In August I did a solo hike through Hell Roaring Canyon that was a little challenging–especially getting my dogs up the canyon’s exit near the end of the hike. This weekend I did the same hike with five people (me, Alan, Wade and his son, and Chris), five dogs (my two Brittanys, Alan’s two labs, and Wade’s blue heeler), and a few inches of snow. It was a lot more challenging in winter and it took a lot of team effort to get into and out of the canyon. I used a mountain bike shuttle for my first trip through the canyon during the summer, but this time with so many people and animals to move, and with cold temperatures making it easier to cover more ground on foot, we dispensed with the shuttle. Alan parked his truck near the exit route and we road-walked to the entrance to Dubinky Wash. I’d loaded my previous GPS track to help us find the proper descent into Dubinky Wash. The snow made the down-climbing more difficult and we had to deviate from my earlier track a couple of times until we reached the top of the stock trail.
The stock trail was a lot sketchier with snow on the ground. A couple of times I felt like a slip would send me sliding and tumbling down the steep hillside below the trail, but luckily none of us had any mishaps. Once in the bottom of Dubinky Wash it was an easy walk to the confluence with Hell Roaring Canyon. We visited the rock art, but with this being my second visit I took very few photos. Since I had some support this time I had hoped to climb above the alcove to see the rock art there, but neither Chris nor I felt comfortable with the climb.
We left the rock art and traveled another couple of miles up Hell Roaring Canyon to the bottom of the “crawl route” exit. During the summer this was the most difficult part of the route for me. In winter it was a little treacherous. Once again we couldn’t follow my previous track due to the snow, and it took a lot of effort to get the dogs up a few of the ledges. Most of that effort involved one person being stationed halfway up a ledge, then using additional people at the bottom and top of the ledge to shuttle the dogs up.
I was elated at reaching the canyon rim. I was never very doubtful that we’d make it out of the canyon–I’ve hiked with these guys enough that I trust my life to them–but the feeling of accomplishment was great. With the road-walk out of the way earlier in the day, we exited the canyon close to the vehicle and only had a short walk before reaching the warmth of Alan’s truck. We dropped Wade off at his vehicle in Green River and were treated to a very nice sunset while driving on I-70.