Wading in Knotted Rope Canyon

Knotted Rope Canyon
AKA: Miners Hollow
San Rafael Swell
Technical Canyoneering

          Knotted Rope Canyon, sometimes referred to as Miners Hollow, is an exciting technical canyon located on the southern slopes of the San Rafael Swell. This canyon varies from difficult to easy depending on water conditions. The route ends with an enjoyable stroll up the impressive Muddy Creek Gorge. There are several old uranium mines in the area, the largest and most well known being the Hidden Splendor (Delta) Mine.

Circle of Friends:
          Knotted Rope 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"

Working around the Big Keeper Pothole Working the slot

Hidden Splendor Mine:
          Vernon Pick, a middle-aged electrician from Minnesota, discovered the Delta Mine (Hidden Splendor) northwest of Hanksville in 1952. Vernon Pick reaped one million dollars from the mine before he sold it two years later to international financier Floyd Odlum's Atlas Corporation for $9 million and a custom-converted PBY airplane. In November 1954 Life Magazine published and 11-page article titled "Vernon Pick's $10 million Ordeal" that detailed the discovery of the Delta Mine. Publicity from this article greatly increased prospecting in the San Rafael Swell and surrounding Colorado Plateau and made the Delta Mine famous.

          Floyd Odlum renamed his new purchase the Hidden Splendor Mine. Odlum was certain the mine was a rich find and his geologists estimated the mine held 540,000 tons of uranium ore with an in-place value of forty dollars per ton. This would have made the mine worth nearly 22 million dollars.

          However, the Atlas Corporation only extracted 90,000 tons of ore from the mine before abandoning it in 1957. Local wags then dubbed the mine "Odlum's Hidden Blunder". After Atlas Corporation left several others tried unsuccessfully to extract ore. The Uranus Corporation took over the mine for a short time in cooperation with Central Oil. The Hidden Splendor Mine closed in 1957 and was eventually sold for taxes.

Jane Arhart swimming a pothole. Downclimbing

General Information:
          Knotted Rope Canyon is a technical canyoneering adventure. The technical portion of the canyon consists of several short swims, wading, several possible rappels and plenty of fun scrambling. Total time required for a round trip is 6 to 7 hours.

          Knotted Rope Canyon requires complete technical gear. A GPS is extremely useful. Good map reading skills are essential. Navigation for this route is moderate. Knotted Rope is rated 3B III using the Canyon Rating System. This canyon has a moderate flash flood danger.

Optional Route Information:
          In addition to the standard routes presented; members of the Circle of Friends program will also receive optional route information for Knotted Rope Canyon that is not published or documented anywhere else.

Working the potholes. Anther pothole?!?!

Trailhead Information:
          Any car during good weather can access this trailhead. This is also the trailhead for Quandary Canyon. There are several nice campsites in the vicinity of the Trailhead.


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