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Fry Canyon - Cedar Mesa, Utah

Summary: A short technical canyoneering trip with swimming through a canyon with a nice, though very short, section of narrows as well as some Anasazi ruins. To complete this canyon you will need: 100 ft of rope, webbing, harness & descending gear. A wet suit may be desired during cooler weather. Leave the bolt kit at home, this canyon is already bolted.
Directions: Fry Canyon is a tributary of White Canyon and is located on Highway 95 between Natural Bridges National Monument and Hite Marina. Drive on Highway 95 to milepost 72 which is located just south of Fry Canyon Lodge (sells gas and ice). Park at a pull off on the southeast side of the bridge which spans the canyon.
Road Conditions: Passenger Car - paved all the way
Navigation: Easy
Length: ~2 miles
Date Hiked: June, 2002
Weather Conditions: Warm & sunny
Required Skills:
Hike Description: From the parking area, walk across to the west side of the bridge (if you look down as you cross you'll see the first short section of narrows below you). Turn left (south) and walk for 5 minutes until you reach a shallow spot that will allow you to walk down into the canyon. Head down canyon into the slot. There is a little down climb then a small pool you'll likely have to wade as you walk under the bridge you crossed earlier. The canyon then widens and it's a sandy slog for a while. About 5 minutes after you pass a prominent side drainage that enters from the left, the ground will become hard sandstone for a short distance until you reach a point where water has cut a narrow slot into the layer. This is your one rappel point. There are two bolts and hangers on the right side of the canyon. You'll need ~90' of rope for this drop, which consists of a 30' free rappel into a pot hole. Pull your rope and perform a 20' down climb along a slippery log into a nice, cold water filled chamber. Swim the 30' pool and continue to wade & or swim through the remainder of the short narrows. The canyon widens immediately below the swims and there are some nice ruins on the right hand wall a short distance beyond. A 10 minute walk will bring you to the intersection with the main drainage of White Canyon. Turn right and walk up White Canyon another 10 minutes looking for some prominent cairns on the right. There is a well defined hiker trail which leads up some break down to a ledge. Back track down canyon along the ledge to a point where you can continue to work your way up through the layers to the top of the mesa. You'll come out on top of a flat slick rock expanse. Locate Fry Lodge in the distance and walk directly towards it, keeping Fry Canyon fairly close on your right. Try to stay on the trail where the path crosses cryptobiotic soil to avoid crushing more of it.
Rating (1-5 stars):
Short and sweet, the author and his wife completed this canyon in a leisurely 3 1/2 hours.
Maps: None used
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.
The upper narrows. View across the swim. The short wet narrows.