Robbers Roost

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For other uses, see Robbers Roost (disambiguation).
Robbers Roost, Utah
Hideout
Coordinates: 38°19′14″N 110°32′08″W / 38.32056°N 110.53556°W / 38.32056; -110.53556Coordinates: 38°19′14″N 110°32′08″W / 38.32056°N 110.53556°W / 38.32056; -110.53556
Upper Robbers Roost Canyon, aerial photo by Doc Searls

The Robbers Roost was an outlaw hideout in southeastern Utah used mostly by Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch gang in the closing years of the Old West.[1]

The hideout was considered ideal because of the rough terrain. It was easily defended, difficult to navigate into without detection, and excellent when the gang needed a month or longer to rest and lie low following a robbery. It was while hiding out at Robbers Roost that Elzy Lay and Butch Cassidy first formed the Wild Bunch gang. The Wild Bunch gang, early on led by Cassidy and his closest friend Elzy Lay, developed contacts inside Utah that gave them easy access to supplies of fresh horses and beef, most notably the ranch owned by outlaw sisters Ann Bassett and Josie Bassett. The gang constructed cabins inside Robbers Roost to help shield them from the harsh winters. There, they stored weapons, horses, chickens, and cattle.

Pursuing lawmen of the day never discovered the site of the hideout. The outlaws held each other to strict confidentiality regarding its location.

There were only five women known to have ever been allowed inside Robbers Roost: Ann and Josie Bassett, the Sundance Kid's girlfriend Etta Place, one of Elzy Lay's girlfriends Maude Davis, and gang member Laura Bullion.

Robbers Roost Canyon, a remote tributary of the Dirty Devil River, is named after this hideout.

Recreation[edit]

Robbers Roost attracts hikers, backpackers, horseback riders, and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) enthusiasts. Many steep, narrow slot canyons popular with technical canyoneers are found in Robbers Roost.[2]

Search and rescue[edit]

On April 26, 2003, 28-year-old Aron Ralston, without telling anyone his plans, set out alone through Robbers Roost. Five days later, after several unsuccessful attempts to dislodge an 800-pound (360 kg) boulder that was crushing his right hand, Ralston snapped the radius and ulna of his forearm near the wrist, applied a makeshift tourniquet and sawed through the cartilage with a throwaway multi-tool. He later rappelled out Blue John Canyon into Horseshoe Canyon, in Canyonlands National Park, until he came upon a rescue helicopter.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kelsey, Michael R. (1990). Hiking and Exploring Utah's Henry Mountains and Robbers Roost (2nd Edition ed.). Provo, Utah, USA: Kelsey Publishing. pp. 145–169. ISBN 0944510043. 
  2. ^ Kelsey, Michael R. (2008). Technical Slot Canyon Guide to the Colorado Plateau (2nd Edition ed.). Provo, Utah, USA: Kelsey Publishing. pp. 65–132. ISBN 9780944510230. 
  3. ^ Ralston, Aron (2010). 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Reprint ed.). New York City, USA: Atria Books. ISBN 1451618506. 

External links[edit]