Type: Trad, 200 ft (61 m)
FA: John Middendorf, early 90's
Page Views: 2,339 total · 18/month
Shared By: Tristan Higbee on Nov 26, 2011
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, DCrane

You & This Route

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Access Issue: RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek Details


This is a short, loose, uninspiring climb up a cool formation in the middle of nowhere. It’s a fun diversion and another summit (and a funky one at that) to tick if you’re 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.

Getting There

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 isn’t a big deal. At the end of the dirt road (where it overlooks White Canyon and you have a clear view of The Cheesebox), you’ll find a trailhead marked with a few cairns.

Approach, Climb, and Descent


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 you’ve 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 it’s easy to miss on the way back. You might want to take a picture of the turn and surrounding area so that you don’t 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 you’ll see some large bushes. Head toward the bushes and you’ll reach a small corner with a log or two propped up in it. Climb up it.

You’ll now need to head right, looking for weaknesses in the cliff bands above you. So you don’t get lost on your way back, you might want to make your own cairns through this section if you don’t 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 you’re 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, you’ll 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 you’re 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.


Experienced climbers will feel comfortable soloing and then downclimbing the route. Another option is to solo up and rappel down (there is a large bush with a couple slings around it). Otherwise a rope and a few small (tips to off-fingers) cams should protect the crux moves. Just know that the rock is crumbly and the cams might not hold.