Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Little Rock Canyon Caves

Little Rock Canyon is full of caves. None of them are very large or especially exciting, but they can make for a fun afternoon of exploring. I was able to find and explore all of them in four hours having never been in the canyon, and not having directions to any of them. The most exciting to explore are Herron's Hope Cave, Stone Plug Cave, and Cricket Cave.

Looking southeast from the entrance to the canyon.

Looking at the south side of the canyon.

Looking at the north side of the canyon.

 An old mining pit of some sort. There are scars in the rock
from poles being driven in, so it's obviously not natural. GPS W 40.286423, N -111.630103

I don't know the name of this one. 
GPS W 40.286984, N -111.629881
 Looking up from the lower entrance. 
It goes up about 15 feet before it gets too tight. 

 You can sort of see Caleb in there. 

A chute that goes up ten feet or so in the upper entrance. 

North side of the canyon:
Cricket Cave: There is a lower entrance and an upper entrance. The lower entrance is very large and is right at the base of the cliff. The upper entrance is above and to the right about 30 feet up the cliff. Some mild scrambling is required to get to the upper entrance, but getting down can be very tricky (and I am a 5.12 rock climber). There is a very large nail driven into a crack up at the top that could be used to set up a hand line. I'm not sure that anchoring off of it would be any safer than down climbing without it, as the nail is loose and can easily be removed. Apparently if one person goes to the back of the upper cave and another person goes to the back of the lower cave, they can hear each other. GPS W 40.286863, N -111.629567

Climbing up in the back of the lower cave.

 Looking out of the lower entrance.

 Climbing up to the upper entrance.

Looking in the upper entrance. It could be easily dug out to go straight through to the main room, but you can also squeeze through a passage up above. 

 Squeezing through into the main room of the cave.

 Looking into the back of the cave where it drops down about ten feet and ends.

 Looking down to where the cave ends.

 Some interesting formations.

Climbing back out.

If you needed to, you could anchor a hand line off of this nail to help you climb down, 
though personally I wouldn't trust my life on it. 

Climbing down.

Turret Cave: This small cave is only a couple hundred yards west of Cricket Cave. You can go in the lower entrance and climb out the upper entrance. It is aptly named Turret Cave because it goes through a turret-type rock formation. GPS W 40.286728, N -111.630527
 The lower entrance is the one on the left.

 Looking out of the upper entrance.

 Looking down from the upper entrance. You can see the light from the lower entrance.

 The upper entrance to Turret Cave. 

South side of the canyon:

Herron's Hope Cave: This is the largest cave in the canyon. The lower passage drops down 20 feet and then continues back 40 feet. Rock climbers/canyoneers should have no trouble down climbing into the lower portion of the cave. If you don't feel comfortable down climbing into the lower passage, you can use the tree at the entrance to the cave as an anchor to set up a short rappel. The upper passage goes back about 50 feet and can be easily missed. The first time I went, I didn't even realize there was an upper passage. For directions to this cave check out my post Herron's Hope Cave 200 Foot Rappel. 
 The cave is at the base of the cliff. 

Hobbit Cave: (boulder blocks in entrance) This cave has a large entrance which opens up into a wide room with a low ceiling, but does not continue back very far in any direction.

Step Up Cave: (small passage in the ceiling) The main passage is very tight and doesn't go back very far. There is a hole in the ceiling that can be seen when standing at the entrance which is also very tight and only goes back about 15 feet.

Stone Plug Cave: There are quite a few bones in the entrance to this cave as well as mountain lion droppings. None of them looked very fresh when I was there, but use caution nonetheless. This cave goes back about 50 feet, but like most of the caves in the canyon will require some crawling and squeezing.

Directions to Little Rock Canyon:
Little Rock Canyon is the obvious fissure in the mountain halfway between Rock Canyon and Provo Canyon. The trail head is located at the end of Imperial Way, off of Windsor Drive, off of Foothill Drive in Provo. Follow the trail around the north side of the water reservoir.


  1. Very amazing views !

  2. Do you know if there are any decent bolted routes up this canyon? I know there are a few near the main bouldering area but they really didn't look that great.

  3. Do you know if there are any decent bolted routes up this canyon? I know there are a few near the main bouldering area but they really didn't look that great.