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Ding and Dang canyons, neighbors to the extremely popular Bell and Little Wild Horse canyons are less traveled, but still a great hike with beautiful scenery. Ascending Ding is an easy romp while descending Dang provides a few obstacles and a little bit of spice. If in the area, this is a hike not to miss. Although possible to bring dogs along for the Ding portion of the hike, getting them down Dang can be more difficult. Don't attempt Dang with dogs unless you have a harness for them and the knowledge of how to lower them down the many drops safely.
Reach the trailhead by going west from Green River Utah on I-70 to the junction with highway 24 that goes to Hanksville. Go toward Hanksville for about 25 miles to Mile Post 135.
From the trailhead, follow the prominent wash. After about 20-30 minutes, it divides at a craggy point in equal portions. Go right, up Ding. In 5 minutes from the divide, there is a slickrock slab that marks the start of Ding as it cuts through the reef. Ascend the slab, and follow the canyon as it meanders through the reef. The narrow section is short and followed by a long section of small potholes and dryfalls. Most of the dryfalls are bypassed on the right, and none should be difficult (more than class 3).
Soon the canyon opens dramatically as it exits the back of the reef, and Ding Dang Dome is prominently visible. Follow an emerging trail to an old mining road on the left, between the reef and Ding Dang Dome. This drops you into the top of Dang Canyon. (10 minutes between Ding and Dang)
Head down Dang Canyon. A few small challenges present themselves early on, but none are difficult. As the canyon deepens and narrows, however, you will reach a dryfall that can be passed on the right using ledges (somewhat exposed). If needed, a bolt exists to tie a handline to in order the descend the dryfall directly. This is not as difficult as it looks, due to some ledges.
Just below the dryfall the canyon slots up and begins its final journey through the reef. Several chockstones in this section provide small challenges. The most difficult of these is about 2.5 m tall. A little teamwork will easily defeat it. Some rate these obstacles as hard as 5.7 in climbing terms, but none are anywhere near that difficult. A team of two or three with a short rope should be able to defeat these easily. The canyon quickly opens, and you will find yourself back in a wide wash. Follow this wash left as it meanders it's way back to the mouth of Ding Canyon in 15 minutes or so. From there, retrace your steps along the wash back to your car.
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|Ding Dang Dome||
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