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Hike of the week: Crack Canyon — Emery County

This hike requires some canyoneering techniques. Ropes are not required, but having one would help when negotiating a few obstacles in the wash. When you drop down an obstacle, decide if you have the skills to ascend it on your return. This canyon is subject to flash floods. If thunderstorms are looming north of the trailhead, do not hike this canyon. At the trailhead, start hiking on the dirt road that empties into the wash. Stay in the wash and at 0.90 mile you arrive at the wilderness boundary. It's possible to 4-wheel drive to this point. As you hike the wash, the canyon walls narrow. Small arches and holes line the wall in a brilliant golden hue. You come to the first obstacle at 1.85 miles. You will need to shimmy down a tight 8-foot drop. After the drop, the next obstacle happens in 0.10 mile, this time a 10-foot drop into a pool of water. Not having ropes and knowing there was a strong possibility we couldn't get out if we dropped, we decided to search for a safe route around it. We backtracked, left the wash and found a route along the canyon wall to bypass it. At 2.6 miles, there is a beautiful, huge crack in the canyon. This awe-inspiring area is about 10 feet wide with towering vertical sides. Explore the canyon as far as your abilities allow. Enjoy!

Directions: From Green River, take Interstate 70 west and exit on Highway 24. Drive 25 miles south and take the exit for Goblin Valley State Park. Go past the exit for Goblin Valley and continue into the San Rafael Reef, on the Temple Mt. Road. After the campground, watch for the main dirt road on the left. Drive 4.20 miles to the trailhead. Dirt road is fine for cars when dry. Very muddy when wet.

Destination — Canyon views

Difficulty — Challenging

Round trip — 7.2 miles

Hiking time — 5 to 6 hours

Elevation gain — 470 ft.

Trailhead restrooms — No

Dogs allowed — Yes