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Brian Dickson | profile | all galleries >> us_south_west_2017 >> Dark Canyon tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Dark Canyon

Another superb backpack over 4 days in October in southern Utah- this time into the Dark Canyon wilderness. We dropped down the Sundance trail and hiked upstream in this huge deep canyon on slabby terraced limestone with water flowing most of the way. We camped at the confluence of Young's canyon and Dark and spent a day going up Young's canyon before returning to the same camp. The next day we went further up Dark canyon before returning and camping downstream. On our final day we descended down canyon via a side trip up Lost canyon then all the way to about 300m from the confluence with the Colorado river. Deep mud and silt put us off reaching the Colorado although this lower part of Dark canyon was magnificent.
Camp at Hite before Dark canyon
Camp at Hite before Dark canyon
Looking down into Dark canyon before descending
Looking down into Dark canyon before descending
Rubbly descent into Dark canyon on the Sundance trail
Rubbly descent into Dark canyon on the Sundance trail
Dark canyon
Dark canyon
We drop down into a side canyon that provides easy access into the main Dark Canyon
We drop down into a side canyon that provides easy access into the main Dark Canyon
Dark canyon
Dark canyon
Dark canyon
Dark canyon
Dark canyon - Great hiking along limestone pavements
Dark canyon - Great hiking along limestone pavements
Dark canyon- good flowing water
Dark canyon- good flowing water
The bed of Dark canyon is mostly limestone- these are maybe chert intrusions in the limestone?
The bed of Dark canyon is mostly limestone- these are maybe chert intrusions in the limestone?
Sapsucker peckings?
Sapsucker peckings?
Camp at confluence of Dark and Young's canyons
Camp at confluence of Dark and Young's canyons
Camp at confluence of Dark and Young's canyons (tent bottom just right of centre)
Camp at confluence of Dark and Young's canyons (tent bottom just right of centre)
Day 2 - Youngs canyon, traversing above pour offs
Day 2 - Youngs canyon, traversing above pour offs
Day 2 - Youngs canyon
Day 2 - Youngs canyon
Day 2 - Youngs canyon
Day 2 - Youngs canyon
Day 2 - Youngs canyon, traversing above pour offs
Day 2 - Youngs canyon, traversing above pour offs
Day 3 - Dark canyon
Day 3 - Dark canyon
Day 3 - Dark canyon
Day 3 - Dark canyon
Day 3 - Dark canyon and a lovely pool
Day 3 - Dark canyon and a lovely pool
More beautiful intrusions in the limestone
More beautiful intrusions in the limestone
Day 3 Dark canyon in autumn
Day 3 Dark canyon in autumn
Day 3 We camp between Lost and Young's canyons on limestone slabs just above the streambed
Day 3 We camp between Lost and Young's canyons on limestone slabs just above the streambed
Lost canyon- we explored up this feeder canyon for a while
Lost canyon- we explored up this feeder canyon for a while
Lost canyon
Lost canyon
Lost canyon
Lost canyon
Lower Dark canyon below the Sundance trail was stunning
Lower Dark canyon below the Sundance trail was stunning
High level trail above lower Dark canyon heading towards the Colorado river
High level trail above lower Dark canyon heading towards the Colorado river
Lower Dark canyon just beyond the first major side canyon
Lower Dark canyon just beyond the first major side canyon
Lower Dark canyon
Lower Dark canyon
We near the Colorado river but were defeated by deep silt and mud left from the retreating Colorado water levels
We near the Colorado river but were defeated by deep silt and mud left from the retreating Colorado water levels
Lower Dark canyon
Lower Dark canyon
Climbing out of dark canyon on day 4
Climbing out of dark canyon on day 4