Egypt 3 canyon is located in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. It is one of the few non-technical slot canyons you can descend from the Egypt Bench Trailhead. This is a high quality slot canyon with nice Navajo narrows. There are more Egypt canyons in the area (actually they are numbered Egypt 1-5). Numbers 1,2,4 and 5 are technical but if you're looking for a nice but not to extreme adventure through a quality slot, this is for you.
Egypt 3 narrows
Strat column for the Colorado Plateau
Getting here very well could be half the adventure. When I did this canyon we were in a two wheel drive passenger car. Get to the town of Escalante, Utah and drive roughly 10 miles east out of town on Highway 12 and head right (south) onto the historic Hole-in-the-Rock Road. Pass the Turnoffs for Harris Wash and Devils Garden. After about 17 miles on this fairly good road turn left onto the signed Egypt Bench Road. Maintenance on this side road ceased a number of years ago for some reason and passenger cars will only be able to get to within 4 miles of the road end at the Egypt Bench Overlook. If you have a passenger car this short hike turns into a full day hike as 8 miles are added. However if you have a high clearance vehicle (4WD not needed), you can drive all the way up the road. The key feature to look for is a shiny metal culvert that goes under the road. Park here and you will see a small hikers trail heading south. In a short distance you will come across the Carmel rim of Egypt 3 which you will have to route find a way down onto the Navajo Sandstone. This was very easy to do and from here simply descend the slickrock into the canyon bottom. Continue down-canyon weaving your way through the slides and curves. This canyon is not technical and lots of fun for the average hiker. There is one pothole that may be a little hard to escape from if alone and completely dry. This pothole is full most of the time but someone with a little thought and strategy can avoid getting wet here.
You will soon come to the narrowest part where even the thinnest of people will have to walk through sideways. You will also have to chimney a little to avoid getting wet (unless you like to get wet). The next two photos show the area near the narrowest part. As the canyon opens up, look for the first place on the left you can walk up and out from and ascend the slickrock. Soon you will find yourself on the Navajo sandstone on a ridge separating Egypt 3 and 4 canyons. Follow this ridge back to the north towards the head of the canyon. Great views from here are abundant. Find your way back to the place you descended and back to the metal culvert.
Egypt 3 narrows
Egypt 3 narrows
Egypt Bench Panorama
The Egypt bench area and canyons are in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. A free permit is required to camp in the monument that can be obtained from the BLM office in Escalante. This entire area has no red tape to speak of. Please practice leave no trace and pack out everything. Avoid camping in dry wash beds in case of a flash flood. These slot canyons can be deadly during a flash flood so keep a keen eye on the weather forecast and do not enter the canyons if storms are in the forecast.
Escalante Interagency Visitor Center
Address: 755 West Main Street Escalante UT, 84726 Phone: 435-826-5499 Summer Hours: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM, 7 days a week, mid-March/mid-November Winter Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday, mid-November/mid-March
See Michael Kelsey's book "Non-technical Canyon Hiking Guide to the Colorado Plateau" for more detailed information about Egypt 3 Canyon.