|Black Hole of White Canyon
Length: 5 miles plus
Description: The Black Hole is a dark slot in White Canyon, located in the Hite area above Lake Powell. The canyon makes a great semi-technical adventure hike. Access is easy and permits are not needed. It has become popular with families and youth groups. However, it is a challenging route carrying an element of danger.
To get through the canyon you must swim through several long, cold pools, in addition to wading/swimming short pools and scrambling up/down dryfalls and chokestones. In the middle of the longest swim you must squirm around a 90-degree turn. In this spot the canyon is so narrow you can't get a frame pack through the opening.
The water is cold year-round and hypothermia is a danger. Wet suites are suggested in all but the hottest weather. Flash floods pose the other significant danger. The drainage is large and the canyon can flash if rain falls anywhere above the Black Hole.
The slot is beautiful and the hike is enjoyable, if you are prepared. Ropes aren't usually necessary but it is a good idea to carry one just in case.
The hike begins from Hwy 95 at mile marker 56.7, south of Hite Marina. You drop into the canyon there and then hike down the canyon. The canyon parallels the highway and you emerge at mile marker 54.7. You can have a shuttle vehicle there, or hike the 2 miles back to the trailhead. To get into the canyon from the trailhead, follow the well-defined trail north for a short distance to where it drops into a side canyon. Hike that side canyon into White Canyon and then continue hiking down White.
The Black Hole is the deepest, darkest, longest, coldest swim through narrows - the one with the 90-degree turn. There are two other challenging obstacles above this hole, but they can be navigated with little trouble. Below the Black Hole the canyon is beautiful but relatively tame.
About 1.5 miles below the Back Hole you must exit the canyon to the south (left). At that point you'll see an obvious, narrow side canyon come in from the south. Hike down White Canyon for a couple hundred yards below that side canyon and then look for a way to climb ledges to get out of White and up to Highway 95. There is no official exit trail, and several possible routes. If you pay attention you'll be able to identify a faint hiker-made trail that follows the easiest route. GPS won't work in the slot and so we can't give precise coordinates. Be careful here because you could get "ledged" if you aren't paying attention. Your rope may come in handy here to assist less experienced climbers.