Poe Canyon - Capitol Reef National Park

Poe Canyon
aka: Smiling Cricket, L Canyon

Capitol Reef National Park
Technical Canyoneering

          Poe Canyon is a remote and challenging canyon located after a long hike down Halls Creek near Lake Powell. Many canyoneers consider this to be one of the most difficult slot canyons on the Colorado Plateau because of its numerous keeper potholes. This canyon is suitable for experienced and physically fit canyoneers only. The route is often combined with other canyons in the area to create a multi-day backpack trip. This route visits an isolated section of the Waterpocket Fold on the periphery of Capital Reef National Park.

          If you attempt this canyon, every member of your group must be a highly skilled canyoneer and rock climber. This canyon is deadly for beginners. Poe Canyon is NOT suitable for the general canyoneering public and is rated 4B X V using the Canyon Rating System. Errors in technique or judgment will likely result in serious injury or death. Do not underestimate the difficulty and danger of descending this canyon. If you can not escape the many keeper potholes you will be trapped. This canyon is extremely remote. A rescue in this canyon would be hazardous, time consuming and extremely troublesome. You have been warned!

Circle of Friends:
          Poe Canyon 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"

Poe Canyon - Capitol Reef National Park Poe Canyon - Capitol Reef National Park

General Information:
Canyon is a technical canyoneering route that requires complete technical gear, skill and experience. The route is normally completed as part of a multi-day backpacking trip.

          The canyon contains difficult climbing and multiple keeper potholes. Navigation for this route is challenging; a GPS is a highly advised. Good map reading skills and a detailed route description are essential.

Poe Canyon - Capitol Reef National Park Poe Canyon - Capitol Reef National Park

Trailhead Information:
          Poe Canyon does not require a vehicle shuttle. The trailhead is accessible to passenger cars in normal conditions.

Poe Canyon - Capitol Reef National Park Poe Canyon - Capitol Reef National Park

Canyon Name:
          Because of the routes five major pits the canyon was named "Poe", after Edgar Allen Poe's short story "The Pit and the Pendulum". In the story a prisoner, during the Spanish Inquisition, finds himself in a dark room, with a blade like pendulum slowly descending towards his chest. Though he escapes the pendulum, the walls of the room close in on him, pushing him closer to falling into a deep pit in the middle of the room.

Poe Canyon - Capitol Reef National Park Poe Canyon - Capitol Reef National Park

Optional Approach Route:
          Poe Canyon
can be accessed from Halls Creek Bay on Lake Powell by boat.

Halls Creek Narrows:
Hiking through Halls Creek Narrows is an option for those looking for a little more easy action in the area.

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