Opening Pandora's Box.

Pandora's Box

Capitol Reef National Park
Technical Canyoneering

          Pandora's Box is a mythical gift that appears valuable, but in fact will inflict no end of misery on its owner. To open Pandora's Box means to unwittingly unleash chaos on yourself and those around you.

          At least that is the Greek myth. In canyoneering terms Pandora's Box is possibly the best Wingate sandstone slot canyon on the Colorado Plateau. The canyon provides a large combination of various problems to solve before releasing its grasp.

Circle of Friends:
          Pandora's Box is part of the "Circle of Friends" program. Members of the "Circle of Friends" have access to more specific information, explicit route information, GPS waypoints, trailhead location and detailed maps. If you would like more information on joining the "Circle of Friends" visit the sign up page.

"Circle of Friends"

Bruce Neumann in Pandoa's Box. Sam Gregory in Pandora's Box.

General Information:
         Pandora's Box is a fun and complex technical slot canyon. Pandora's Box is rated 3A R IV using the Canyon Rating System. The problems are interesting and moderately difficult to solve with a little thought. Pandora's Box requires complete technical gear. The canyon is accessible year round. A GPS is very useful. Good map reading skills and a detailed route description are essential.

          There are no bolted anchors in this canyon, let's preserve this feature. Hundreds of canyoneers before you have descended this canyon without placing bolts, so please play fair. You might need to locate and construct natural anchors, which is not difficult in this canyon.

Your tour guide squeezing through one of the many narrow sections. Jason Price rappelling in Pandora's Box.

Trailhead Information:
          The trailhead to Pandora's Box is located next to a major highway in Southern Utah and is accessible to all vehicles in all weather conditions. Two route options are presented. One is easier and requires a simplistic shuttle, the other is more difficult and requires no vehicle shuttle.

Big guys go high and little guys go low is the typical theme. The intrigue of Pandora's Box.

Greek Mythology:
          In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on earth. Zeus ordered Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship, to create her and he did, using water and earth. The gods endowed her with many talents; Aphrodite gave her beauty, Apollo music, Hermes persuasion, and so forth. Hence her name: Pandora, "all-gifted".

          When Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by presenting Pandora to Epimetheus, Prometheus' brother. With her, Pandora had a box that she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her natural curiosity, Pandora opened the box, and all evil contained escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the box had escaped, except for one thing which lay at the bottom, and that was Hope.

Your typical canyon exit rappel. Time to pay for your sins, It's a long hike out.

Related Link:
Opening Pandora's Box - Interesting and detailed story of a canyoneering rescue.


Copyright 2000-, Shane Burrows