) to very large dirt shelf below. Rap 1 will use about 100 feet of rope travel with only about 60 feet of vertical drop.

Note:
To find the spot for rap 1 described here, you can follow up the trail along the ridge until you get to a vertical section of rock shortly before you get to the obvious head of the canyon. Just before getting to this spot you would have scrambled up a short rock layer. Next turn around and go back down the ridge and back down the short scramble layer and anchor from the largest tree on the crest of the ridge a short distance after dropping back down the scramble.

A visual clue to help know you are at the spot described here for rap 1 is, as you look over the edge you are looking kind of at the top of another tree down on the ledge which you will be rappelling to the base of.

Once down on the very large shelf below the chute below rap 1, walk the shelf in the up canyon direction about 80 feet (as far as you can go) then scramble into the water course then down a few feet and scramble your way along the RDC side over to a dirt ledge on the RDC side over to large bush / small tree for rap 2.

Rap 2 (GtWtSewerR2-3) is just above a huge drop in the water course after walking a large shelf over from rap 1. Anchored from a small tree / large bush on the RDC side and drops 195 feet to the canyon floor while going over 3 large ledges on the way down. Scrambling over to the anchor is next to a large drop and care should be taken.

Rap 3 is about 80 feet down canyon of rap 2 and is anchored from a pinch point between boulders and drops about 25 feet over some boulders.

Rap 4 is about 650 feet down canyon of rap 3 and travel is down a long ravine to go down (GtWtSewer07) with multiple easy downclimbs of about 6 to 8 feet each.

Rap 4 (GtWtSewerR4) is anchored from a tree about 30 feet back and drops a total of about 55 feet to a narrow slot with waist deep water if full. Optionally you can rappel down only 35 feet then scramble out onto a ledge on the LDC side and walk / scramble down canyon on the ledge then downclimb back to the canyon floor bypassing the pool below.

Walk a little over 100 feet to rap 5.

Rap 5 (GtWtSewerR5) is anchored from a tree and drops about 40 feet over boulders into a narrow area where the canyon continues to drop. After getting off rope downclimb through sloped slot about 50 more feet over stages where one 6 foot section may need a partner assist. You could rap all the way through using a little over 100 feet of rope but there are many catch points to stick a rope making the downclimbing a better option.

A short distance down canyon are two more downclimbs of 10 and 15 feet each.  Rap 6 is about 280 feet down canyon.

Rap 6 (GtWtSewerR6-7) is anchored from a tree on a large flat patio / rock and drops about 190 feet to a sandy ledge.

Rap 7 at the bottom of rap 6 is anchored about 15 feet back a little over head high on the RDC side from a small wedged log and a single bolted hanger with RT stamped in it and drops about 70 feet. The start of the rap is in a narrow spot going over a choke stone which can stick the rope during the pull.

After rap 7 scramble down a short section of sloped slickrock to a sandy wash to walk for about 80 feet to the next rap.

Rap 8 (GtWtSewerR8) is anchored from a large log and drops about 40 feet.

The Exit:
Just after the last rap exit the water course (yGrtWhtSewerBt) on the LDC (southwest) side by going up the dirt bank and into the trees. As you get out into the trees walk the gently sloped terrain roughly following the drainage. Exiting here will provide an easy walkout exit versus scrambling down through boulders in the wash.

As you get closer to the road and the grade gets less steep, make your way back to the drainage and walk the shallow wash back to the road.

Where the Great White Sewer drainage meets the road (jGrtWhtSewerBt) you will see a large sewer grate positioned in the middle of a large section of white concrete that the drainage flows into to cross under the road. Turn right and walk the road 1200 feet back to the Weeping Rock bus stop to complete the route. 

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.

