Canyoneering the Northern San Rafael Swell

The San Rafael Swell is a seemingly endless expanse of slickrock, reefs, rivers, narrow canyons, mesas, towers, and pinnacles. It is the wilderness home of coyotes, eagles, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep. Steve Allen’s Canyoneering: The San Rafael Swell has long been the standard for exploring this remarkable area. With the input of fellow guidebook author Joe Mitchell, Canyoneering the Northern San Rafael Swell replacesthe older volume with a completely rewritten and updated text containing more detail, greater accuracy, and a tighter focus on the northern half of the Swell. This is the most current and comprehensive guide to the region. Designed for wilderness enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels, this guide provides detailed information on 25 hikes, including trip length, difficulty, elevation gain, and water sources. Side trips, points of interest, and historical information are noted throughout the text. This guidebook includes for the first time a wealth of topographic maps for all routes and roads, elevation profiles, and GPS coordinates.

A second volume covering the southern portion of the San Rafael Swell is in preparation.

Steve Allen started hiking the San Rafael Swell in 1972. He has guided many trips for the Telluride Guide and Mountaineering School, Colorado State University Mountaineering Club, and the Sierra Club. He is also the author of Canyoneering 2: Technical Loop Hikes in Southern Utah (The University of Utah Press, 1995) and Canyoneering 3: Loop Hikes in Utah’s Escalante (The University of Utah Press, 1997).

Joe Mitchell has been exploring wild places on foot since childhood. A fly fishing guide by trade, he is passionate about introducing others to the meaningful experiences that only the wilderness can provide. He is also the coauthor of The Hayduke Trail: A Guide to the Backcountry Hiking Trail on the Colorado Plateau (The University of Utah Press, 2005).

Table of Contents:
Foreword by Steve Allen
Access and Information
Protecting the San Rafael Swell
Low Impact Camping Techniques
The Geology of the San Rafael Swell
The Strata
Man in the San Rafael Swell
The Old Spanish Trail
How to Use the Guide
1. Cedar Mountain and the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry
Cedar Mountain and Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry Road Section
 Hike #1: Humbug Canyon
 Hike #2: Bull Hollow
2. The Northern Reef and Mexican Mountain
Buckmaster Draw Road Section
Tidwell Draw—South Road Section
 Hike #3: Acer’s Arch and Horse Thief Trail Canyon
 Hike #4: Sheep Cave and Archtower Canyons
Tidwell Draw—North Road Section
 Hike #5: Pinnacle Canyon
 Hike #6: Cottonwood Wash
 Hike #7: Grotto Canyon
Green River Cutoff Road Section
Buckhorn Wash Road Section
 Hike #8: Little Holes Canyon
 Hike #9: Calf, Cow, and Pine Canyons
Mexican Mountain Road Section
 Hike #10: Red Canyon-West Fork to East Fork
 Hike #11: Upper Black Box
 Hike #12: Mexican Mountain Ascent
 Hike #13: Mexican Bend and Acers Arch
 Hike #14: Spring Canyon to Sulphur Canyon
Cottonwood Wash Road Section
Sinkhole Flat/Jackass Bench Road Section
 Hike #15: Drowned Hole Draw
 Hike #16: Lower Black Box
Black Dragon Wash Road Section
 Hike #17: Box Spring and Double Arch Canyons
 Hike #18: Black Dragon Wash and the San Rafael River
3. Sids Mountain
 Hike #19: San Rafael River and Cane Wash
 Hike #20: Virgin Springs Canyon
Oil Well Flat/Saddle Horse Canyon Road Section
 Hike #21: Pinnacle #1 Ascent
Dutch Flat road Section
 Hike #22: Sids Mountain and Saddle Horse Canyon
 Hike #23: San Rafael River, Virgin Springs Canyon, Sids Mountain, North Salt Wash
Moore Cutoff Road Section
 Hike #24: Rochester Petroglyphs
 Hike #25: Eagle Canyon-North-and Forgotten Canyon

Praise and Reviews:
"It is the definitive hiking guide for the San Rafael Swell. Although the stated purpose is to guide hikers, this book is also useful for auto touring and mountain biking, as it lists many of the important scenic overlooks and wonders that can be viewed by car or a short hike from the roads which criss-cross the Swell."—Utah Archaeology

"Steve Allen knows the San Rafael Swell better than anyone else."—Deseret News

"Canyoneering is probably the best source for an introduction to canyoneering and the San Rafael area."—Wilderness and Environmental Medicine