CanyonWeasel's Canditions

2 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 10, 2020

Disappointing. There is a short pretty section, and it's fun to visit the ruins, but it feels like you spend more time avoiding the canyon than going through it. There are two pothole sections (beginning and end) that would be fun to descend, but there are no anchors, and it would take substantial work to haul enough rocks in there and build all the necessary deadman anchors. The bypass for the first pothole section is tricky and involves descending some loose and friable rock. This canyon needs dedicated construction work before it's worthwhile.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 9, 2020

I'd forgotten just how beautiful and fun this canyon is. Fixed a long rope for the initial rappel and downclimbed everything else. You can avoid a lot of the sand slog on the exit by remaining on the slickrock close to the rim. Dry, as usual.

3 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 8, 2020

Normally, this is one of my favorite romps, but the water is very low right now and there is probably less than half the usual amount of swimming. The Black Hole itself is very stinky and the far end is covered by a 6 inch thick mat of pine needles and pine cones interwoven with branches and logs. The mat is so thick it's quite hard to push through it and you can't stand on it. Instead, you have to lay on it to submerge it, then push it down with your knees and feet. The exit holes are also six feet above the surface making it challenging to escape. We had to shuttle large branches to the exit, embed them vertically in the mud at the bottom and basically construct a ladder to climb up and out of the slippery smelly muck. Note also that the entry hand lines in the Black Hole and subsequent pothole are now substantially above the water, making for drops without partner assist. Definitely not a place for beginners right now.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 7, 2020

A pretty, enjoyable canyon. Despite the dry conditions, there is still one pothole with waist deep wading and a couple others that are ankle deep. The rappel through the 3 potholes is a difficult rope pull, even when you rig carefully. The lengthy patchwork of webbing for the anchor should be completely replaced soon, and probably lengthened. The first part of the exit is a bit unexpected and not well described - you have to exit onto the south rim of the side canyon before traversing around it's head to the north to get to the upper slickrock.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 5, 2020

Did the right fork (E) followed by left fork (W). Both completely dry. Doing the double in a single day is almost as abrasive and physical as the middle fork. Amazingly enough, we didn't see a soul except for tourists hiking into the exit

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 4, 2020

Bone dry. Not even any mud in the final "swimmer" pothole. Recent parties have built anchors for the last two downclimbs. Unnecessary for the last downclimb, but the last part of the pothole downclimb has become difficult with the low water, so probably a good thing. More fun with some water, but still a great route.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 16, 2015

A very enjoyable canyon with some pretty spots. Encountered four or five pools with waist deep wading, and one that was chest deep. Use caution on the final rappel because it's easy to get your rope stuck. Using two 100ft ropes would almost guarantee getting the knot stuck, and even using a 200ft rope, you need to place it carefully. The Exit hike is quite intricate and very tricky route finding, but this also makes it interesting. An experienced party on the previous day got their rope stuck on the final rappel and ended up doing the exit in the dark. I have no idea how they found their way around the exit ledges with no light and no moon, but they made it back around midnight. Although this is not a long or difficult canyon, allow plenty of time for the exit - I certainly wouldn't want to try it in the dark.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 14, 2015

A very long sustained and physical canyon, but quite pretty in many spots. We found lots of wading up to waist deep and lots of mud from the rains on 10/5-10/6. Slick mud on the lower 3-4 feet of the walls in many places sometimes made chimneying and downclimbing rather challenging. Allow extra time for this one, particularly if you don't have a car shuttle. It's a long day.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 13, 2015

Wow! A truly stunning and fun canyon. Road to the ranger station was fine, but the road from there was very rough in spots and took 50 minutes of careful driving in a 4WD with decent clearance. Not possible with a low clearance vehicle, and wouldn't want to try without 4WD right now. Canyon had multiple swims, and many pools were filled with juniper debris.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 12, 2015

Blue John E. Fork: Not technically difficult, but incredibly long, sustained, deep, narrows. Quite beautiful. The rappel has a fixed line in place with knots, so we never even put on a harness. Lots of knee deep wading in the hallways, with some wading to waist deep. Got a bit chilly after a while and were happy when we got out to sunshine. Elected not to upclimb the Main fork because of the mud, so did the main exit. It's a slog without a car shuttle.

3 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 11, 2015

Went down Little Blue John, explored the main narrows, and did the main exit. In Little Blue John we replaced the aging webbing at the first rappel. A second downclimb/rappel has slings around two chockstones. We found the larger knife-blade chockstone hanging by its webbing loop below the rapid link in the crack. At least a half-dozen parties had probably descended with this obvious threat hanging over their heads. We hoisted it back up into position on top of the smaller one. The narrows in the main fork were quite muddy with some shallow wading. We turned around at the rappel because we didn't fancy climbing the offwidth in its current state with muddy feet. We went up the west fork but the rock at the top was very dirty and rotten, and the exposure is serious. We backed off and did the main exit after a large hold broke off on us.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 7, 2012

Nice little canyon to do on your way in or out of Zion. A few pools, but they can all be avoided by stemming and/or leaping. Don't know when it happened, but canyon is now completely bolted - even the relatively easy chimney downclimbs. What's odd is that there isn't any webbing or quick link on most of the bolt hangers.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 5, 2012

Zero release from the dam, and less than 1/2 cfs flowing through the canyon. Water clean and cold in the technical part. Wore dry suits with polypro underneath and neo socks and gloves. Core was warm, but hands and feet were still cold. After the technical part there are several dry sections with lots of trout trapped in diminishing pools. MIA trail is still grueling, but easier to follow than it used to be.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 3, 2012

Approach trail straight down the canyon is much more well defined than it used to be and there is now very little bushwhacking. Don't recommend rapping the first dryfall because of all the loose rock. A few mud puddles at the bottoms of the flutes but these can generally be avoided. Still the prettiest and funnest start to Orderville in my view, but it makes for a long day.

2 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 1, 2012

The first pothole section in this canyon is pretty, but otherwise, I don't see the attraction. The approach hike is long, and the remainder of the canyon is dirty, awkward, and not that attractive. I wouldn't bother to do this again.