Canyoneering Robbers Roost, Southern Utah

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Back in the day my friends and I could plan canyoneering trips spur of the moment whenever we noticed a weekend with 0% chance of rain, but since kids came into the picture, we needed to plan a bit more in advance. This trip was planned months in advance in order for our parents to fly out to watch over the household as my husband and I disappeared into the middle of nowhere. Ultimately, the dates that we had chosen happened to coincide with a TON of nonstop rainfall.


We got to experience flash floods first hand and swim through remote slot canyons that in normal conditions barely kept water for more than a couple days out of the year. We had to make nearly all of our anchors since pretty much every one had been washed away in the previous day’s flash flood. Listening to the weather reports on the walkie talkies were a regular occurrence to make sure that we didn’t find ourselves in a dangerous situation. Even though things didn’t go according to plans due to the weather, it was a remarkable experience.

Canyoneering Robbers Roost

Canyoneering Robbers Roost area in Southern Utah. Caught on video a flash flood near Goblin Valley State Park and Horseshoe Canyon. Canyoneering in High Spur and Big Spring Slot Canyons right after a flash flood.


4 thoughts on “Canyoneering Robbers Roost, Southern Utah

  1. Tanner says:

    We’re thinking about doing high spur in a couple weeks. So what’sthe anchor situation? Because some people have mentioned there’s bolts and webbing, but others have said there’s nothing? Thanks!

  2. Lisa says:

    I’ve never seen bolts there (Robbers Roost is a bolt free zone). Webbing just depends on whether or not a flash flood has gone through since anyone last visited. You definitely want to bring plenty of webbing and rings and be prepared to build your own natural anchors since you never know what you’re going to get. Be safe and have fun

    1. Tanner says:

      Thanks Lisa. We’ll bring plenty of webbing. We’re pretty new to natural anchors. We feel comfortable with using webbing on large boulders (the big rappel). What about the 15′ downclimbs/rappels? Can those be anchored using webbing?

      Also, hows the drive out there? obviously the NPS says you need a 4wd. But does the spur road really require 4wd, or can it be done with awd and some ground clearance? If it rains Im screwed, but it’d be great if I could get away with just takin my subaru out there.

      1. Lisa says:

        I don’t recall the anchors on the other rappels (I feel like most of them were downclimbs except for the main one) but I would suggest learning more about how to build natural anchors before you go canyoneering. A lot of times there is nothing to rappel off of (changes with each storm) so you need to be very resourceful. The climb-utah website has some pretty detailed info. The climb out of the canyon can be pretty tough and has loose rocks (good to have a good rock climber in your group to lower a rope down for others). I have never done that hike this early in the season so I’m not sure what conditions you’ll run into.

        You should be fine for the majority of the road – the only part that might cause some difficulty with a Subaru is Deadman’s hill (area on video around the 6 minute mark). We typically camp right above it but I forget if it’s a required part of the drive – check out some maps first or call the ranger station out there (Hans Flat). The road conditions will vary depending on latest storms as well. Roads are impassable when wet (regardless of vehicle) but roads tend to dry pretty quickly.

        The area is definitely remote. One time our vehicle broke down out there (luckily my husband had tools on him to fix it) – now we travel out there with 2 vehicles. Definitely be prepared to be on your own (bring lots of extra food and water). I also recommend having a Delorme InReach or Spot or equivalent.

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