peakbaggers's Canditions

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 24, 2019

Completed route car to car by 2 people in just under 5 hours at an easy pace. Finding the start delayed us some. Ended up one crack over from the one suggested on BlueGnome. There is a small pinyon tree that can be rapped off of & there was sling & hardware there or an old, dead log that also had sling setup as well. Canyon was completely dry. Dead man anchor at 3rd drop has a large basalt rock placed over the buried anchor & webbing. My wife & I were unable to move the rock to inspect. Webbing that shows is getting a little frayed on the edges. A group with more people that can move the boulder should consider replacing this one. All other anchors were in good shape and well extended for pulls. Water present in this canyon would indeed make it more difficult. As it was, we found it to be fairly easy and comparable to Wife 3 for scenery, etc., though Wife 3 has a more dramatic initial rappel and two good stemming/slot sections.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: June 1, 2019

Return to scene of the crime. This really is an excellent canyon and a good step-up from the Irish group. Anchors at both raps okay but second rap anchor more difficult to inspect, plus that rap has a difficult start. Minor water in spots in upper section was avoidable. The final narrows with the water - cold. Wish I had my neo socks, & the swim was very cool as well, but our party of 5 went through with no wetsuits on a sunny, warm day & were fine. This canyon has some long skinny sections & can require some higher stemming for even mid-sized canyoneers.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: April 29, 2019

Did Wife #3 on Sunday. No other groups present. NO water issues at all. Anchor for the big rap #1 presently consisted of orange and green webbing extended almost fully out to drop point. Since we left rope, then retrieved later on, we put all that webbing into a small pocket in the rock closer to the tree so it would not be left out exposed to sun/rain/wind damage. Can still easily spot tree and anchor from above. The first rap is one of the most spectacular we have ever done. Once you're over the edge, it's free all the way down and completely away from the wall.

Also did Stegasaurus day before. Minor water in the slot section to mid-calf. One slightly deeper pool could be stemmed over. The narrow slot section is too narrow to stay on the bottom in several sections. Stemming off the deck is required and would not consider this beginner friendly stemming.

Also park ranger reported Wife 5 potholes filled up from storm on Friday.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: September 23, 2017

Number of raps varies between sources so this is based on using RoadTripRyan. Rap 2 with the 2-stage drop can be entirely avoided by swinging right and working down canyon below the two pools of moderate depth water. Rap 3 is a little tricky to find the bolts. You have to climb left up and over a shelf, down a crack with a shrub, then around a broader rib to drop into another crack and then locate the bolts. Rap 4 into the pool after the basalt boulder. Water there was only a wader but looked to be worse. Rap 5 took us into a skanky, long pool that was to stomach level with very soft mud underfoot. Water at bottom of the final rap was minimal & avoidable. A little mud. Not much real down-climbing in this canyon but the last two raps are very scenic.

3 out of 5
Date of Trip: September 22, 2017

Did this near mid-day on a Friday. Place was packed with guided groups - over 20 people. All water was minimal and avoidable. Even more bolts than when we did this route a few years ago. Good training canyon we guess. Has some scenic sections but presently overrun. Suggest that if you do it, go very early morning or later afternoon to avoid the guided groups.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: September 17, 2017

Though there was some water in a few spots, it was all avoidable. The five raps were all anchored well with newer looking black webbing. We down-climbed all else. Lots of boulder & rock down-climbing. A group had recently reported a bees nest of some kind between the 2nd & 3rd raps (which is a very long section). We never saw it or saw any indication of such. Took 3 of us about 9 no-rush hours to complete with a 2-car shuttle.

