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Right Fork of Shillelagh Canyon

Shillelagh Canyon
North Wash
Technical Canyoneering

          Shillelagh Canyon is a fun and a technically challenging adventure. The beauty of this canyon is impressive; the narrows are deep, tight, dramatic and entertaining.

          Shillelagh (sh-lay-lee) - Is the Irish version of a martial arts fighting stick with knobs on one or both ends. The Shillelagh was originally used to teach the Irish sword fighting when they were not permitted to use swords. In modern times a Shillelagh is often used as a walking stick and is occasionally referred to as a snake stick.

Circle of Friends:
          Shillelagh 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"


          I highly suggest that you obtain a detailed description of this route before attempting it. Be extremely careful that you are dropping into the correct drainage. At least one rescue has resulted from a navigational error concerning canyons in this area. The area can be confusing and all the canyons look similar from the top. After you pull your ropes there is no escape from several canyons in this area.You have been warned!

Barb Pollyea in the Left Fork of Shillelagh

General Information:
          Shillelagh Canyon offers its enchantment with only a short approach hike. There are good primitive camp sites in the area of the trailhead.

          Shillelagh Canyon requires complete technical gear. There is possible wading but no swimming required in normal conditions. The canyon should be easily accessible year round unless there is snow on the ground.

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

          A GPS is useful. Good map reading skills are essential. You must be certain you are entering the intended drainage or you could encounter major difficulties.  This canyon has a moderate flash flood danger.  Check the local weather report before committing. Shillelagh Canyon is rated 3A II using the Canyon Rating System.

Right Fork of Shillelagh Canyon Left Fork of Shillelagh Canyon

Trailhead Information:
          The trailhead to Shillelagh Canyon is located next to a major highway in Southern Utah and is accessible to all vehicles.  There are several great primitive camping spots in the area.

Right Fork of Shillelagh Canyon Hiking Notes:
          If you are not into technical canyoneering but would enjoy visiting a fun, photographic slot canyon this is a great place. From the trailhead, just hike up the canyon until stopped by an obstacle. A large portion of this canyon can be enjoyed by hiking the lower sections. There are plenty of slots and narrows to explore that are easily accessible to hikers.
Shillelagh Canyon from the rim Right Fork of Shillelagh Canyon

Sure it's the Same Old Shillelagh

Sure it's the same old Shillelagh
Me Father brought from Ireland.
And Divil a man prouder than he,
As he walked with it in his hand.
He'd lead the band on Paddy's Day
And twirle it round his mitt
And divil a bit we'd laught at it
Or Dad would have a fit.

Sure with the same old Shillelagh
Me Father could lick a dozen men
As fastas they'd get up be gorry,
He'd knock'em down again
And many's the time he used it on me
To make me understand
The same old Shillelagh
Me Father brought from Ireland.

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