Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash, San Rafael Swell, UT

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As we had to cancel our planned trip to Cane Wash, due to a service for our Jeep, we thought about to visit Eardley Canyon. Some time ago, we read Rolfs description of Ernie Canyon and decided to visit the neighbour canyon.

Without having any detailed information we started from Green River, UT on I-70 until we reached the exit to UT-24. We follow UT-24 towards Hanksville. At 12S 54798X 429013X (UTM/NAD27) we are turning right on a dirt road, which leads towards the Reef. The following picture shows the turnoff.

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

We are following this easy dirtroad:

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

On the way there was also some water….

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

…and sometimes a little bit rough:.

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

Here a picture of the vicinity, shortly before we reach the parking area for Eardley Canyon.

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

Did we reach Eardley Canyon ? The parking spot is after the next  dome (12S 54475X 429288X).

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

Here a view of the Reef:

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

The hiking trail leads in a wash into the Reef:

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

In the wash some indian paintings could be found. This we got to know later after being back in Green River.

We are going further in the wash and soon the rock face came closer.

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

It also got rockier in the wash:

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

Here views from the canyon walls:

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

Some snow could also be found:

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

Soon we are reaching a point, where canyons come in from the left and the right side:

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

On the left side a bypass could be found, which leads closer to the slot region of Eardley Canyon.

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

We still were hiking straight:

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

It got somehow rough.

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

And here we made a break:

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

Further ahead the boulders are getting bigger and bigger, so that we decided to turn around and to walk back to the parking spot.

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

On the way back, here a view into the canyon, which comes from the left….

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

…before we are continuing our way in the wash back to our car.

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

The following pictures we have taken on our drive back to UT-24, so that one can get an impression about the trail:

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

Soon we are back at UT-24.

San Rafael Swell - Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash

When we were back in Green River we got to know, that we haven´t been in Eardley Canyon. Our complete hike lead us along Straight Wash. Eardley Canyon starts later from Straight Wash. Overall it was a nice half day trip with a relaxing hike. But one should not go into Straight Wash(Eardley Canyon if it rains or after rainfall as it is a channel for all the water from the San Rafael Reef plateau region coming down and going thorugh Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash. This also explains the moving of the big boulders in the upper portion of Strraight Wash.

Here you are able to download a gpx file of our trip:

Tracklog: Eardley Canyon/Straight Wash, San Rafael Swell, UT (166 downloads)

The map gives an overview over the visited region:

Christian

Christian

Hi, my name is Christian. Since years, my wife and me are spending our vacation in the southwest of the USA. At the beginning, we had been visiting a lot of national parks, but after some time, we started to explore also areas off pavement. We started with the Coyote Buttes South region and White Pocket in the Vermilion Cliffs NM. Over years, we explored almost the complete Vermilion Cliffs NM and visited also a lot of other areas in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah. Especially the Moab area and the San Rafael Swell are our favorites. But also the Rubicon trail in the High Sierras was very impressing. In 2015, we had been the first time in the Kingman, AZ area. There are a lot of outstanding 4WD trails, like Sleeping Princess or Moss Wash. This type of trails has a high difficulty rating and one should have the right vehicle and good driving skills to tackle this type of trails. As I did not find any good source of information about the trails, we planned to drive at the beginning of our ‘offroad adventures’, I started to create this website. I hope, that it has some use for visitors and gives some kind of information and also inspiration.

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