First Descent of Enigma Canyon

First Descent of Enigma Canyon

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 38.72500°N / 111.056°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Mar 23, 2003
On March 23, 2003, five West Slope Colorado Club Members set off to make the first documented descent of Enigma Canyon in a very isolated part of the San Rafael Swell. Particpants were Scott Patterson (trip leader), Mark McCray, Kent Beverly, Penny Martens, and Garry Baker. Kent, Penny, Scott, and his wife Kimberly and son Kessler (9 months old) along with Storm and Star (Kents dogs) scouted the upper end of the canyon out for the first two weeks prior to the trip.

We were already excited to descend the canyon by the time we woke up at 6:00 AM. The day before, we had made the first descent of Gem Canyon and we were hoping for some more canyoneering action. We didn't know difficult the canyon might be, ours being the first documented descent, so we brought a whole mess of ropes and technical gear. We ended up carrying much more than was needed. Oh well, better to be safe than sorry.

The canyon started out with just average scenery, but as we descended into its depths, it became more and more spectacular. There were some great narrows and technical obstacles. It was a great adventure. We ate lunch just before the final slot before Muddy Creek. We explored the fantastic benchlands in the area before heading back up and all the way up canyon.

It was a great trip!


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dillweed - May 7, 2006 6:40 am - Hasn't voted

the return

was the return back up the canyon, or hiking around it? just curious. what gear is necessary for this canyon?


Scott - May 8, 2006 1:36 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: the return

We went back up, but I have also been up Dizzy Trail Canyon, and you can use this to return. All info and route pages are on the mountain and route pages:


PS, Gem Canyon, just to the south is more spectacular than Enigma. See those pages. Pics turned out extra good in Enigma, but Gem is definately more spectacular, though both are worth the visit.

Viewing: 1-2 of 2



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

San Rafael SwellTrip Reports
Enigma CanyonTrip Reports