Great White Sewer (1) Entire Route
  1. wBusWeepingRk          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27098   W -112.93942        Elev: 4,360 Feet
    Weepeing Rock and East Rim trail bus stop.
  2. tObpntWpRk          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27053   W -112.93855        Elev: 4,371 Feet
    Trail head for Weeping Rock and Observation Point.
  3. jHidnCynTrlBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26891   W -112.93663        Elev: 4,879 Feet
    Junction off the Observation trail where the Hidden Canyon trail starts. To go into Lower Hidden Canyon or go to Great White Sewer Canyon turn right and follow the Hidden Canyon trail.
  4. yHiddenBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26809   W -112.93847        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom exit for Hidden Canyon. If exitiing Hidden Canyon veer right and follow the trail / chains on the wall around the side of the canyon to a trail. If going up to Great White Sewer look for a set of stairs cut into the rock on the other side of the drainage from the trail (west side). Walk up the stairs then veer right to follow a use trail forming that runs north out to the crest of the ridge.
  5. GtWtSewer01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26848   W -112.93854        Elev: NaN Feet
    Use trail gets out to the crest of the ridge. Begin walking and scrambling southwest up the ridge. The first 700 feet of the route up the ridge is a mix of use trail and easy scrambling. As you follow south up the ridge Great White Sewer Canyon will be on the right (west) and hidden Canyon will be on the left (east).
  6. GtWtSewer02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26832   W -112.93870        Elev: NaN Feet
    A spot where the route meets a steep section of boulder to get up. Veer right to go around the nose then find an easy scramble up. You will need hands and feet but is not difficult.
  7. GtWtSewer03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26792   W -112.93903        Elev: 5,230 Feet
    Saddle along the ridge. Just before getting to this saddle the trail drops a few feet and veers to the left for an easy walk up to the saddle. if you veer right you will need to some scrambling to get up here.
  8. GtWtSewer04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26671   W -112.93924        Elev: NaN Feet
    Route up the ridge becomes less steep and is mostly good use trail and easy walking.
  9. GtWtSewer05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26599   W -112.93906        Elev: NaN Feet
    Route up the ridge is still good use trail and becomes almost level.
  10. GtWtSewer06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26464   W -112.93881        Elev: 5,560 Feet
    The use trail up the ridge veers left to go around a vertical section of rock on the ridge and slowly fades out to not well used sheep trails. You can also make your way to the right of the ridge closer to Great White Sewer Canyon for a look around. At this point you are almost at the head of the canyon but would need to get up the vertical section of rock to get there. The drop in point we chose is to turn around and back track back down the ridge about 70 feet and down one level from here.
  11. yGrtWhtSewerTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26437   W -112.93892        Elev: 5,600 Feet
    Top of Great White Sewer Canyon. Descending directly down from the head would involve a large steep drop with loose rock and wedge logs. Rapping of the side of the approach ridge is safer.
  12. GtWtSewerR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26486   W -112.93886        Elev: 5,520 Feet
    Rap 1 - Great White Sewer Canyon. Anchored from the largest tree along the crest of the ridge just before an easy scramble up one level on the ridge. The tree is about 20 feet back from the edge and drops about 60 feet to the base of a large tree where you can then stay on rope and walk a steep slope another 20 feet to the top of a small chute which you can then easily scramable down (in the up canyon direction) to very large dirt shelf below. Rap 1 will use about 100 feet of rope travel with only about 60 feet of vertical drop. Once down on the very large shelf below the chute below rap 1, walk the shelf in the up canyon direction about 80 feet (as far as you can go) then scramble into the water course then down a few feet and scramble your way along the RDC side over to a dirt ledge on the RDC side over to large bush / small tree for rap 2. Note: To find the spot for rap 1 described here, you can follow up the trail along the ridge until you get to a vertical section of rock shortly before you get to the obvious head of the canyon. Just before getting to this spot you would have scrambled up a short rock layer. Next turn around and go back down the ridge and back down the short scramble layer and anchor from the largest tree on the crest of the ridge a short distance after dropping back down the scramble. Note: A visual clue to help know you are at the spot described here for rap 1 is, as you look over the edge you are looking kind of at the top of another tree down on the ledge which you will be rappelling to the base of.
  13. GtWtSewerR2-3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26456   W -112.93905        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 2 and 3 - Great White Sewer Canyon. Rap 2 just above a huge drop in the water course after walking a large shelf over from rap 1. Anchored from a small tree / large bush on the RDC side and drops 195 feet to the canyon floor while going over 3 large ledges on the way down. Scrambling over to the anchor is next to a large drop and care should be taken. Rap 3 is about 80 feet down canyon of rap 2 and is anchored from a pinch point between boulders and drops about 25 feet over some boulders.
  14. GtWtSewer07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26509   W -112.93943        Elev: NaN Feet
    Between raps 3 and 4 is about 650 feet of ravine to go down with multiple easy downclimbs of about 6 to 8 feet each.
  15. GtWtSewerR4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26615   W -112.93991        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 4 - Great White Sewer Canyon, Anchored from a tree about 30 feet back and drops a total of about 55 feet to a narrow slot with waist deep water if full. Optionally you can rappel down only 35 feet then scramble out onto a ledge on the LDC side and walk / scramble down canyon on the ledge then downclimb back to the canyon floor bypassing the pool below.
  16. GtWtSewerR5          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26646   W -112.94015        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 5 - Great White Sewer Canyon. Anchored from a tree and drops about 40 feet over boulders into a narrow area where the canyon continues to drop. After getting off rope downclimb through sloped slot about 50 more feet over stages where one 6 foot section may need a partner assist. You could rap all the way through using a little over 100 feet of rope but there are many catch points to stick a rope making the downclimbing a better option. A short distance down canyon are two more downclimbs of 10 and 15 feet each.
  17. GtWtSewerR6-7          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26721   W -112.94049        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 6 and 7 - Great White Sewer Canyon. Rap 6 anchored from a tree on a large flat patio / rock and drops about 190 feet to a sandy ledge. Rap 7 at the bottom of rap 6 is anchored about 15 feet back a little over head high on the RDC side from a small wedged log and a single bolted hanger with RT stamped in it and drops about 70 feet. The start of the rap is in a narrow spot going over a choke stone which can stick the rope during the pull. After rap 7 scramble down a short section of sloped slickrock to a sandy wash to walk for about 80 feet to the next rap.
  18. GtWtSewerR8          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26768   W -112.94091        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 8 - Great White Sewer Canyon. Anchored from a large log and drops about 40 feet.
  19. yGrtWhtSewerBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26783   W -112.94102        Elev: 4,470 Feet
    Just after the last rap exit the water course on the LDC (southwest) side by going up the dirt bank and into the trees. As you get out into the trees walk the gently sloped terrain roughly following the drainage. Exiting here will provide an easy walkout exit versus scrambling down through boulders in the wash. As you get closer to the road and the grade gets less steep, make your way back to the drainage and walk the shallow wash back to the road.
  20. jGrtWhtSewerBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26859   W -112.94187        Elev: 4,350 Feet
    Where the Great White Sewer drainage meets the road you will see a large sewer grate positioned in the middle of a large section of white concrete that the drainage flows into to cross under the road. Turn right and walk the road 1200 feet back to the Weeping Rock bus stop to complete the route.