Hike and Climb Through Ding and Dang Slot Canyons

Rate this Adventure 5 miles 800 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Jake Ward

Exciting day hike through two gorgeous slot canyons.  Scramble, stem, crawl, and wind through tight sandstone walls on this advanced hike that will get you hooked on canyoneering instantly. Great for advanced hikers that are confident with easy climbing techniques.  

Ding and Dang canyons are located in the San Rafael Swell just a few minutes down the road from Goblin Valley State Park. The five-mile loop wanders through both Ding and Dang canyons offering challenges such as climbing over chockstones, wading through cold water, and hiking through narrow slots. This route can be impossible if there is snow or too much water, so be wise and turn back if conditions aren't ideal. Also, be sure to check the forecast, you don't want to venture into Ding and Dang if there is weather coming your way.  

This loop can be done either way, but I prefer to go up Dang and down Ding.  Dang offers more exciting stemming opportunities and is more challenging to go up than down.  If you feel fit and confident give it a try, if you would like to err on the side of caution then hike up Ding and down Dang.  

Once you leave the trailhead you will walk up a dry wash for about a mile until the wash splits where you can take a right at the cairn for Ding or continue up the main wash another half-mile to Dang.  The canyons are easy to follow once you are in them, just go up!  The first section of Dang canyon is quite difficult and requires stemming over large chockstones.  Bring about 30ft of webbing to create handlines which can be helpful and provide more security for your party to ascend.  If this section seems too difficult to climb up, rest assured it's much easier to get down and just walk back to Ding and do the "standard" loop.  At the top of the canyons there is a hiking trail and cairns that connect the two trails.  If you are walking up Ding it's hard to miss this trail that is on your left at the top of the canyon.  When walking up Dang be sure to pay attention for the canyon that opens up on your right hand side.  There should be a cairn at this junction and you will know you are headed the correct way if you are soon on an obvious trail through the cryptobiotic soil crust.  Remember that this soil is extremely sensitive and it's important to remain on the trail or in the wash.  Ding and Dang offer some protection from the sun but for the most part they are quite exposed to the desert heat.  Be wary of hiking this loop during the middle of the day.  It's much more enjoyable in the morning or late afternoon. If you are looking for solitude get there early on weekdays.  Expect to see other hikers on the weekends. 

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Easy Parking


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