Blue John Canyon

Robbers Roost Wilderness Area

Click here for more information about the San Rafael Swell and the surrounding area.


John Griffith was an old-west outlaw with one blue eye and one brown eye – earning him the moniker Blue John. He attempted to float down Glen Canyon in the late 1800's, and was never seen again.

The canyon's other bit of fame has a slightly better ending. In 2003, Aron Ralston, descended the canyon, was caught beneath a boulder for days, and escaped by amputating his own arm with a pocket knife. He, unlike Blue John, survived his adventure.

Thanks to all the media hype surrounding Ralston's story, this is one of the most popular technical slot canyons in the state. Travelers attempting the full breadth of the canyon need technical and canyoneering skills. However, there are a few sections that non-technical hikers might be able to access.

The area is remote so stock up on food, fuel, and water before you go. The closest towns are Green River or Hanksville.

There are 4 trailheads:
West Fork Trailhead/West E/E Trailhead
Shortcut Trailhead
Granary Springs Trailhead
Horseshoe Canyon Trailhead

 
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