Deer Creek Canyon is a really nice trip. We did it as an overnighter and had a blast. That gave us more time to relax and enjoy the varied flavor the canyon has to offer. From an approach hike w/ some fun tumbles down big, deep sandy slopes and great views of hoodoos and the upper Paria River country, to some very nice slots, huge vertical, tiger striped walls towering above white sandy washes, a year round stream in a beautiful lower canyon, and unique pictographs/petroglyphs. Just fantastic.
Longest of 3 or so rappels is ~90'. Bring webbing and r/ql's. We saw no water at all in the upper slots, but near the head of the canyon at least there can be deep quick sand at times. You could enjoy this canyon year round so long as you can access it and go prepared for cold wades being possible at certain times of the year. Also, ice and snow would make this very difficult to safely descend. Flash flood danger is moderate.
Getting ThereFrom Utah hwy 89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, turn north onto the graded dirt Nipple Ranch Road near mile post 37. After ~5.65 miles you will pass a CCC built sheepmans supply depot made of rock on the right, then at ~10.2 miles you will be at Five Pines Junction and will turn right and drive thru a gate, closing it behind you. At ~12.8 miles the road becomes more sandy and a 4x4 is recommended. one of our party was driving a passenger mini van and made it ok, but not w/out some trepidation and white-knuckling. At ~17.8 miles you wil be on a ridge atop Oil Well Hill. At a small turn out and orv track where the road curves right, park - car park. If you continue and dead end at an old drill hole site you went too far.
CampingThere is camping at the th. Also on the federal lands of the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument and Paria River regions nearby.
routeFrom the th head north along an atv track until you come to the base of Deer Range Point. Contour east and north around these cliffs until you have made your way to the head of main fork Deer Creek Canyon which is beneath a nice slickrock gap/bowl above - head. Head down canyon and enjoy !
Once you reach the Paria River there are nice camp sites and plenty more to explore. To return to the th head down the Paria River and be looking for cairns and a footpath on down canyon right to get up and out of the Paria River gorge to the plateau above. From there we followed a game/cattle trail back to the atv track and then the th and vehicles. You will need to pay attention and stay on course, staying out of any drainages and on top of the bench, but so long as you trend w/sw you will hit the atv track again. A map and compass or gps is essential.
Red TapeThere is private property around so respect the land owners rights. Otherwise it is federal land.
External Linksth - th
canyon head - head of canyon
pics - pics
grand staircase/escalante nm - grand staircase/escalante nm
paria river - paria river