Where's the House??
Overview: Rock House Canyon climbs and cuts through the Dry Canyon Buttes, the towering cliffs on the East Side of Dry Canyon. It flows from the 7400' levels up and below the old Jeep Road, #5572.
Warning: The route is entirely off trail, crossing rough, uneven ground. The canyon is divided by a substantial waterfall formation, requiring added looping to reach the upper levels of the canyon. While not having to boulder to enjoy this canyon, you will be crossing through potentially hazardous terrain. Exercise due caution.
History: The area supported a variety of mining operations during the early 1900's. And, cattle grazing from then into today. As barren as the slopes appear, somehow the cattle are making due.
Hike: The way to best enjoy this canyon is to follow the route suggested for accessing the Dry Canyon Buttes. Walk in the 15 minutes from the Dry Canyon Trailhead, turning up into the canyon by following the jeep track on the ridge on the north side of Rock House canyon. Follow that ridge up and over the three false peaks that will carry you above the lower cliffs that form the waterfall formation. Ideally, at that point you will spot the narrow game trail heading over towards the waterfall to the south. The trail runs about halfway up the slope between the lower and upper cliffs. By the time you reach the upper mouth of the canyon and begin to turn into the canyon proper, the trail will have lead you to the base of the upper cliffs. At this point, either hike down and over to check out the waterfall from it's top lip... or, proceed up canyon, either following the game trails or along the bottom of the canyon.
This is an open basin drainage, flattening out as you get ever higher. You have old jeep roads on either side of the canyon, on top of the surrounding plateau; you can exit to those roads at any time... or follow the canyon to the upper end where it will again intersect the jeep track. If you are wanting a short day, turn around and return the way you came. If you desire a bit more adventure, consider looping over to descend either Pig or Arcente Canyon... or any of the various Forest Trails connecting West Side Road with Dry Canyon.
Rock House Canyon, while one of the easier canyon cuts rising out of Dry Canyon to the east, still poses the full range of off trail challenges. Go prepared!
Water Sources: Do not count on finding water in this rough country.
Camping: You should be able to enjoy some great vista views on the flat plateau areas surrounding the canyon... and there are even a few shaded sights on the route immediately above the lower jeep track.
You could encounter some illegal ATV use on the plateau... but you would probably have privacy during the week.
If you're looking for high canyon drama... pick a different canyon!
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.