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Chute Canyon

The Edge of The Swell II | Sunday, January 14, 2018

After spending Saturday exploring northern canyons of the San Rafael Reef, we headed further south on Sunday morning near Temple Mountain and Goblin Valley to hike another canyon that cuts through the Reef. A few years back Diane and I had hiked Crack Canyon and really enjoyed it, so I thought it would be a good day to come back and hike it’s neighbor, Chute Canyon. Typically, these two canyons are linked together to make a nice long loop, but I’m actually glad we hiked them separately so we could spend plenty of time exploring each of them on their own.

Welcome to the Chute Canyon Trailhead.

Chute Canyon Trailhead Sign

A colorful boulder we passed early on our hike into the canyon.

Boulder Design

There were some big sections of solid ice near the beginning of the canyon.

Boulder In Ice

Icy Reflection

I stopped and took a lot of photos during our hike through Chute Canyon, so I’ll let the photos do most of the talking…

Chute Canyon Tafoni

Hiking Chute Canyon

Chute Canyon


Canyon Sunburst

Chute Bend

Exploring Chute Canyon


Look closely on the left side of the canyon and you can see a small arch.

Little Arch

The golden light reflecting onto this wall in the canyon was amazing!

The Golden Wall

Chute Canyon Designs

Into the light…

Into The Light

Canyon Lines

After exiting the other side of the San Rafael Reef we visited this pictograph and then returned back up the canyon.

Reef Target

The nice thing about not hiking a loop and returning the same way you had come from is that you can see the canyon in different light on the way back.

Around The Bend


Colorful Corner

Chute Canyon Lines


Sandstone Ripples

Almost back to the trailhead…

Headed Back

After returning to the Jeep we headed back through Temple Wash and into the San Rafael Desert where we would go on one more hike through our second Cottonwood Wash of the weekend in search of rock art.

Frost-covered ripples in the sand.

Frosty Ripples

A colorful alcove with cracked and peeling dried mud.

Alcove Mud

I found these cool mud cracks with animal tracks imprinted into them.

Cracks & Tracks

We found this old undated inscription from H.T. Yokey on the canyon wall. After some research I found that Harry T. Yokey was a steamboat pilot who moved to Elgin, Utah in 1903 and operated many boats on the Green River. Apparently he left a number of other inscriptions in Labyrinth Canyon.

H.T. Yokey

More cracked mud in a narrow section of the canyon.

All Cracked Up

Very faint Barrier Canyon Style pictographs we spotted from the wash.

Fading Ghosts

Diane searches the canyon walls for more rock art.


The last petroglyph panel we found on a large boulder before we climbed out of the canyon, returned to my Jeep and then started our drive back home at sunset. It was a great weekend of exploring!

Boulder Petroglyphs

>> Chute Canyon Photo Gallery

One Comment

  1. Dianne Lethcoe
    Dianne Lethcoe January 23, 2018

    Beautiful texture photos. Such interesting geology.

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