Grand Gulch Pt 2 - Todie to Sheiks loop

fossana

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
515
Logistics
Start/end: Todie Canyon trailhead / Sheiks Canyon trailhead (could be done in either direction, with or without a shuttle)
Mileage: ~19 miles
Difficulty: class 3
Navigation: Map/GPS may be useful. No signage in the canyons.
Filterable water: seasonal in Grand Gulch other than the intermittent springs
Designation: Grand Gulch Wilderness Area
Fees: $2 per person per day, or $5 for 7 days (self-service day use permits)
Nearest town/gas: Mexican Hat or Blanding, UT
Date hiked: 12 May 2019
Audio accompaniment: Preet Bharara's
Doing Justice
Notes: The ~7 miles of dirt road connecting the trailheads were mind-numbingly dull. Bike shuttle recommended. The old two-track main road bypass is not suitable for anything wider than an ATV. The road damage just before the Sheiks trailhead is significant, and impassible to most vehicles.

Approximate Route
map.png


Trip Report
After my Slickhorn loop and a decent night's sleep, I felt up to a longer hike. I had previously done Bullet Canyon to Sheiks Canyon loop; this time I decided to check out the northern section of Grand Gulch by linking up Todie Canyon to Sheiks. I parked just before the Sheiks trailhead and made the long walk through the skiddish cow herds to the Todie trailhead.
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The Todie Canyon trail follows the rim a ways before dropping down a third class boulder field into the canyon.
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Todie quickly made up for the scarcity of ruins on yesterday's hike. A complex set of granaries sat high above the canyon bottom. A few were accessible with a bit of exposed scrambling, but the bulk were out of reach without some 5.7+ moves on sketchy rock. I opted out.
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There were a few more isolated ruins in lower Todie. Once in Grand Gulch proper I headed down canyon and stopped by some of the multi-level ruins.
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The vegetation was thick with the recent rains. The canyon was relatively quiet given the number of cars I saw at the Kane Gulch trailhead the prior day.
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I passed Coyote Canyon and turned up Sheiks. Near the mouth of the canyon is the extensive pictograph panel that contains the "Green Man". At the nearby spring-fed stream I stocked up on water in preparation for the steep climb out.
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The trail climbed through some chossy third class sections and bypassed a water chute before leveling out.
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Near the top of the canyon I stopped by Yellow House ruin with its well-preserved roof. Before long I was back at my car. I made it to Stan's in Hanksville just in time to grab a coffee shake before driving the rest of the way home.
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Last edited:

John Morrow

Member
Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
643
I was there a few weeks ago and also opted out of the 5.7 traverse around the blocking granary and thought, "dang, the ancient ones did this?" Perhaps a ladder but I didn't see any post holes, maybe the edge has eroded? Yet, Kelsey has a photo of himself beyond the sketch traverse.
There is much to see in Todie for anasazi geeks, working the ledges and along the mesa rim. Thanks for the great report. I am amazed at the time you put into the details.

Denied!
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Last edited:

Titans

Member
.
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
1,120
I was there a few weeks ago and also opted out of the 5.7 traverse around the blocking granary and thought, "dang, the ancient ones did this?" Perhaps a ladder but I didn't see any post holes, maybe the edge has eroded? Yet, Kelsey has a photo of himself beyond the sketch traverse.
There is much to see in Todie for anasazi geeks, working the ledges and along the mesa rim. Thanks for the great report. I am amazed and the time you put into the details.

Denied!
View attachment 78121


And when you and @fossana opt out, then the rest of us know, that it's totally impossible!

Nice @fossana - lovely canyon, the ruins and the pictographs are stunning. Thanks for sharing. Glad you had such a great week-end away.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,589
I was there a few weeks ago and also opted out of the 5.7 traverse around the blocking granary and thought, "dang, the ancient ones did this?" Perhaps a ladder but I didn't see any post holes, maybe the edge has eroded? Yet, Kelsey has a photo of himself beyond the sketch traverse.
There is much to see in Todie for anasazi geeks, working the ledges and along the mesa rim. Thanks for the great report. I am amazed at the time you put into the details.

Denied!
View attachment 78121
A 1000 years of erosion can change the access easily
 

fossana

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
515
I was there a few weeks ago and also opted out of the 5.7 traverse around the blocking granary and thought, "dang, the ancient ones did this?" Perhaps a ladder but I didn't see any post holes, maybe the edge has eroded? Yet, Kelsey has a photo of himself beyond the sketch traverse.
There is much to see in Todie for anasazi geeks, working the ledges and along the mesa rim. Thanks for the great report. I am amazed at the time you put into the details.

Denied!
View attachment 78121
I wasn't going to touch/trust the granary stones, so there were just those flaky edges below.
 

Reef&Ruins

Colorado Plateau is calling...
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
580
That drop into/climb out of Todie Canyon still brings back memories. Some scary ones, but much better now that time has passed.
Shieks Canyon near the Green Mask has got some crazy boulder hopping from what I recall.
Thanks for TR and for bringing back some memories of trips a while back.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,589
That drop into/climb out of Todie Canyon still brings back memories. Some scary ones, but much better now that time has passed.
Shieks Canyon near the Green Mask has got some crazy boulder hopping from what I recall.
Thanks for TR and for bringing back some memories of trips a while back.
Hmmmm... Don't remember getting I to either very tough.. last I went in them was 6" snow on the top
 

Reef&Ruins

Colorado Plateau is calling...
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
580
Perhaps you are a better hiker than I @Bob. You are the trail master after all. :)
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,589
Perhaps you are a better hiker than I @Bob. You are the trail master after all. :)
Don't know about that.... Maybe just picked a different way down...lol
 
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