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The Power Of Water
The San Rafael Swell is a geographic feature made up primarily of tilted layers of Navajo and Wingate Sandstone, it has been eroded into tall fins, natural bridges, arches, cliffs, and deep canyons. There are canyons here for every skill level with technical slots for the most avid canyoneer to casual walks in steep walled canyons. Chute Canyon is of the later. It's a beautiful canyon and the hike can be configured in multiple ways. This description is for out and back, but it can easily become a loop using Crack Canyon, which it's a little more technical. It could also be a shuttle hike if you become familiar enough to place the other vehicle. The distance stated is from the trailhead sign. If you have a capable vehicle you can get one half mile closer to the meat of the hike.
The hike gets dramatic with the walls closing in shortly after the start. The wash stays about thirty feet wide with step walls on either side. The canyon is very photogenic and just gets better as you proceed. The wash maintains a gentle fairly consistent down grade. The effects of sand, wind, and water is amazing. The steep walled canyon gets narrower but never more than about six feet wide for a short distance. The wash switches back and forth more frequently and at times seems like you are coming to a box canyon end but it keeps going. The canyon provides areas of deep shade at all times except when the sun is directly overhead. Eventually you pass thru the reef and the canyon opens up. A sandy foot trail enters from the left. This would be your trail to Crack Canyon. For this description return the way you came.
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