By Published On: March 31, 2024Categories: canyoneer, UtahTags: , , , ,

It was the last Sunday of March, and we woke up to a blizzard. We were staying in Monticello for the weekend to meet up with friends and run some canyons in Moab. The day before, Mike Bilotta had taken us through the incredible Fiery Furnace. Today, the weather forecast was extremely iffy but supposed to be clearing up around 11am.

We ate breakfast and packed up to head to Moab. The canyon we had selected for Sunday, Rim Shot, was short and open, more of a cliffaneering route than a canyon, with very low risk of flash flooding. No permits are required for this canyon and beta is available here: Rim Shot – ropewiki. We convened with our party at 11am in a parking lot along the highly scenic Colorado River corridor. As soon as we arrived, the weather decided to really pick up and give it one last gust. It was extremely windy, freezing and snow was coming down. Two of our party ran home to get a few more layers. We all waited in our cars, hoping the weather would pass.

About a half hour later, the wind and snow calmed down, our party reconvened with adequate jackets, and we began the hike up the Moab Rim Trail. This trail is a steep smooth sandstone ramp, going up from the parking lot to the top of a hill and around the hill for quite a few miles. Apparently, it’s used mostly by ATVs, Jeeps and other offroad vehicles for adventure driving. Although flat and smooth in many places, there were definitely some fairly sharp drop-offs and rock ledges. I would never bring my Jeep up this trail, but it made for easy hiking. About halfway up the ramp, we met a gentleman out for a walk with his remote-controlled toy truck. He said it was a great way to get his exercise and get some 4 wheeling in!

The approach is about 2 ½ miles up the ramp and around the plateau at the top, gaining 1200 feet. The views of the Colorado and the sandstone expanse around us were beautiful. We found the correct drainage and started our descent. There are six rappels total, with the first two off juniper trees. We then proceeded to the highlight of the canyon, a 210-foot free-hang down a majestic wall with an alcove at the bottom. The views of the Colorado got better and better as we descended to the lower canyon.

At the next rappel, we came upon a guided group who were rather slow. It was clearly the guests first-time rappelling. We waited patiently. By this time the weather had improved dramatically, with much warmer temperatures and blue skies. It was a huge relief to peel off a few layers. The lower part of the canyon was very pretty and enjoyable, with three interesting rappels down cliff bands, framed by the river.

We ended up in a streambed with a little bit of water and a short hike to the parking lot. It was the perfect canyon for a Sunday with a late start and a long drive home.

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