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The Irish Canyons

The Irish Canyons

Posted in: Nature, Outdoor adventures on October 12, 2015.

One of the most compelling aspects about Southern Utah is it’s remarkable vastness. You can live your whole life in the state and still only scratch the surface of what Utah has to offer. For example did you know that 33-miles from Hanksville (a town you will definitely go through on the way to Lake Powel) is a collection of slot canyons known as the Irish Canyons?

The Irish Canyons are some of the best slot canyons in the state. There are three in total – Shillelagh, Blarney, and Leprechaun. (And now you know why they’re called the “Irish Canyons.”) They each vary in length and difficulty and some parts of them require technical climbing equipment. But if you’re looking for narrows located outside of the busy national parks, we think these are the perfect fit.

Shillelagh – The widest and shortest of the Irish Canyons, and the best place for beginners to start. But with some tricky sections as well.

Blarney – A more challenging canyoneering adventure, the Blarney Canyon loop is about four miles round trip. This canyon is prone to flooding.

Leprechaun – Parts of this canyon are suitable for beginners, but although sections are some of the hardest in the Irish trio. There are fossilized Allosaurus footprints in it’s Dinosaur Trackway that are worth seeing.

The entrance to the three canyons can be found just off of Highway 95, near where it meets SR 276. We recommend that you explore these canyons in the late fall, both because of the cooler weather and the reduced rainfall at that time of year. (The Irish Canyons can flash flood easily.) And take a partner with you, just in case. Also we do not recommend that you enter Sandthrax Canyon, located close-by. It is extremely hazardous.

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