East Fork of Buck Canyon | Friday & Saturday, April 28-29, 2023
This weekend I needed to spend some time on Sunday preparing for an upcoming River Trip, so I decided to stay closer to home and do a little more hiking in the Robbers Roost area on Saturday morning. After visiting the mouth of Buck Canyon during our short float on the Dirty Devil River two weeks ago, I thought it might be nice to hike into the canyon from above and visit two large arches that are found there. I left from work on Friday afternoon, topped off my gas tank in Green River and then drove across the San Rafael Desert to the edge of Buck Canyon on some sandy backroads that I had never driven before.
I stopped at the standard canyoneering trailhead for the main fork of Buck Canyon and then climbed down into the canyon for a short evening walk.
Since I still had plenty of time before sunset, I drove a few more backroads in the area to see where they went. The views toward Factory Butte and Thousand Lake Mountain were a bit hazy this evening.
While out driving I came to an excellent viewpoint and campsite on the point between Buck Canyon and Pasture Canyon and decided to watch the sunset from here and then spend the night.
Here’s a view looking down into the lower end of Buck Canyon with the last light striking a small knob below. The Dirty Devil River is just barely visible.
After a good night of sleep I woke up at dawn on Saturday morning to take a few photos before getting ready to go hiking.
Looking across the canyon to the Lower Sand Slide and Henry Mountains.
Although I had originally planned to start hiking from the standard canyoneering trailhead that I had stopped at the previous evening, while I was driving around I realized it might for a shorter hike if I went down the East Fork of Buck Canyon instead, so I drove a little ways back down the road and started hiking from there.
Searching for a route into the East Fork of Buck Canyon.
After finding a steep route in it was pretty easy hiking along the bottom of the canyon.
There were a few sections of shallow narrows to walk through…
Once I hiked down a steep and sandy slope into the lower section of the East Fork I quickly reached Back Alley Arch.
Then I continued down the canyon past this large cottonwood tree growing right out of the middle of the sandy wash.
I tried to find a way to visit the other side of the arch, but couldn’t find an easy way up.
A little further down the canyon, just before the confluence with the main fork, I passed below Buck Canyon Arch.
Once I reached the junction with the main fork I hiked up the canyon a short distance and then downstream a little ways. I was originally thinking about going downstream to the Dirty Devil River, but it was very sandy, a bit of a bushwhack, and getting warm out quickly, so I decided to turn around and head back out.
On the way back up the canyon the light was a little nicer, so I stopped to take a few more photos of Back Alley Arch.
I was even lucky enough to catch the sun coming up over the canyon wall to create a sunstar.
The light and canyon walls were lovely as I hiked back up the lower end of the East Fork.
I took a little detour to explore a short slot canyon along the way.
Back in the upper section of the canyon I found an easier way up to the rim and then hiked cross-country back to my Jeep.
On the way back to the highway I took some more new-to-me backroads and then stopped at Ray’s Tavern in Green River for a burger. It was a good way to end another short trip into The Roost!