I went to this extraordinary place called Dark Canyon with the family over break. Dark Canyon, a tributary of the Colorado, sits in this really remote corner of Southern Utah. It is South of Canyonlands, East of the Colorado and North of the highway between Blanding and Hanksville. Not much out there but canyons. We went there last year too and did a really difficulty route. This year we decided to do a route that was a little easier but still mostly off trail and remote. We is me, my wife Amy and my two girls Kaitlyn (17) and Annika (14). Make no mistake this is a dialed desert crew comfortable in rugged 3rd and 4th class terrain. So three themes emerged: Great weather, amazing slickrock camps and beautiful water and rock.
Some amazing slickrock camps
Our route took us down the Sundance Trail into Dark Canyon, up Lean To Canyon, Down Young's Canyon then down Dark Canyon back to the Sundance Trail. We saw a few folks in Dark Canyon near the Sundance trail but no where else. The route involved mostly off trail, some 3rd and short 4th class sections and demanded good route finding and navigation.
Some of the 4th class sections
3rd and 4th class terrain is a little more challenging with 40 lbs on your back
There was amazing pottery and lithic scatters on the mesa tops