Bluejohn Slot Canyon - Main Fork Descent
This trip was a nice day hike down a beautiful slot canyon now made famous by the Aron Ralston story and movie titles "127 Hours". We descended the Main Fork of the Canyon which isn't the same fork Aron was in during his issues. We parked just off the Maze Road at the Burr Pass junction which is signed. A secondary dirt road from here leads to Ekker Ranch. We started by walking cross country through the desert and due to the very wet winter of 2009/2010 in Utah we actually saw snow patches. The sunrise over the La Sal Mountains to the east was spectacular as always. We reached the upper end of the Bluejohn drainage and turned left and followed the dry wash until the slot began. When it began it really dropped quick with a few steep drops. Once in, I was committed. Hope Kelseys book was correct as I didn't have any special gear.
I was very intimidated about how steep the canyon appeared to drop and I couldn't actually see the canyon bottom ahead of me due to a jog in the canyon so all I first saw were giant cliffs. It is amazing how these large canyons are so hidden and you would never expect them to be there if you just drive along the Maze Road. So I continued down and was able to slide down each chalkstone (with effort!) until the canyon bottom was reached and it was a simple, although spectacular walk down the canyon. This would go down as my first slot canyon in the Robbers Roost Area and I was instantly hooked. See below for the basic description and photos I wrote shortly after the trip. I left out lots of gory details.
As I start planning for 2011 spring break coming up soon, I was reminded about my epic trip I did last year over spring break.
After classes ended on that Friday we took the 6 hour drive to our starting point for the first day.
The first day we descended the main fork of Bluejohn slot canyon...in the middle of nowhere in Robbers Roost Country.
Below are the better photos I got from that difficult descent.
After the Bluejohn loop we drove out back to highway 24 and stopped in Hanksville. By now the weather system that was heading our way was upon us and it started raining.
After waiting out the rain in the Hollow Mountain store in the redneck town of Hanksville we continued towards Capitol Reef National Park on highway 24. Camped that night on random BLM lands.