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Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

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Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby steelfrog » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:44 am

Howdy--we are doing the GCR3 April 21 weekend. We will have a full day after the GCR3. We have never seen a slot canyon. Or red slickrock like at the Wave. Can anyone recommend somewhere in Northern AZ or southern UT that we could do such? Would like 15 miles or less RT. Don't mind dealing with Indians.

Many thanks in advance!

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Re: Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby climbing_rob » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:56 am

Wow... should be a crowd on the rim-rim-rim as we have a group of 20+ folks doing the Big Ditch over and back on 4/21 ! Maybe you are part of our group?
Anyway, I've done a couple dozen slots right along the driving route from Denver to the GC... do you want to keep it non-technical?

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Re: Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby steelfrog » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:02 am

Cool! Actually, we're a group of 4 (including 12 and 14 y.o.) and we're doing it starting midnight on 4-20; so, we will have all day on Sat 4-21 to play around. Heading back out of Phoenix on 4-22.

Yes, non technical--i.e., we aren't bringing ropes. And I know about the permit restrictions on the Wave and some others, so looking for something where we won't have those barriers.

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Re: Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby planet54 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:15 am

"The world is a great book,of which they that never stir from home read only a page." St. Augustine
"Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an innertube;there are some things one would rather have done than do." Edward Abbey

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Re: Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby dude9478 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:19 am

My wife and I get out quite often to Southern Utah among other places to decend slot canyons. Here are a couple suggestions

Little wild horse and bell canyon - Very easy and very beautiful, though it can be a bit crowded
http://canyoneeringusa.com/utah/swell/little.htm


Ding and Dang - If you are looking to spice it up a bit, ding and dang are really fun. Some fun downclimbing when coming down dang. Very fun if you are comfortable with downclimbing, no ropes needed.
http://canyoneeringusa.com/utah/swell/dingdang.htm

Lucky Charms - Lucky Charms has some cool little narrows, though it does contain some challenging upclimbing. Might want to have a decent climber in your group in order to complete the route. You can always check out the lower narrows then turn around when you feel uncomfortable.
http://www.toddshikingguide.com/Hikes/Utah/NorthWash/NorthWash4.htm

Let us know how it goes! Shot Canyons are addictive!

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Re: Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby Presto » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:21 am

As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby steelfrog » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:51 am

Maybe I should have been more specific--I am capable of finding things on the internet--I was kinda looking for recommendations as to which you all consider to be the best?

Thanks Dude!

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Re: Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby Presto » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:55 am

Well, bogley is certainly not lacking in the personal opinion/recommendation department. :lol: :wink: I'm afraid my experience level has not been elevated to technical/slot canyoneering (though I would love to explore that avenue in the future). Happy trails! :D
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby Scott P » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:32 am

I’m guessing you want non-technical?

Utah and Northern Arizona have hundreds, if not thousands of slot canyons, but if you want something that is more or less along the way, or at least only a little out of the way, I'd suggest Waterholes Canyon. Jackass Creek isn't too far out of the way either. Short Canyon, Long Canyon or Gravel in the White Canyon complex aren’t that far out of the way and each has sections that can be accessed without ropes from the bottom.

If you want to take a slightly longer driving route, you could take SH 24 and 95 in Utah. This will pass many slot canyons. Some of the best ones that can be access without ropes are Little Wildhorse/Bell, Lower Maidenwater and Lower Leprechaun. Lucky Charms is an OK short one too. Plus the White Canyon stuff can be accessed from this driving route as well (some swimming or wading, but only short from the bottom end).

Gravel Canyon complex:

Image

Lower Maidenwater:

Image

Waterholes Canyon:

Image

Little Wildhorse Canyon:

Image

Lower Leprechaun:

Image

Lucky Charms - Lucky Charms has some cool little narrows, though it does contain some challenging upclimbing. Might want to have a decent climber in your group in order to complete the route. You can always check out the lower narrows then turn around when you feel uncomfortable.


My seven year old was able to climb all the way it without any problems, so it's not too bad.

