Canyoneering in Neon Canyon

Garfield County, Utah



13 miles

Elevation Gain

1000 ft

Route Type



Added by Blake Batchelor

Neon Canyon is an epic technical slot canyon off Hole in the Rock Road in Grand Staircase Escalante. The best part is that it finishes with a rappel through the top of the infamous Golden Cathedral. Do this!

This is an 8-12 hour technical adventure that is usually done as an overnight backpack. Consider hiring a local guide service such as Excursions of Escalante or Escalante Outfitters! We did this as a self-guided excursion. A group is recommended because you may experience keeper potholes depending on water levels in the slot canyon. Please have a 4x4 car with high clearance. Drive to the beginning of Hole in the Rock Road near Escalante, Utah. Drive 16 miles down Hole in the Rock. Turn left on a signed road for Egypt. Follow this extremely rough dirt road 9.9 miles to the Neon/Fence Canyon Trailhead. There is a BLM trail register here. Hike north down the wash to Fence Canyon. There is a well-cairned trail you should follow. Once at the river, follow the trail east until you reach the mouth of Neon Canyon. Consult a map or guidebook for better reference. At the mouth of Neon Canyon, head north towards the Golden Cathedral. A few hundred yards in, look for a path to your left to scramble up and out of the canyon. Follow the left side of Neon Canyon as it passes above the Golden Cathedral. Continue skirting above Neon Canyon which is now looking more like a thin slot below you. 

There are different entrances to Neon depending on how long you want to spend canyoneering.  The first rappel spot is not far. There is usually a sling set up here, but do not rely on this! There are a total of 3 25m rappels. You MUST have a wetsuit. The last rappel ends in the surreal Golden Cathedral. Make sure you have your GoPro ready! Please consult a guidebook, a guide, or one of the multiple other internet resources available before attempting this adventure. Canyoneering is dangerous and requires technical experience. Be sure to check weather forecasts and beware of flash flooding.

GPS coordinates for the entrance to Neon Canyon are 37°36’40” N 111°10’03” W

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