Chamber of the Basilisk-Technical Route

Page Type
Utah, United States, North America
Route Type:
Scrambling, Canyoneering
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Half a day
Class 3 with Rappels

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Chamber of the Basilisk-Technical Route
Created On: Jan 30, 2013
Last Edited On: Jan 30, 2013


This fantastic route should take 2 hours, but you may want to take more time to explore around. The route is very mellow in comparison to many canyoneering routes, but technical rope skills are still a must.

The canyon is beginner friendly with strong leadership.

This is one of the most entertaining and spectacular routes around, so don't miss it!

Looking UpLooking up the Chamber of the Basilisk to the holes in the ceiling.

Getting There

All roads to the trailhead are now paved.

From Green River:

The main paved road offering access to this peak is Utah's Highway 24. The mountain is located roughly halfway between I-70, and Hanksville, Utah. From exit 149 on I-70, head south and drive 22 miles to Temple Junction, on the west side of the road and at mile marker 136, which will be sign posted for Goblin Valley State Park.

From the signed turn-off on highway 24, follow the signs and paved road to Goblin Valley State Park, which is 13 miles from Highway 24.

The trailhead is at the picnic area at the end of the road.

From Hanksville:

Follow Highway 24 north for 20 miles to mile maker 136 and the signed turn-off to Goblin Valley State Park located on the west side of the road. From the signed turn-off on highway 24, follow the signs and paved road to Goblin Valley State Park, which is 13 miles from Highway 24 and follow the directions above to the trailhead.

Looking downLooking up the Waiting to rappel into the hole in the ground and into the Chamber of the Basilisk.

Route Description

The slot drains the bluffs to the east which are on the east side of Goblin Valley.

The slot is located behind the arrow on the below photo (taken right from the picnic ground in Goblin Valley). You first want to head to the grayish-white dome circled in the photo. Click the photo for full size (and I recommend that you print if off and take it with you).

ApproachApproach to Chamber of the Basilisk.

Once at the dome (N38° 33' 40", W110° 41' 55"), get to the ridge where the arrow is by several routes and drainages heading east.

There isn't a good way to describe the route , just head to the rim until you are right of the highest white mesa of Goblin Valley. At the head of the drainage is a crumbly white tower. You want the drainage that drains to the desert area east of Goblin Valley (N38° 33' 42", W110° 41' 47") rather than any drainages heading into Goblin Valley itself.

Head down the drainage. It's a mini slot canyon full of Goblins. There are several downclimbs (which could be hard to get back up for beginners). The canyon slots up and then just disappears into a hole in the ground(!). GPS coordinates are N38° 33' 41", W110° 41' 45". On our first trip through, this is where we scratched our heads and contemplated either reversing the route or at least sending Kim and the kids back out (with assistance).

Rappel 90 feet into the black hole and to the floor of the Chamber. A sturdy rock horn serves as an anchor. The small black hole in the ground it opens up into a giant underground chamber. It is maybe 300 feet long and 100 feet wide and high, but I’ve never bothered to estimate the size. You don't need a headlamp since there are huge holes in the ceiling (with beams of light spilling in). It's one of the coolest features I've ever seen in a canyon (I hope this isn't spoiling the surprise and giving too much away).

To continue down drainge you must scrample 60 feet up (easy) and over some boulders which is not far above where the hidden drainage opens up into the desert.

Once out, you just head north along the bluffs until you reach the Mollys Castle Trail which takes you back to the trailhead.

Inside the Chamber of the BasiliskInside the Chamber of the Basilisk.

Essential Gear

20' of sling material, rappel rings, a climbing harness, helmets, and rappel devices are needed to complete this route. A 60 meter rope should do, but make sure it reaches the bottom before rappelling down.

Rapping into the ChamberMe rappelling into the Chamber of the Basilisk.

Chamber of the Basilisk-Technical Route

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