Canyoneering Robbers Roost – Dirty Devil

_sth2703Welcome to real wilderness; beautiful, uncrowded, and vast. Remoteness and isolation are the reasons why Butch Cassidy hid out in Robbers Roost country.This complex landscape sits tucked between the San Rafael Swell, Canyonlands National Park, and the massive Henry Mountains (last Lower 48 range to be explored). Even now, only a handful of dirt roads lead into the Roost’s austere plateaus, which are further cut off from convenient approach by the deep canyons of the Dirty Devil River.

But remoteness isn’t just for outlaws. It’s also perfect for adventurers seeking a life-changing experience. Hidden below those plateau rims lies a complex web of narrow,  flowing corridors bathed in the glow of reflected sunlight.

These slots combine all the best aspects of remote wilderness and challenging technical canyons, with dramatic drop-ins, tight chimneying, challenging down climbs, and aesthetic slickrock exit climbs. Most are tailor-made for fit, adventurous guests who might have some backcountry camping and hiking experience, but there are also easy gorges where you can hike into the bottom of alien worlds.


Due to the dirt-road driving distances – one to two hours and 40-plus miles from any paved road –  we offer these trips only as two-day, or longer stand-alone bookings. However, we often have multiple guest reservations back-to-back in this area, and are perfectly willing to rendezvous with one-day groups when possible. Driving-tolerant guests CAN pursue these canyons from accommodations in Hanksville, but it will add hours to a given day.

Even for day trips, the best option is to base out of scenic car campsites, most of which are accessible by any decent sedan or high-clearance vehicle. Roost Country is also superb for multi-sport hiking/backpacking/canyoneering adventures. Participants have the option to camp on their own, or have a custom, fully-catered basecamp (please contact us in advance for these services).

A partial list of recommended canyoneering objectives: White Roost, North Robbers Roost Forks (2), the Mindbender forks(3) , Larry Canyon, Alcatraz, and a quartet of Bluejohn Canyon Forks (the scene of Aron Ralston’s 127 Hours survival epic). Contact us for other potential itineraries.


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