Gallery Canyon is an obscure canyon in the Grapevine Mountains which doesn't get much visitation but has some colorful painted narrows along with beautiful dry falls. Difficulties encountered on the hike include figuring out the location of the canyon and dealing with 4 major dry falls which require lengthy bypasses in order to continue progressing up canyon. Route maps and GPS coordinates are not provided for safety reasons because this canyon is more suited to rappelling by canyoneers and exploration by advanced hikers with excellent bypass skills.
When it comes to canyon exploration in the Grapevine Mountains, there are quite a few areas which continue to remain undocumented. Thus, over the years, a small group of hikers and I have been exploring various areas of the range in an effort to see as many interesting places as possible. One of the canyons that a few of us decided to target recently was a place that we will call Gallery Canyon. Although it is officially unnamed, we are calling it Gallery Canyon due to a beautiful section of painted narrows contained within the middle part of the canyon. But more about that in a minute. My hike to this canyon began on the North Highway (Scotty's Castle Road) and proceeded up a long fan towards one of the western-draining canyons of the Grapevine Mountains. Upon entering the mouth of the canyon, I came across a brief section of narrows, probably better described as a constriction. After passing through an area of rockfall and interesting shapes, the canyon ended at the bottom of the 1st dry fall. Backtracking out, I attained the ridge on the right side and was able to bypass the 1st dry fall. From the ridge, I looked farther up canyon and could see a 2nd dry fall off in the distance. Thus, I decided to stay on the ridge and continue along it until I bypassed the 2nd fall. After doing that with great difficulty, I then dropped back into the canyon to see what was above the 2nd dry fall. And that's when I entered the painted narrows as mentioned earlier. This section of narrows, which continued for a good distance, reminded me of walking through an art gallery. That is why we call these narrows The Gallery, which are divided into the Lower Gallery and Upper Gallery. The walls on both sides of both sections of The Gallery were naturally painted with a variety of delicate pastel colors. It was a very pretty area to see and hopefully some of my pictures will do it justice. The narrows of the Lower Gallery came to an abrupt end at a 3rd major dry fall which is not easily bypassed. I had to backtrack once again, attain the same ridge I was on earlier, and find my way back into the canyon above the 3rd dry fall. After considerable time and effort, I was able to do so. This fourth section of the canyon had some shallow narrows containing the same muted colors found earlier. Thus, this section is known as the Upper Gallery. A short distance up canyon past the Upper Gallery was the bottom of the 4th dry fall, which is where I decided to stop my hike. It was the most easily bypassed of all the dry falls, but there didn't look to be much more of interest just ahead. So this is where a hiker would logically stop and turn around for the day. Because this canyon requires so many bypasses with a high degree of difficulty, I am leaving the location and maps out of this report. Our hike took place in November of 2013.
This hike contains sections of climbing, exposed bypasses and/or high dry falls and may require safety ropes and equipment in order to complete the entire hike. Those without the proper training, experience, and safety gear should avoid trying to climb or bypass the 1st dry fall in the lower canyon.
Many more photographs taken during our visit are available for viewing for this destination. To see all of them, choose one of the two options presented below. The two options are Slideshow viewing and Trip Report viewing. The Slideshow option allows for viewing larger images with an autoplay option and a full screen option (available on most browsers). This option works very well for large computer screens and tablets. The Trip Report option allows for viewing smaller pictures in a standard scroll-down format and enlarging of any panoramic photos taken during our visit. Click on the option of your choice to view all of our photos from this destination. The Slideshow format opens in a new browser window and the Trip Report format uses the same browser window for viewing.
TRIP REPORT FORMAT