Deadeye Dick Canyon |

Zion East Side

Canyoneering Deadeye Dick Canyon - Zion East Side Canyoneering Deadeye Dick Canyon
Zion East Side

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments


LENGTH: 5-6 hours
MAPS: Clear Creek Mountain, UT; Temple of Sinawava, UT; Straight Canyon, UT;


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SEASON: Spring, Summer, Fall
GEAR: Standard Technical Gear
RAPPELS: 6 to 30 m ( 99 ft. )
WATER: Generally none in the canyon. Filterable water on the exit.
FLASHFLOOD: Moderate in a very short section.
NOTES: Outside the park, so no permit needed. This route requires a shuttle. A mountain bike could work for the shuttle.


86 | 54


86 | 54


88 | 55


89 | 56


89 | 57

View Full Weather Details

Deadeye Dick reminded me of a shorter, not quite as good Birch with a much bigger pain of an approach. That being said, it is a lovely short canyon with a stunning exit up the narrows and one that I would recommend doing once. My recommendation would be contingent on doing Mighty Mouse Canyon along the way and doing the approach from Dakota Hill as described below. There are other approaches, but they would be thrashy, steep, and not much fun.

Being outside Zion National Park boundaries, the canyon does not currently require a permit. It also does not hold water, making it a good choice for cooler times of the year. The canyon itself is beginner friendly, though there is some navigation required on the approach.

Note: The route described here requires a car shuttle, or could be done on a mountain bike. Reaching the trailhead requires 1.2 miles of rough high clearance road. This could be walked or biked if needed.

Getting There

The trailhead is off the North Fork road, which starts 2.2 miles east of the east entrance of Zion National Park on highway 9. It is signed.

  • Turn onto the North Fork Road. ( 12S 337340mE 4122961mN / N37° 14' 20" W112° 50' 02" )
  • Follow it about 5.4 miles to the Zion Ponderosa. Stay right on the main road. The road turns to dirt here, but is passable by all when dry. Reset your odometer at the dirt road. ( 12S 333951mE 4127075mN / N37° 16' 32" W112° 52' 22" )
  • At 2.8 miles, a side road goes off on the left. This is the Englstead Canyon trailhead. ( 12S 335082mE 4130499mN / N37° 18' 23" W112° 51' 39" )
  • 3.0 miles past Zion Ponderosa is the signed Birch Hollow trailhead on the left. ( 12S 335484mE 4130834mN / N37° 18' 35" W112° 51' 23" )
  • Continue past the Birch trailhead an additional 3.1 miles. (6 miles from the Ponderosa) to a good side road on the left signed Orderville ORV Area. A side road goess off on the right here that offers OK primitive camping. Reset your odometer. ( 12S 337849mE 4133846mN / N37° 20' 14" W112° 49' 50" )
  • Continue 2.5 miles past Orderville. A side road on the left is the Dakota Hill Road. Go left on it to reach the trailhead. ( 12S 336927mE 4136314mN / N37° 21' 33" W112° 50' 29" )
  • Exit Trailhead
  • 5.3 miles past Orderville, the road crosses the Virgin River and reaches a junction. Go left. ( 12S 338368mE 4139749mN / N37° 23' 26" W112° 49' 33" )
  • 6.2 miles past Orderville, a final junction (go left) takes you to Chamberlain's Ranch trailhead. ( 12S 337244mE 4139363mN / N37° 23' 12" W112° 50' 19" )
  • Trailhead (going left on Dakota Hill Road)
  • 0.1 Side junction, stay left. ( 12S 336737mE 4136245mN / N37° 21' 31" W112° 50' 37" )
  • 1.2 junction, go right. A small meadow is just after this junction. This is the trailhead. The road continues, but is narrow, rough, and not recommended to be driven. There is decent camping here. ( 12S 335326mE 4135573mN / N37° 21' 08" W112° 51' 33" )


Approach (90 minutes)
From the trailhead, follow the jeep road as it descends along the hillside. After 1 mile, it turns sharply south and descends quickly. Leave the jeep road here and follow a social trail along the ridge west to Dakota Hill. The trail is becoming easy to follow, but if in doubt, it generally stays close to the ridge line.

Once on Dakota Hill, Deadeye Dick is to the north and west. Follow the ridge line due north. A trail comes and goes, but staying on or near the ridgeline is easy. The ridge drops steeply to a small flat area that has large ponderosa pines. Deadeye Dick is on the other side of the small flat area.

Descend into the canyon from the flat area down a steep dirt/rock slope, the first rappel is just a minute or two down canyon.

The Canyon
Rappel 1 (6 m ( 20 ft. )) - This rappel is generally done off a tree on the left side.

Rappel 2 (22 m ( 73 ft. )) - Rappel down into a short section of slot, then the canyon opens briefly.

Rappel 3 (18 m ( 60 ft. )) - The canyon slots up and drops here. Rappel 3 is followed immediately by rappel 4.

Rappel 4 (25 m ( 83 ft. )) - This can be done as a 3 stage rappel, however the second and third stages are relatively easy to downclimb and make for a better rope pull. If rappelling on 3 stages, it is about 25 m ( 83 ft. ).

Rappel 5 (15 m ( 50 ft. )) - Just down from rappel 4 is rappel 5. It can be anchored off a deadman, or lower down off a chockstone requiring a bit more finesse to rig and get on rappel.

Rappel 6 (30 m ( 99 ft. )) - All too soon the final rappel is encountered. A beautiful smooth walled flute.

Below rappel 6, the canyon makes a hard left with a couple of down climbs before reaching the Virgin River less than 10 minutes from the final rappel. The second down climb en route to the river is a bit tricky, use team work and spot the last man down,

Up The Narrows (4.5 miles / 1.5-2 hours)
Turn right and head up stream. If doing Mighty Mouse, it will be coming in on the left in 5-10 minutes. Otherwise, continue up stream on the well used trail, criss-crossing the river endlessly. This section is quite beautiful, with towering walls and vivid colors.

After a couple of miles, the trail turns to an old road. Continue on it, passing Bullock's Cabin, then a farm building before reaching the Chamberlain Ranch trailhead and your (hopefully) spotted exit vehicle.


Printable Maps:

12S 335172mE 4135634mN

N37° 21' 10" W112° 51' 40"

Dakota Hill Top

12S 333300mE 4135990mN

N37° 21' 20" W112° 52' 56"

Rappel 1

12S 332310mE 4137074mN

N37° 21' 55" W112° 53' 37"

Virgin River

12S 332234mE 4137528mN

N37° 22' 10" W112° 53' 41"

Mighty Mouse Bottom

12S 332675mE 4137684mN

N37° 22' 15" W112° 53' 23"

Route to Mighty Mouse

12S 332906mE 4137574mN

N37° 22' 11" W112° 53' 13"

Bullock's Cabin

12S 334710mE 4137672mN

N37° 22' 16" W112° 52' 00"

Farm Building

12S 335880mE 4138357mN

N37° 22' 39" W112° 51' 13"

Exit trailhead

12S 337205mE 4139204mN

N37° 23' 07" W112° 50' 20"


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