Avg: 2.3 from 4 votes
|Type:||Trad, 200 ft (61 m)|
|FA:||John Middendorf, early 90's|
|Page Views:||2,014 total · 18/month|
|Shared By:||Tristan Higbee on Nov 26, 2011|
|Admins:||slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, DCrane|
Indian Creek 2019 info: or the linkblm.gov/press-release/annou….
RAPTOR CLOSURES: please be aware of seasonal raptor closures at the Cat Wall and Reservoir Wall. They occur annually from March 31st until August 31st. *Due to the federal hiring freeze in agencies such as the BLM of Monticello, no official closure for 2017 has been issued and the laws which have been put in place in previous years are not being enforced. Please, for the sake of fragile desert ecology, DO NOT CLIMB at stated walls. These raptors return to the same nesting sites every year to raise their nestlings.
This is a short, loose, uninspiring climb up a cool formation in the middle of nowhere. Its a fun diversion and another summit (and a funky one at that) to tick if youre on your way to Mexican Hat.
Though total height gained on the route is a couple hundred feet, there's only 30 or 40 feet of actual climbing.
The approach is the crux.
Found just north of National Bridges National Monument. Drive south from Hanksville for ~74.8 miles (between mile markers 74 and 75) on Highway 95 and turn left (north) on a faint dirt road. Drive it as far as you feel comfortable; the trailhead is about .4 miles up the dirt road, so walking it isnt a big deal. At the end of the dirt road (where it overlooks White Canyon and you have a clear view of The Cheesebox), youll find a trailhead marked with a few cairns.
Follow the cairns and faint trail down and left. If you lose the trail, look for cairns. You should always be able to see the next cairn or section of trail. The trail will then cut right for a while as it parallels the canyon and some cliff bands. The trail (or cairns) will then cut down through the cliff band youve been walking above and head back left (parallel to the canyon but in the opposite direction you were just going). Going through the cliff band will require some easy class 3ish scrambling. Pay attention to this point, as its easy to miss on the way back. You might want to take a picture of the turn and surrounding area so that you dont miss it.
The trail will take you down to the bottom of White Canyon, right where Cheesebox Canyon comes in to meet it. (There usually is no water flowing in the canyon, though you might see isolated pools and potholes.) At the right side of the mouth of Cheesebox Canyon youll see some large bushes. Head toward the bushes and youll reach a small corner with a log or two propped up in it. Climb up it.
Youll now need to head right, looking for weaknesses in the cliff bands above you. So you dont get lost on your way back, you might want to make your own cairns through this section if you dont see any others. I had to do a 5th class mantle to make it through the final cliff band to the canyon rim.
Now just head toward The Cheesebox. There is a ton of cryptobiotic soil everywhere, so the going will be slow as you do your best to avoid it. Try to stick to the shallow streambeds. The route goes up the side of The Cheesebox that faces away from you as youre approaching the formation. See beta photo to locate the route.
Scramble 10 up a 4th class section, then walk right to the smooth slab of the 4th class traverse section. After the slab, youll be facing the short corner that leads to the top. Gingerly climb past the choss at the bottom to the better rock at the crux. Use nice incut edges to get on top.
Hike up the slope to the funky summit block. A few 4th/5th class moves and youre on top.
Downclimb the summit block and hike back down to where the lower climbing section topped out. If you brought a rope, rappel 60 from a solid bush. Otherwise, downclimb the route.