Millard Canyon "easy exit"?

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regehr

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Thread starter #1
I'm intrigued by a loop hike in upper Millard Canyon, shown in pink below. It is described in Map 6 in Kelsey's Robbers Roost book 3e. The route into Millard (right side, overlaid with a Udink gps track in blue) looks pretty straightforward, but the "easy exit" looks dicier in the imagery. Has anyone done it? Looks probably safest (and perhaps more scenic) to do the route in reverse.

Screenshot from 2017-10-08 10-57-03.png
 

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#3
I was going to do a quick hike down there a couple years ago to check out the Doug firs but chose the wrong spot to drop down through the Navajo. I would have had to climb back up and drop down again and was short on time so I bailed, but the point is, as is usually the case, it’d probably be a lot easier to find coming up. You drop a decent bit from the rim getting to that point and it’s hard to see with all the domes etc where the drop in is from the top and you can’t just walk the rim to find it.

Worst case you could just ride the Kayenta bench express back around to your known entrance if it looked more spicy than you hoped for on the way up.
 

regehr

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Worst case you could just ride the Kayenta bench express back around to your known entrance if it looked more spicy than you hoped for on the way up.
Good point-- as long as the kayenta bench goes, there's no problem.

What is it about navajo anyway? I've spent quite a few hours wandering around these trying to find the way, including one time trying to find a way off the San Rafael reef where I started to get legitimately worried.
 
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#5
Yeah all five or six times I can think of where I’ve spent a couple hours trying to find a route has been Navajo from the top. I think it’s because of the dome nature, so you usually have poor visibility from where you are, plus there are often a lot of slabs that look like they go but don’t.

(Still #1 on my strata power rankings tho :D)
 
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#6
I'm intrigued by a loop hike in upper Millard Canyon, shown in pink below. It is described in Map 6 in Kelsey's Robbers Roost book 3e. The route into Millard (right side, overlaid with a Udink gps track in blue) looks pretty straightforward, but the "easy exit" looks dicier in the imagery. Has anyone done it? Looks probably safest (and perhaps more scenic) to do the route in reverse.

View attachment 58449
I'm looking for the Easy Entrance! I think Millard Canyon would be a great packraft entry point to the Green. So how gnarly IS that talus slope, any tips for finding the correct descent route? With raft, pfd etc my pack will be big and heavy...Sounds like a fair number of attempters bail at the big descent? Anyone got a gps track? Going in April (if the govt re-opens)
 
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#8
That looks fun! Never considered it. Thanks for the info. Topo makes it look very reasonable with the Kayenta contour lines so wide. Reminds me of Hellroaring loop on the other side of the Green
 
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#9
I replied to a private message from kayakdave with this info, but figured I'd post it here for anyone interested:

I didn't descend the talus slope, but did hike a loop below the rim from the road. A friend who was with me did descend the slope, and it looked pretty scrambly (see photo). It didn't look like there was much of a trail through the talus. I don't remember any of the loop I hiked being too sketchy, but I was only carrying a light day pack.

IMG_3433.JPG


There's another trail, the Devil's Slide Trail, that enters lower Millard Canyon much closer to the river. It's quite a distance from the road, but still much shorter than descending all of Millard Canyon from the upper trail that I've been on. There are a lot of switchbacks through the talus, which are visible in Google Earth in the historical imagery (5/2012 and 6/2013).

The attached kml/gpx files have my GPS track for the upper trail, as well as a couple of waypoints for the Devil's Slide Trail.
 

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