Little Bluejohn

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 38.39460°N / 110.2601°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking, Scrambling, Canyoneering
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 4th class
Sign the Climber's Log


This fork has a short narrows and enters Main Fork Bluejohn Canyon just below the Corridor Narrows. Exit options include going down canyon and using the West E/E Route, or climbing all the way out the Main Fork. You can also continue all the way down canyon through Lower Bluejohn.

Rappel #3Rappel #3 in Little Bluejohn.

Bluejohn Canyon MapClick for full size.

Getting There

Make sure to stock up with plenty of fuel and supplies when headed to the area. The nearest gas stations are in Green River and Hanksville and make sure to have a completely full tank of gas before leaving either town.

Getting There from the North, East, or West and via Hans Flat Road

From I-70 11 miles west of Green River or from I-70 west of Highway 24, take exit 149 on Highway 24 southbound. Follow the highway south to the Hans Flat Road on the east side of the Highway, which is between mile markers 135 and 136. This is just south of the Goblin Valley State Park turnoff (west side of the highway).

Pull out the map and have it handy from here on. Follow the main gravel road (several forks are passed; stay on the main one) for 24 miles or so to a major junction (which will be referred to as “Horseshoe Junction” for clarity. Let’s stop here.

Little Bluejohn Trailhead

Turn right at Horseshoe Junction. Drive the road for about 6.9 miles to a small sandy 4wd track on the left (east). [This is just before a major junction in the main road, so if you hit the major junction, turn around and backtrack for about 0.2 miles]. Park here.

Getting There from South via Hans Flat Road

From the junction of Highway 95 and Highway 124 in Hanksville, drive north on Highway 124 for approximately 18 miles to the Hans Flat Road on the east side of the Highway, which is between mile markers 135 and 136. If you reach the Goblin Valley State Park turnoff, you have gone too far and need to backtrack a short distance. From the Hans Flat Road between mile markers 135 and 136, follow the roads to the trailhead as described above.

From the South, you can also get to the trailhead via Hite and the Maze, but the route is complicated, slow, and rough (4wd always required), though very scenic. Don’t even ask me to describe that route in detail. Buy a map.

Getting There From the North, East, or West and via Green River Road

This route is shorter than the one via the Hans Flat Road, but takes a bit longer because the road is gravel for a much longer distance. From Green River at Center and Main, turn south and follow the road signed for the airport. Stay on the roads signed for the airport until you get to a gravel road on the left with a sign for San Rafael Desert and Horseshoe Canyon.

Turn onto this road. This is known as the Green River Road. Follow the Green River Road south (crossing the San Rafael River at just over 19 miles) for about 39-40 miles to the turnoff for Horseshoe Canyon Trailhead (see above). Continue along the main road for 5.1 miles to Horseshoe junction where the trailhead is reached via the route described above.

1st rappel into Little BluejohnThis drop is the first one you come to from the trailhead.

Route Description

From the trailhead, head more or less 0.8 miles east until the first fairly large drainage. Follow the drainage down. Soon you will reach the first obstacle as the canyon narrows. This is a downclimb, but if you are not experienced in climbing, you may want to rappel it, but try not to leave any slings behind and pack out any you find here. There are two rappels in the slot section 60-70 feet high.

Eventually you will reach the junction with the Main Fork of Bluejohn Canyon. It is highly recommended that you explore up the Main Fork to see the Corridor Narrows.

There are several exit options for Little Bluejohn. The easiest option will be to hike another mile down canyon from Little Bluejohn and take the West E/E route. This route is rated class 2 and is an easy scramble.

If you still want some more action, the second option is to exit via the West Fork. The route has one little pitch at around 5.6 or 5.6, but there is a bypass around this section that is supposed to be only 3rd class.

You can also climb up the Main Fork.

You can also exit down canyon, through Lower Bluejohn Canyon.

The first two options will make a pleasant half day or 3-6 hours plus exploration time (well spent in the main fork). Exiting up the Main Fork takes most of a day. The last option down through Lower Bluejohn will be a very long day, so get a very early start.

Little Bluejohn CanyonLittle Bluejohn between rappels #3 and #4.

Essential Gear

Bring a climbing helmet, a rappelling harness, 50 meter rope, several slings and several rings/ Rapid Links.



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