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I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby thebeave7 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:07 am

Some good suggestions so far, here are some others from what I've done...

Little Bell/Wild Horse as mentioned above is fantastic and a quick half day jaunt. Ding/Dang require a bit more scrambling climbing but they are short sections if you feel so inclined. Both in the San Rafael Swell. I've also heard the Chutes of Muddy Creek are pretty amazing, though haven't been there yet (very wet).

Not sure how much extra driving you're willing to add on (1-2h out of the way), but Buckskin Gulch is THE classic slot canyon and by far and away the best I've ever been through, unreal how amazing it is. The full Wire Pass through Buckskin then back up the Paria is 21 miles (with a car shuttle), but worth it. There are also ways to shorten it, but still see some of the awesome slots in Buckskin. If I were planning the trip I'd save my energy for the 21 miler in Buckskin/Paria and cut the Grand Canyon a little short, just a thought :)

There is also tons of cool non-tech canyons in the Escalante, once again a few hour detour off your normal route. Coyote Gulch, Peak-a-boo/Spooky (some scrambling required, but easy), Death Hollow, Calf Creek Falls (for a short trip with a nice swim). All are fantastic in different ways and well worth exploring. If you head here Hells Backbone Grill and the Burr Trail Grill are worth stopping at.

Another options is Upper Muley Twist in Capitol Reef, once again a bit out of the way, but a fantastic hike, very little slot canyon, but awesome rock formation and scenery.

I've also got a few friends from Boulder heading down to do the R2R2R that weekend, great time of year, just watch those high temps at Phantom, they can be a doozy. You can't go wrong with pretty much any of these ideas. Man I need to quite my job and just go wander/explore!

Eric
Me fail English? That's unpossible. http://www.ericjlee.com/Blogs

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Re: Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby climbing_rob » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:33 am

steelfrog wrote:Cool! Actually, we're a group of 4 (including 12 and 14 y.o.) and we're doing it starting midnight on 4-20; so, we will have all day on Sat 4-21 to play around. Heading back out of Phoenix on 4-22.

Yes, non technical--i.e., we aren't bringing ropes. And I know about the permit restrictions on the Wave and some others, so looking for something where we won't have those barriers.
Plenty of slot advice above, so I won't add anything to that, but we might see you on the RRR trail! This year we'll be leaving the S. rim at about 2am or so (AZ time), heading down the S. Kaibab. Many previous years we've done the Bright Angel down, but recent years have seen great improvements to the S. Kaibab, and it's in much better shape plus that route is ~3 miles shorter (43 vs. 46 over and back). Limited parking right along the main road at the trailhead and you have to then walk in 1/3rd of a mile or so to the actual trailhead. Scope it out in the daylight the night before if you go the S. Kaibab route. If you go Bright Angel, it's a no brainer, parking right there. The only heat you really have to worry about is coming back through Phantom Ranch in the afternoon. It can get into the 90's even in April. It will be cold at midnight on the S. rim, but it sure does warm up fast as you descend.

We first did this thing in 2003 and saw only one other person the entire way over and back (except at Phantom, of course). Every year since (this is our 10th annual) we've seen more and more. Last year we saw about 50 runners/hikers doing the full RRR. still, 50 is not a large number and it is in no way "crowded".

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Re: Slot Canyons/Northern AZ/Southern UT

Postby 2giqs » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:17 am

Hackberry Canyon. From Page drive west on US 89 a few miles to Cottonwood Rd. Drive north for 12 miles and park at TH. Hackberry is not as narrow asa WirePass/Buckskin, but it is a deep and scenic canyon. At the same TH you can take a short but steep trail up to Yellow Rock. Colorful and plentiful slick rock there. You can even do a loop involving Hackberry, Yellow Rock as well as Sam Pollock Arch, but some route finding will be needed.

Latest road advisory indicated that Cottonwood is currently closed a few miles further north due to muddy conditions. House Rock Valley Rd is not paved either, but 2wd vehicles can normally handle both HRV Rd and Cottonwood. If heavy rains are falling, you would probably want to go to plan b.

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