Water Canyon

Last Candition: April 4, 2021


3 out of 5
Date of Trip: April 4, 2021

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I've run water canyon 5-6 times and this was the lowest I've ever seen it. Rap 2 turned into a keeper pothole which we avoided by hopping up the ledge on the left side prior to the bolt (good stemmers can get over it). We got our feet wet (ankle) at the bottom of rap 4 (the big one) and up to knees after rap 5. Rap 8 had a swimmer which we avoided by climbing up the rock to the right. Bottom line is neo socks are fine, wetsuit not needed. Even if you choose to swim at rap 8, it's short and you can stay in the sun to dry off afterwards.

3 out of 5
Date of Trip: February 26, 2021

Canyon not flowing and mid pool at mid point frozen. Did only lower half portion of the canyon. Water in lower pools very cold. 2 people with dry suits and one with wetsuit.

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

No longer flowing, but pools still had plenty of water. Group of 7 took 6h45m with one of the optional rappels. We were glad we left our wetsuits at home with the 94 degree weather.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 14, 2020

Water still flowing in most spots, barely. Where it is flowing, it has slowed to a trickle in all but a few places in the technical portion prior to rejoining the trail where the additional springs are. We were comfortable in wetsuits (full 4/3). Canyon is a lot more fun this time around for me than last when it was mostly dry in the fall. Took 8.5 hours or so with five people at casual pace. I recall there being a couple of floating disconnects.

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

Really great day. Group of 4 took 7 hours car-to-car, including 1-2 beginners and lots of time spent playing in the water. Flowing water (maybe 3 garden hoses worth of water). 3 out of 4 wore wetsuits and were very comfortable all day (the guy without was fine, but didn't get to play as much in the water). Beautiful weather (high of 75). No other canyoneering groups seen (went on a Monday).

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: November 8, 2019

Canyon is fairly dry, but there is definitely water in places and the water is very cold. We saw some ice. No rain since Oct. 25 Candition. There are two spots that may be difficult for some to avoid getting wet, but it is only shin deep. There was another spot before the 3rd rap that we bypassed to avoid getting wet. Smooth operator works well on long rap to prevent exacerbating the rope groove problem. Group of 4 with two kids. Took us 7.5 hours total. No wetsuits.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 25, 2019

10 people, mostly noobs. Very leisurely pace took maybe 8 hours including water-play time. All water avoidable by stemming or bypassing the last rap using trail. Still, some got in on a 75-degree sunny day. No wetsuits necessary. Lots of beautiful fall trees; not a classic slot canyon. Many raps have two options, especially in lower canyon, minimizing wait time. Almost all raps can be bypassed, though some with difficult downclimbs. Perhaps only the long one cannot be bypassed this way.

Default_avatar_thumb Lee
5 out of 5
Date of Trip: September 7, 2019

2 people 7 hours car to car. Some unavoidable water with very short swim/wades. No wetsuits needed at all. All anchors in good condition. Ran in to several guided groups which were very nice and let us pass. Great canyon all around. Early start is recommended due to the heat.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 13, 2019

party of 7. fairly hot 9am start approach hike up and over to slick rock and entrance of canyon. Very little water in the canyon itself- certainly no wetsuit needed. A few areas of water can be easily bypassed. Anchors were solid. Needed no new webbing except for one rigged about a tree with cord instead of webbing which I didnt care for. Ultimately laziness prevailed and we just used it too.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 18, 2019

Water still flowing. Cold with wetsuits, but sun kept things warm enough. First rap, water was up to mid torso. Next rap was a swim. 170 rap water was waist high. All other water was mostly just wading depth. Other swims were avoidable.

Anchors good. Road recently grated and easy to get in without high clearance nor 4wd. If it's rained, road may be too muddy to drive in.

Took 5 people 8hrs. We stopped a few times to eat and warm up in the sun.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 12, 2019

Water still flowing. Cold in the shaded narrow sections but warm enough in the sunny sports. 4/3mm + under vest combo was warm enough. All anchors in good condition. 6 hrs car to car 2 people.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: March 15, 2019

Road to trailhead in rough condition, we made it in a Toyota Corolla after some pushing, scraping, and beating taken to the car. Canyon had significant flow 2-5cfs. Massive waterfall at the 4th rappel made typical anchor near unusable due to hydraulic pulling the rope.

4 fit guys, 8 hours car to car.

Be wary until snow melt is gone.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: June 8, 2018

Water was very low. A few pools to wade through but most were avoidable. The pool after the 170ft rappel was the only non-avoidable wade. Got up to waist depth. No wet-suits needed.

Rope got twisted on 170ft, couldn't pull. My brother had to ascend. Recommend using a block and rappelling single strand for last one down to keep ropes from getting twisted since chains are so far back from edge.

Beautiful and not hot even though the high that day in the valley was 95 degrees. The wind and bit of water kept us cool.

With rope getting stuck and taking newbies, took 6 of us 10 hours from car to car. The rope getting stuck added a few extra hours so most likely would have taken us 7-8 hours total.

All anchors were good.

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

Group of 5 took 5 1/2 hours (1st time for all) from car to car. Route finding was fairly easy to the full-route. 4 other guiding services in the canyon (20+ people in the canyon). Rappels were fun (especially the 2nd to last). Anchors in great shape. Most raps have a few opportunties to bypass slower groups. The channel from rappel 5 was about chest deep. Rap 4 was a swimming disconnect. Penultimate rap was waist deep. Wetsuits not needed on this 100degree day. Water from the spring tasted great and was refreshing. Parking lot not too full considering how many people were there.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 2, 2016

Some bushwhacking on the way up, but not too bad.

Anchors in good shape. One fun pothole to jump in, mostly full.

A fun day with an early start (7am). Later would be brutal in the summer heat.

2 out of 5
Date of Trip: April 23, 2016

Road good to trailhead. Lots of people and signs of people (firepits, garbage, graffiti) in lower part of canyon. Many spots with water waste to chest deep, some avoidable with effort. Lots of Bees at first rap on top.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: September 25, 2015

Group of 4, first time through for all of us. The climb to the drop-in point isn't easy but was definitely worth it.

Tragic to see the results of the recent flash flood down canyon in the town of Hilldale.

The road was pretty sandy and washed out in a couple of places up towards the trailhead. We drove a 2WD to about 1/2 mile from the trailhead.

Anchors are bomber and obviously frequently maintained by guiding services.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 15, 2015

Perfect day, perfect weather. 15 passenger van not so perfect a choice for the road in. Got stuck twice. Group of 7 finished in about 9 or 10 hours, mostly noobs.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 2, 2015

Full of water. I took no wetsuit and was happy because it's an open canyon. Most had suits and were happy so pick your poison

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 22, 2014

All anchors in good shape. Upper pools super full of cold, cold water. The recent flash has filled in the narrow slot area with sand and debris. Changed the look and feel of the canyon. Needs another good flash to clean it all out. Wetsuit for later in day takes the edge off with afternoon shade breeze.