Canyoneering East Blarney, Big Springs East, hiking to some less frequented areas in Moab


Jun 2, 2012
I have also posted this TR at Canyon Collective, but I'm adding a little more to the hiking section on here.

After being stuck at work for three months and not getting down to the desert since January, I finally got the chance to take some time off and go play down south on April 11th.

Saturday we drove down and tried to camp at little Egypt, but it was waaay too windy. So we drove to the Sandthrax campsite and the air was miraculously still down there. Most campsites were full with campfires going. We talked to a woman who had hundreds of canyons under her belt, and she was nice and helpful on recommendations.

The next morning we headed over to Blarney, even though we knew west is supposed to be the best one, being that my brother is a beginner we dropped into East. I was pleasantly surprised with this easy and quick little jaunt and had a blast anyway. Disturbingly we saw someones splattered blood in the canyon :cautious:.


Me in East Blarney downclimbing^

East Blarney.jpg

Cool East Blarney Pothole thing^


And the canyon is over, fun while it lasted^

We got some burgers in Hanksville and then made the rather long drive into the roost. Upon waking up in the morning, we went to East Fork of Big Springs. The route finding was a slight struggle, no trails and the parking spot has been blocked and covered by the BLM. Once we got into the canyon, it was stunning. No raps at all in this one but some deep and fairly skinny spots with some great down climbs. My brother didn't like the tight stuff so he wanted to leave half way through, so I went another few hundred feet just to see what could be seen and then reversed back out. There was an unfortunately unending quantity of pack rat droppings throughout this canyon that was beyond anything I thought possible. I wish I could have finished it but I didn't want to push my brother into something he didn't want to do. I think we'd completed the skinniest parts but I couldn't convince him.

Big Springs is very pretty^

Brother in Big Springs^

In a deep pothole below a tall elevatory DC^

Cool light^

HI ^

Bye East big springs ^


Bye Spur Country and Cleopatra's Chair

The above picture is not goblin valley, but rather can be seen on the way out of the roost by little flat top butte. It's weird how indistinguishable from Goblin it is.

Both East Blarney and East Big Springs were bone dry.

We finished our short 4 day outing with a trip to Moab to visit the Elvis Hammer and then Tower Arch.


You have to drive up high into the foothills of the LaSals to see the Hammer, as well as pay the $5 Sand Flats recreation area fee to get up to it.


Near the trailhead of the Hammer ^

The hike to the hammer requires walking through some trail free woods and finding the right low incline spot on a slickrock bowl to get up to see it. The views of Moab far below are amazing, and the hammer is much taller than it looks in photographs. I don't have my track data right now, but PM me and I can send you more information on coords and how exactly to get to it.

The stunning and precariously balanced Elvis Hammer/ Olympic Torch^


There is more to see in the area of the Hammer^

I have heard that there are even more hoodoos just over the ridge here^

We drove back into Moab, grabbed some food and made a beeline for the Klondike Bluffs. The dirt road out there was in fantastic shape. I would drive it in a sedan any day, yet no one is out there.


High winds started at Tower Arch ^

The neat looking Parallel Arch ^


It was getting incredibly windy as we headed back to the truck and wandered past the Marching men, my eye was sandy the whole drive home ^

As we got back to the Klondike Bluffs turnoff near Skyline Arch, I had to take a picture of the amazing dark turquoise blue hour clouds in the intense winds ^

It was a lot of miles on the truck for only a few outings, but all in all it was very refreshing and a great way to spend time with my brother.

On the way home, we nearly had to pull over and wait out the blizzard in Spanish fork canyon, but we managed to get through the white out by going slow.

Thanks for looking,
The End.

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May 19, 2012
Great shots and report.
I like the Tower arch shot a lot.
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