Rocky Mouth Canyon - Wasatch Mountains

Rocky Mouth Canyon
Wasatch Mountains
Technical Canyoneering

          This adventure begins with a very scenic hike to a beautiful waterfall and ends with a magnificent rappel through a short slot canyon and down the waterfall. The hike to the waterfall is a great trip for all family members. Bring the family for a picnic at the bottom of the waterfall and they can marvel at your skills as you descend from above.

          This slot canyon is more in the tradition of European Canyoning and is not your typical Colorado Plateau Slot Canyon which we have all come to love and enjoy.

General Information:
Rocky Mouth Canyon is a technical canyon requiring a 1 mile round trip hike and will take less than 2 hours to complete. The first part of the canyon is a family stroll on a maintained trail. The second part of the canyon is a scramble and two rappels through a slot canyon and down a waterfall. This route has cold flowing water and footing can be slippery on the moss covered rocks.

          The route requires a 60 meter rope. Several slings are required to rig the rappel. I strongly suggest a wetsuit or some type of protection from the cold water in high water or cold days. I have used a dry top on a 70 degree day with good results. A helmet is strongly recommended for this adventure. The stream has a habit of washing rocks and debris down on your noggin. If nothing else the helmet will spread the force of the waterfall crashing down upon your head.

          The stream flowing over the falls is spring fed and flows year round. During spring and summer the current varies from moderate to very swift. During late summer and fall the stream flow is very mild. Water flow through this canyon varies greatly from day to day and from morning to afternoon in spring and summer. If you don't feel comfortable do not descend the slot. Rocky Mouth Canyon is rated 3C I using the Canyon Rating System. Spring, summer and fall are the preferred seasons.

          In normal conditions this is a difficult rappel in a cold current. This canyon is very different from the typical Colorado Plateau Slot Canyon. During high water conditions getting trapped in mid-rappel could be deadly. During high water this route is not for beginners, even with competent leadership.

Rocky Mouth Canyon - Wasatch Mountains Rocky Mouth Canyon - Wasatch Mountains

Trailhead Information:
The Rocky Mouth Canyon Trailhead is located in Sandy, Utah. There is a small signed parking area on the east side of the road at 11300 South Wasatch Boulevard.

          Please park at the trailhead and not in the neighborhood. It was a difficult fight to get this access and the trail is a touchy subject in the neighborhood. Please be respectful, we don't want to lose this access.

Stormy Burrows in Rocky Mouth Canyon Rocky Mouth Canyon - Wasatch Mountains

Route Information:
          The Rocky Mouth Canyon Trail is signed and easy to follow. The trail leads to a spectacular Waterfall through a short slot canyon. The trail follows a neighborhood sidewalk for 1/4 mile and than a maintained dirt trail for 1/4 mile to the waterfall. The trail to the waterfall is a great family stroll and very easy for all ages.

          The next part of this adventure is for experienced canyoneers only. To reach the top of the slot, scramble up the obvious gully located to the left (north) of the waterfall. The first ledge system which looks as if it leads to the top of the falls is 5.4 climbing with exposure, but it is a fun route to follow. If you continue up the gully a short distance you will reach a second ledge system which leads to the top of the falls and is 4th class scrambling. Pick your poison.

          Route find your way to the top of the waterfall, navigation is easy. There are several large trees at the top of the falls which make great natural anchors. Take out your rope, put on your wetsuit and see you at the bottom.

          The first rappel is 60' from a tree located at the lip of the waterfall. Rappel down two short drops to the large platform located at the top of the last section of waterfall. The second rappel is 70' down the center of the waterfall. The anchor is a sling located under the giant chokestone located in the center of the stream flow.

GPS Coordinates:
If you use a GPS when hiking, the following coordinates eliminate all navigation difficulties associated with this canyon. Actually there are no navigation difficulties associated with this canyon but I have the GPS and I am going to use it.

Latitude        Longitude         Description
N40 32' 50"   W111 48' 23"   Rocky Mouth Trailhead
N40 32' 35"   W111 48' 13"   Rocky Mouth Waterfall

Rocky Mouth Canyon in high water Rocky Mouth Canyon in high water

          Enjoy a short video of a trip to Rocky Mouth Waterfall.


Ice Climbing Information:
Rocky Mouth Falls
180 feet WI4 II

          Last I checked this climb had access issues during the winter month's. The canyon is controlled by Sandy City Parks and Recreation so it would be a good idea to call them first to see if the canyon is open. Please do not cross neighborhood property if the gate is closed and locked. The route is just reverse of what is describe in the above canyoneering information. The route climbs a steep 70-foot cone followed by and easier 60-foot bulge.

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