Happy Canyon and Robber's Roost

Map: http://caltopo.com/map?id=3D4L


Things to Bring

  • Jacket (low of 31, high of 67, no rain forecasted)
  • Car Camping - sleeping bag, tent, sleeping pad, toilet paper, etc
  • Food - 3 to 4 days worth
  • Water - 3 liters, I'll have extra water in truck
  • Headlamp, lights
  • Climbing harness
  • Climbing shoes

Driving (excluding breaks)

  • Tucson to Happy Canyon - 11 hours
  • Happy Canyon to Robber's Roost - 5 hours
  • Robber's Roost to Upper Muley - 5 hours

Robber's Roost - Main North Fork - 3A II or III - up to 66 foot rappels

Many routes through Robber's Roost require technical canyoneering skills and equipment. We will be descending through the Main North Fork route, which is rated as "3A II or III rappels to 20m". That means there will be two or three rappels, with the longest one being 66 feet. Then we'll exit through The Crack Exit, which will involve some scrambling and up to class 5.6 climbing.


To enter Robbers Roost, we will be descending through the Main North Fork route. It has two or three rappels. Total length is 2.44 miles. 

First Rappel

It seems like the first rappel uses a constructed anchor.

Second Rappel

The second rappel appears to have two bolts at the top for the anchor.

Third Rappel (last one)

The last rappel is pretty neat. Once you rappel it, you can climb back up for fun. There is an easy exit just above this rappel which doesn't require any climbing to get out, so you could rappel down here, climb back up, and then take the easy exit if necessary.


Exiting through "The Crack Exit" is supposed to be easier and faster than "The Partner Climb Exit". Thus, we'll take The Crack out.

The following picture is NOT THE CRACK, it is the Partner Climb Exit, which you pass before getting to The Crack...

As you exit the North (Or East) Fork of Robbers roost canyon walk down canyon until you pass the first exit on the right. This isn't the Crack exit but it still provides a way out.

Continue down canyon and keep your eyes open for a tributary going to the right. Its easy to find since its pretty large [that one is The Crack]. (Source)

Once in The Crack, after some up climbing, you come to an easy class 5 climb up a dry waterfall.

Continue up this canyon until you come to a dry fall. When we were there, there was a rope attached to a small arch at the top which you could hand line up. However, if its not there its still an easy climb with large foot and hand holds. Id say its about a 5.3 or 5.4. (Source)

After a short bit of easy climbing, a short wall is encountered. Climb the wall on roundish holds (5.6?, 12 feet), then assist your partners up. (Source)

After that, you'll have plenty more to scramble up.

Continue up the slot. You will encounter a bunch of up climbs. They are fairly easy but they feel hard when you are there. Make sure to watch for the chock stones since some were a bit loose when we climbed up there. Knee and Elbow pads really help in this section. (Source)

Continue up the slot and, with many brief, fun, strenuous-but-not-exposed chimney moves surmount difficulties. Strenuous sections alternate with easy walking. Work your way to the top. (Source)

Finally you'll be done climbing. Hike to the highest point and head to the road!

When you climb up to the top, hike up to the highest hill you can see. Once up its an easy hike to your car. (Source)

Look for a fence on the hill to the northwest, and beeline for that. Follow the fence to the crest of the hill, then to a gate. Cross to the left side of the fence. The vehicle parked at the North Fork Exit Turn should be in sight, about 20 degrees left of the fence line. Walk the dunes across the upper, flat drainage of White Roost and toward some small, red slickrock domes, and the spur road. (Source)

There's also another exit just before the last rappel on Main North Fork which doesn't require any climbing like The Crack does. The last rappel is that cool one with all the holds along the dry waterfall, so you could rappel and then climb back up, and then take that exit.

Upper Muley Twist Canyon - 9 mile hike

On day 4, we'll be visiting Capitol Reef to hike through the Upper Muley Twist Canyon.


The hike starts at the Strike Valley Overlook Trailhead, which requires high clearance to reach. Along the "4WD" road to Strike Valley Overlook Trailhead, you'll see two arches. The first is on the right side of the road (it's the only arch that is located towards the East), and is called Peek-a-Boo Arch. The second is only about a half mile before the trailhead, on your left, called Double Arch.

On the actual trail, there'll be 5 more arches. The second one is the only one with a name (Saddle Arch), and is seen in the picture below. Saddle Arch is located just before the intersection with the Rim Trail.

After the fifth and last arch on the trail, you'll reach the entrance of the narrows. The trail heads to the right of the narrows, remaining above them, following some cairns. The trail dumps you out at the top of the canyon of the narrows. You might be able to take the narrows to the top, but so far, no report has done that.

Cool Destinations

Colonnade Arch

Chaffin Ranch Geyser

Crystal Geyser

Fossil Point