1 out of 5
Date of Trip: September 16, 2017

Attempted to do this canyon on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. When we arrived & began the approach hike, it became evident that this canyon had flashed in the last 24-48 hours because of heavy rains in the area. The trail to the lower fall for hikers was obliterated in places & the streambed had been ripped out. We (2 of us) decided not to do the route because of concern that the canyon above would have been significantly altered from the posted beta and may contain dangerous places of new debris. Beta on this canyon may need to be re-written.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 29, 2017

Before the first rap in a narrow downclimb, there was water to avoid. Water was in the pool at the first rap. We avoided by doing downclimb instead. 2nd rap is anchored from a dead juniper high above the cliff with a hueco/small arch backup. Webbing was good for now but goes over a sharp edge. Should always inspect this before using. On 3rd rap, watch that you don't drop into a deep pothole in the twisting section. Webbing on 3rd & 4th rap is getting worn. 4th rap anchored from a pothole along the 3rd rap. Used fiddlestick on 2nd & 4th raps. Rap into the narrows anchored. Rope can easily pinch. Be careful. 3 swimmers, very cold, 2 deep wades, plus several other pools. Hot sandy slog back out. 6:45 car to car for 2 people.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 28, 2017

7:15 car to car for 2 people. GPS very useful as sandy trails difficult to follow at times. Descended east fork. Fantastic, long narrows, but never really had to go sideways. Brief, low stemming over chockstones, etc. Water in the pool at the one rap is mid-thigh. Newly anchored. After that rap, it's mostly a sandy canyon slog to west fork. That fork also has impressive & colorful narrows. One difficult upclimb early on right side of large chockstone. Next major difficulty was upclimb in the most narrow section and then to exit the narrows, a 12 foot, partner assist climb. Outstanding, basically non-technical narrows make the cross desert hike worth the effort.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 27, 2017

Two people took 2:20 RT. Both of the two drops were anchored. The early 30 foot drop makes a nice elevator. Rap 2 can be handlined. The potholes were dry. Built an anchor in the first to get the first person down into the 2nd, but then took the anchor apart because could partner assist the 2nd person down without. Then built another anchor for the 2nd drop & we both rapped off that. Could partner assist that one as well but it's at least 6 feet vertical and would prefer to have 2 persons to help on the assist & we were too short to try the lean out approach. Sandtrap would have been usable. We had no problem staying down at the last tight section.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 27, 2017

3 hours RT for 2 people. 4 major drops including the 1st. The next 3 were anchored. There's an anchor at the top as well, (webbing somewhat concealed) but can downclimb just to right side of canyon head. The walk up the exit starts out in a long, wide, slickrock canyon. Makes the exit easier. Overall, fun & easy. A good warm-up.

3 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 8, 2017

This is basically a canyon hike with rappels. All granite rock, very polished and slick at the raps. Virtually no water to speak of. Took 3 of us about 3 hours car-to-car at a leisurely pace.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 6, 2017

A not-too technically difficult canyon but physically demanding and a long day with up to 23 raps. Arduous hike in. Plenty of water at this time & some short to moderate swims. Used 3/2 Farmer Johns with jackets which proved adequate. Much of the upper half of the canyon now bolted. Leap-frog your group to keep things moving, otherwise you'll finish in the dark. We used a 2-vehicle set up, but 4WD with good clearance required to get up the Rocky Gap Road. Overall, an impressive canyon.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: April 23, 2017

Both canyons only have minor, avoidable water. Did these two as a loop hike. Down Ramp & up Cistern. Only technical problem is getting down past the chockstone in Ramp. A scenic hike overall. Plenty of elevation gain from Cistern back over to Ramp car park.

Road into Hidden Splendor from I-70 is in very good condition all the way to the airstrip.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: April 22, 2017

Same conditions as reported week before - nearly full potholes, so no real escape problems. Used pack toss 2-3 times. A half dozen brief swimmers. It was 34° Sat. morning where we camped at about 6,600 elevation. Temps that day only reached maybe upper 60's. Water in a few potholes was on the frigid side. We wore full Farmer-Johns with jackets. Road conditions from I-70 approach are very good all the way to Hidden Splendor. A great pothole canyon with lots of variety.