car camp hike chute canyon - May 9, 2009

The narrow upper part of Chute Canyon in the San Rafael Swell is breathtakingly beautiful -- you're walking under driftwood lodged fifty feet above your head, stepping through shafts of sunlight on fluted sandstone, ducking under walls that fade into darkness far above. This version of a deservedly famous hike descends from the top of the canyon into the depths without requiring an entry rappel. The canyon changes every year, so you need to be prepared; the first time I did it, it was dry and sandy all the way through with easy scrambling, but the most recent time I did it, there was one short rappel over a chockstone and some brief stretches of very cold water. This is an all-day trip with lots of moderate scrambling and minor exposure, and the hikes into and out of this isolated canyon can be blazing hot. But the canyon is so cool, it's worth repeating this trip every few years. We'll do upper Chute on Saturday and another (possibly exploratory) slickrock hike on Sunday. Note that there is no margin for error with weather, so if it looks like there will be rain, we'll do a different hike. Limit: 12.

Organizer:Donn Seeley
Date:Sat May 9 2009 — Sun May 10 2009
Meeting Place:Registration Required

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