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Canyoneering in Arizona

I went on my first Canyoneering trip a few weekends ago. This trip was actually a class offered through Scottsdale Community College. The trip is run by Josh from One Day Adventures.

We left on Saturday morning and drove about 2.5 hours to our first destination and our campsite for the night.  After everyone set up camp and had lunch, we set off into our first canyon.  The toughest part of this trip is the hiking to the canyon.

Canyoneering by default means that you are going into a canyon, which means that you’ll have a steep downhill hike on the way to the canyon and a steep uphill hike on the way back up.¬† Because it was September and the water was cold, we all had to get full wetsuits.¬† Hiking with a wetsuit on is not fun and hiking while carrying a wetsuit on your back is only a little bit better.

The first canyon that we were doing was called Bear Canyon. Below is a Google map of it.¬† I am not 100%¬†certain of the path that we took since I didn’t have my GPS with me. ¬†After a decent hike and a bunch of boulder hopping into canyon, we came to the spot where we finally had to get wet.¬† We put on our wetsuits and gear and proceeded to lower ourselves into the water.¬† The first canyon was very green and gray.¬† It had a mossy feeling to into.¬† Unfortunately the water was not flowing and had been stagnant causing it to become brown and smelly.¬† Because my camera was not waterproof, taking pictures was very limiting.

The water was very cold and I was glad I had rented a 7mil wetsuit, even though the dive shop recommended a 3mil one.¬† The students who had the 3mil wetsuits were cold and shivering.¬† We had one rappel of about 15 feet, which wasn’t very high at all, but it counted as my first ever rappel.¬† At another drop we used a ladder to drop directly into a dark deep pool.¬† From there it was a short swim through the canyon to the end.

We finished the day with a massively steep hike up the canyon.  When I got to my tent I just laid down and immediately fell asleep.

Day two took us to the¬†Salome Jug.¬† This canyon is very different from the previous day.¬† One thing to note is that the temperature is now over 90 degrees as compared to the previous day’s 60 degrees.¬† Now I’m wishing I had a 3 mil wetsuit.

To get to this canyon, we had to do about a¬†2.5 mile hike to the drop in point.¬† The water was flowing and it was nice and cool.¬† The canyon was beautiful on the inside and we spent alot of time floating down it.¬† There were also many rock waterslides, but we couldn’t do them all due to the water depth at the landing.

To finish off this canyon was a 30ft rappel down a mini-waterfall and then a good swim (float) to the end of the canyon.  Once at the end, we had to do the 2.5 mile uphill hike back to the car.

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Posted in Arizona and Canyoneering
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  1. Geoff Reed Jun 1st 2009

    Hi Kenric:

    Nice job documenting the trip . You gave a very accurate description of what it would be lkike to someone who haswn’t done it yet! The photos, maps and writing are excellent!

    Thanks,

    Geoff


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