North Wash

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Canyoneering in North Wash

Canyoneering is king in North Wash, and likely the reason most visit. North Wash canyons tend to be short, narrow, and physical. This is the place to bring long sleeves and long pants. With easy access, next to the highway, this makes a good choice for groups. The canyons range in difficulty from easy to expert. Choose your adventure wisely! A motivated group can easily do 2 or 3 short canyons in a day.

Getting to North Wash

North Wash is roughly 28 miles south of Hanksville on highway 95. This is about 1/2 way between Hanksville and Hite. Mile posts start at 0 in Hanksville, with a large primitive camping area informally known as Sandthrax located in the heart of North Wash canyons around Mile Marker 28. This is on the left side as you head south, and is a large flat area with several good spots. It can be crowded in the spring and fall. There are other, less frequented campsites dotting North Wash and the benches above. If your looking for solitude, it can usually be found above North Wash, or off the road to Bullfrog.

Though "North Wash" proper is just the canyon where highway 95 runs, there are many good canyons and hikes within a short drive of the main North Wash camping area. These include the Poison Spring area (20-30 minute drive), Trachyte drainages (20-30 minute drive), as well as the canyons that drain from above into North Wash (20-30 minute drive).

Season To Visit

Anytime, although summers are too hot for my taste. Because North Wash canyons tend to not hold a ton of water, they can be pleasant even in the dead of winter. If doing canyons in the summer, get early starts and pack plenty of water.

North Wash Classics

Leprechaun is likely the classic canyon that put North Wash on the map, and offers 3 forks of varying difficulty, with a stunning final section below the confluence of all 3 forks. Hikers can hike up the bottom of Leprechaun and see an amazing section without technical gear.

For beginners, the right fork of Leprechaun, or either fork of Blarney make an excellent introduction to the area. This goes for canyoneers more accustomed to Zion type canyons as well. North Wash canyons require more climbing and anchor skills than the typical Zion canyon.

More seasoned canyoneers should venture out a bit, and would likely enjoy Witch's Cauldron or Monkey Business. The Poison Spring canyons, such as Slideanide and Arscenic are great experienced beginner / intermediate trips with a remote feel.

Hikers should wander over to Trachyte where solitude and stunning scenery abound.

Usage Note

The area is receiving heavy use. Please drive several miles south down the highway from the camping area at milepost 28 to Hog Springs rest area for your daily business. It is not far, and helps keep the camping area clean. Or use a wag bag / portable toilet system.


Canyoneering - North Wash Canyoneering

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Hiking - North Wash Hiking

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Roadside Attraction - North Wash Roadside Attraction

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