Young's/Lean-To Route in DC

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
399
I have a couple of questions about the Young’s/Lean-To route in DC for anyone here who has done that:
  1. How hard is the route overall in terms of scrambling difficulty, exposure, and overall sketchiness? I’m not as worried about things like navigation (I’ll give myself plenty of time, and I’ve never yet had significant issues in this regard) or water availability (if/when I do this trip, I’ll do it when water availability is good and I’ll err on the side of caution w.r.t how much water I carry); it's the scrambling/exposure that worries me most.
  2. If the road is dry and in good shape, how close to the trailhead (on Sweet Alice Rd) would I make it in my Subaru Outback? It’s a newer outback (which has more clearance than the old ones) with A/T tires and skid plates, but obviously it’s still not a true 4WD vehicle. If I can get reasonably close to the trailhead, I could ride my old mountain bike the rest of the way. Otherwise, I would need to come in at Sundance instead.
Thanks!

Ryan
 
Last edited:

Nethos

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
125
I have a couple of questions about the Young’s/Lean-To route in DC for anyone here who has done that:
  1. How hard is the route overall in terms of scrambling difficulty, exposure, and overall sketchiness? I’m not as worried about things like navigation (I’ll give myself plenty of time, and I’ve never yet had significant issues in this regard) or water availability (if/when I do this trip, I’ll do it when water availability is good and I’ll err on the side of caution w.r.t how much water I carry); it's the scrambling/exposure that worries me most.
  2. If the road is dry and in good shape, how close to the trailhead (on Sweet Alice Rd) would I make it in my Subaru Outback? It’s a newer outback (which has more clearance than the old ones) with A/T tires and skid plates, but obviously it’s still not a true 4WD vehicle. If I can get reasonably close to the trailhead, I could ride my old mountain bike the rest of the way. Otherwise, I would need to come in at Sundance instead.
Thanks!

Ryan

Did not do the full route but went up Lean To to the upper pouroff and Youngs to the Gorge area.

Getting down to the pinnacle pass in the gorge of Youngs requires climbing down an easy scramble off the cliff band with a bit of small exxposure but to me it's not different than any other scrambling or sketch of navigation this type of terrain.

There is plenty of scrambling on the route overall, on dryfall bypasses or keeping your walking out of the canyon bottom.

Judging against SA's description of the rest of the route by comparison to what we did, I did not and would not expect to find anything to be particularly exposed or sketchy in these canyons. Just make sure you stay in the right side LUC in Youngs. The left side goes, but it would probably be Class 5+ in sections. If you successfully completed your Reef route, I can't imagine you'd have issues on this, unless you are planning to go up Cataract Canyon, which is a different story.

Feel free to DM if you have more Q's or want a buddy for the adventure. I'd go back out there in a heartbeat.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk
 

priz1234

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
174
Haven't been there personally. I've been watching videos from someone who just did the Hayduke. I can't remember how well he describes the route they took in this video but here is his video from the day where they went down Youngs Canyon.

 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
399
Did not do the full route but went up Lean To to the upper pouroff and Youngs to the Gorge area.

Getting down to the pinnacle pass in the gorge of Youngs requires climbing down an easy scramble off the cliff band with a bit of small exxposure but to me it's not different than any other scrambling or sketch of navigation this type of terrain.

There is plenty of scrambling on the route overall, on dryfall bypasses or keeping your walking out of the canyon bottom.

Judging against SA's description of the rest of the route by comparison to what we did, I did not and would not expect to find anything to be particularly exposed or sketchy in these canyons. Just make sure you stay in the right side LUC in Youngs. The left side goes, but it would probably be Class 5+ in sections. If you successfully completed your Reef route, I can't imagine you'd have issues on this, unless you are planning to go up Cataract Canyon, which is a different story.

Feel free to DM if you have more Q's or want a buddy for the adventure. I'd go back out there in a heartbeat.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk
Thanks @Nethos! Unfortunately that planned Reef route didn't happen (the other party had to cancel for family reasons), but that's good to hear that you don't expect this to be any harder. I actually haven't read much about this Young's/Lean-To route; I've just heard of it and I always prefer loops or one-way traverses over in-and-outs (which is why I haven't just hiked in and out via Sundance TH).

If I ever do this (won't be this year... but it's now on my list for the future), I'll keep you in mind to see if you're interested as well
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
399
Check blogs of Haydukers. You should find many different descriptions/perspectives on that section.
I didn't even realize that Young's was part of the Hayduke until a few days ago (right after I posted here) when that came up in my Google search. Thankfully, there aren't a ton of Haydukers (yet), so this hopefully won't mean dramatically more people. I'll definitely check some of those descriptions out.
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
399
Haven't been there personally. I've been watching videos from someone who just did the Hayduke. I can't remember how well he describes the route they took in this video but here is his video from the day where they went down Youngs Canyon.

Thanks; I'll definitely check this out.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,232
I didn't even realize that Young's was part of the Hayduke until a few days ago (right after I posted here) when that came up in my Google search. Thankfully, there aren't a ton of Haydukers (yet), so this hopefully won't mean dramatically more people. I'll definitely check some of those descriptions out.
Will be eventually........ everything it worse people wise.
 
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