BAPTIST DRAW & UPPER CHUTE CANYON LOOP. SAN RAFAEL SWELL, UTAH


Adam Haydock in Baptist Draw, San Rafael Swell, Utah

I got an early start onto Baptist Draw as I parked up at near the trailhead behind the Swell which was a nice graded dirt road that turned into a high clearance 2wd road.  The last mile of that road got a bit choppy but the Subaru was able to make it with little issues. Prior to getting out to the Swell the previous day, I was driving down to the Swell when one of my tires blew out!  I heard a noise and when I pulled over it was completely shredded.  It Couldn't have happened in a better place as I was in the city of Price and it happened right next to a Bio O tire shop where I was able to get a deal on 4 new tires!! I was back on the road after a couple hours with new tires.
The Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
Back to Canyoneering, so I got an early start to see if I could beat the afternoon heat which ended up not working out to well but It could have been worse. I worked my way down from a mesa top to a teepee looking butte where I had to drop into the head of Baptist draw Canyon.
 
Baptist Draw. San Rafael Swell, Utah
Once I got into the canyon it started to get deeper and the walls started to grow taller with a grayish sandstone with stripes of red swirling like arrows of sorts point down into the canyon.
 
 
Baptist Draw. San Rafael Swell, Utah
I continued to go deeper into the canyon and encountered some water that got up to my pelvis.  It was difficult to get through and the walls were just wide enough to where I could walk forward with no side turning, until I got here.
Baptist Draw. San Rafael Swell, Utah
up until this point there were a series of short down climbs but this down climb was rather thin and choakstones blocked some of the passage to continue on so I had to crawl and climb around them sideways in order to continue. I immediately came up upon the 20ft drop.
Baptist Draw. San Rafael Swell, Utah
I love how the canyons change their strata as you continue to go down with the watercourse as I cut its way through the geological time capsule.  It is similar to caving where we can see the strata layers and we rap down a pit or get deeper into a cave system.
Baptist Draw. San Rafael Swell, Utah
As I continued down the sun illuminated the slot which gave the darkness a bright hue to the canyon floor.  This is just like caving, but with the sun light.
Baptist Draw. San Rafael Swell, Utah
Eventually I came up to the final drop which would put me right into Upper Chute Canyon.  This drop looked bigger than it was but both of my ropes hit the ground so it was less than 100ft.
Final Drop into Chute Canyon, Baptist Draw. San Rafael Swell, Utah
I rigged a stone knot just to verify that both of my ropes were on the ground by clipping in and looking over the lip of the canyon. Sure enough they were, I was in business!
Final Drop into Chute Canyon, Baptist Draw. San Rafael Swell, Utah
Once I get down, I pull the ropes and head up canyon for a bit to see how the canyon looked and some parts were interesting and other parts I didnt care for too much. 
Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
Baptist draw had a few parts that were interesting but over all it was pretty traditional and classic southwest slot canyoneering, which is not bad but this turned into an all day effort.
Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
I come back down canyon and continue on past some massive boulders and to a small drop of 15ft.
open section of Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
The canyon continued to open up and close back up again with cooler air breathing through which was a nice break from the hot sun.
Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
my next way point was only a mile away but with the long and almost parallel S turns I had to meander around, the canyon felt like it would never end!
Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
It would open and close back up with the canyon walls hundreds of feet up which meant that I will have to keep following this canyon until it spits me out at the confluence.
Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
 in some sections of the canyon the stone had a wavy linear cut to its grooves like someone took a comb and brushed the sandstone as they walked by it.
Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
 Other times the canyon would open up with the sun baking through the air giving a comforting but a  false sense of escape as the S turns kept going and going.
Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
 Eventually, I made to the confluence and made sure I was heading up Fault Canyon, ( the canyon that would take me back up to the mesas where I would have to cross country back to the trailhead.
Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
 I worked my way up the canyon which was around 2 miles and a pretty straight shot uphill.  The sun gradually started to fade away a bit and clouds were rolling in as I made it to the cross country nav portion of this trip.
Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
 I hiked up a few washes to the top of a mesa and soon realized that I had to cross another substantial washed valley before making it to the trail head. It was only a mile but going up and down these mesa made this a god workout.
Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
 Eventually I made my way up a washed out draw that took me to the top of the mesa and to my car! nice, made it. Overall this route was not bad but it will take a good portion of the way and I recommend bringing lots of water as there is no water to filter.  I would rate this at a solid 3BIII and worth the visit if you are in the area.
Upper Chute Canyon. San Rafael Swell, Utah
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