Lost Angel Canyon is a dry technical canyon in the North Wash area of Utah. It’s short and sweet and features a fun 197 foot rappel at the end. It took us double the expected time to complete Lost Angel due to a few unexpected dead ends on the exit route. It made things a little more interesting!
via Road Trip Ryan – king of awesome, free canyon information
- Rating: 3A
- Length: 3-4 hours. Or if you have to cross the river four times, 6 hours..
- Rappels: 197 feet maximum
- Water: low risk of encountering
- Flash flood risk: moderate
- Gear: see Road Trip Ryan’s Standard Gear page
- Helpful free app for navigation: View Ranger
via Road Trip Ryan
Drive south from Hanksville on Highway 95 toward Hite for 10 miles. Right after mile marker 10 there is a sign for Angel Point (dirt road) on the left (east) side of the road.
- Reset your odometer as you leave the highway. ( 12S 530825mE 4232063mN / N38° 14′ 10″ W110° 38′ 52″)
- 1.7 miles – Stay Left ( 12S 533182mE 4232015mN / N38° 14′ 08″ W110° 37′ 15″)
- 2.5 miles – Left ( 12S 534105mE 4232786mN / N38° 14′ 33″ W110° 36′ 37″)
- 3.4 miles – Left ( 12S 535181mE 4233830mN / N38° 15′ 06″ W110° 35′ 52″)
- 8.5 miles – Signed Angel Point Road, stay left on the main road ( 12S 539084mE 4240141mN / N38° 18′ 31″ W110° 33′ 11″)
- 8.8 miles – Right on a smaller side road (First road after Angel Point Road) ( 12S 539212mE 4240666mN / N38° 18′ 48″ W110° 33′ 05″)
- 9.1 miles – Small camping area on the left. This is the trailhead. ( 12S 539588mE 4241078mN / N38° 19′ 01″ W110° 32′ 50″)
From the trailhead, follow the well worn trail down to Angel Cove Slot. From the bottom of Angel Cove, head north up to the sage brush plains. Stay on the sage brush flats until a wash clearly heads north. Drop into the wash and head down Lost Angel Canyon (12S 539933mE 4242320mN, N38° 19′ 41″ W110° 32′ 35″).
Lost Angel Canyon has a six rappels, most with straightforward albeit questionable anchors. “Questionable” is coming from someone who started climbing long before canyoneering – I need to re-adjust my expectations. Good anchor skills are recommended. As usual, it’s best to bring a GPS or be experienced with navigation, especially to find the start. The canyon showed few signs of recent descent. As RTR mentions it’s likely not visited often.
The canyon starts with a 76 foot rappel from a tree. We approached the entrance from opposite side and instead found sun-faded webbing around a large rock. We used this rappel instead. It broke the first rappel into two stages – approximately 45 feet and 20 feet.
Continuing one minute down canyon is a second, short 20 foot drop. A few minutes more and the canyon slots up a bit and drops 33 feet. Soon after there is a two-stage 73 foot rappel. We rappeled both stages before pulling the ropes.
A short 20 foot drop is encountered that can be rappelled or down climbed on the left (looking down canyon) by slab climbing skills. I rappeled from Dan’s body-weight belay, and then he down climbed.
Our final rappel to the Dirty Devil River was less than the 197 foot rappel mentioned by RRT thanks to some webbing around a tree, not a deadman anchor in a pothole. We used our double climbing ropes. This rappel was pretty dang fun!!
Oh sweet jebus, the exit. This took our adventure from a half-day to a full-day. After exiting Lost Angel Canyon we walked downstream along the Dirty Devil through thick + prickly brush for 10-15 minutes before reaching a dead end at a giant rock wall. The river had devoured the stream bank and it was difficult to walk through the thick quicksand-like stream bottom for too long. So we crossed once to the other side, walked for 20 minutes more through thick brush, then crossed again thinking we were now home free.
Welp, we hit another similar dead end where the stream bank was gone. So we crossed time #3, went up and over a crumbly hill, then crossed the river for the final time. Soon after we found a trail that led us to the Angel Cove Slot exit.
We had planned on doing a second canyon in the afternoon, but were happy to have made it out before dark.
We drove to a new camping spot and enjoyed a vegetable + tofu stirfry. And beer. And campfire. And stars. Unwitting hipsters. Dammit.
Another great day in Utah’s playground!