Utah Canyoneering | Egypt 1 Slot Canyon
Utah provides some of the best canyoneering in the world, for climbers of all levels.
When I convinced my gal pals to come to the American Southwest with me, canyoneering was 100% on the agenda. They had never done any canyoneering, so after giving them a quick backyard tutorial on rappelling, we ventured into the Utah desert with new ropes and good intentions.
We went to Utah with the intent of rappelling several different canyons in Zion and Escalante, but due to winter snowfall and Spring rain, many were closed or full of water. Hence, come prepared with Neoprene socks or wetsuits just in case, because it can be FRIGID. After going through many blogs and web searches, I found Egypt 1 to be the perfect beginner Utah canyoneering experience for them.
As you know, many key Utah sites in Grand Staircase-Escalante are located off of Hole In The Rock Road. If you have not traveled to this part of Utah before or navigated BLM lands, you should note that navigation experience is a must to make your way anywhere in this part of the Southwest. Reception is slight, roads and “trails” are unmarked and you must come prepared.
Navigation TO EGYPT 1:
Travel down Hole In The Rock Road for roughly 16 miles. You will see an “Egypt” sign on the north (left) side of the road. Turn left here.
At roughly 6.6 miles, there is a wash to the left side, and slick rock to the right. The slick rock to the right side is the entrance to Egypt 1 slot canyon. There was no “trailhead” sign so you must be on the lookout, although it is fairly obvious when you know what you are looking for.
Coordinates to egypt 1
I highly recommend downloading an offline map of Grand Staircase-Escalante as GPS coordinates are the most accurate way to locate the entrance to this trail or any slot canyon you are seeking. Click here for our tutorial!
Up to 4 (longest at 30 feet).
As you approach the canyon, you will see the first anchor off to the right side. The next three rappels in the canyon are very obvious with “deadman anchors.” You cannot miss them.
2 hours (with 3 people)
Other beginner to intermediate canyons (also down Egypt Road) if you are looking for a rappelling or canyoneering experience are Egypt 1.5, Egypt 2 and Neon Canyon.
There is a lot of scrambling, sliding, and maneuvering involved with canyoneering, so be prepared with the appropriate clothing as you will rub your body against rough sandstone. The canyon floor was muddy in areas, and had many narrow passageways. I would recommend bringing minimal gear.
The hike out of the canyon is ambiguous. We carefully followed footprints and makeshift walkways. You will feel like you are going the wrong way as you hike straight sandy washes to uphill scrambling. Downloading the Google Map was also helpful as I could see the coordinates to the entrance of the trailhead as we hiked out of the canyon. All-in-all it was a great destination!