Bluejohn Canyon Hike

Tuesday Alex and I headed south to hike Bluejohn Canyon. We arrived after dark, setup camp off the road a little ways and got to sleep around 11pm.

In the morning we loaded our packs and headed for the west fork (see the map).

(The above map is from Slot Canyons of the American Southwest.)

The west fork had one downclimb and some interesting rock and semi-narrows.

At the junction we continued down to the short slot section before the big drop into Horseshoe Canyon. (This is where Aron Ralston had to cut off his arm that was pinned by a boulder, the inspiration for the film 127 Hours.)

The slot dropped quickly and featured sculpted walls and one section that was quite dark.

At the drop off we turned around and went back up the slot. It was a little more work and had one climb out the top.

We hiked back up Bluejohn and up the east fork. It was quite a while until it narrowed. We walked up the slot about a quarter mile then came to water and turned around. We also explored a ways up a side slot.

Finally we went up the main fork. It has some nice narrows.

The final obstacle is a 90 foot climb. It was more work and more difficult than I remembered, but we made it up OK.

After completing the climb we walked a little farther up the drainage then headed overland back to the car (thank you GPS).

It was overcast and warm so the weather worked out. Grayish clouds went by, but they didn't hold significant rain. On the way home we had some slow driving in a full-on blizzard going over Soldier Summit and down Spanish Fork Canyon.

In early 2000 I was big into canyoneering. It felt good to be back in a canyon again. My thanks to Alex for driving and putting up with my inaccurate recollection about the upclimb.


Watcher said...

When I belly-flopped over that last chockstone I thought, "If there's another upclimb after this one I am just going to sleep right here on my belly..."

It was a great day. Thanks for handling gear/maps, and looking forward to our next canyon adventure.

Anonymous said...

Those pics are amazing - I would love to see that in person some day.