Black Hole of White Canyon

Last Candition: June 17, 2011


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.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: September 5, 2020

On a day officially classified as "stinking hot" (100 degrees or more), this was a good choice. Low water due to a complete bust of a monsoon season, but still plenty of swimming. Not a log in sight; rather, we pushed our way past a dead mouse and dead bird. No wetsuits for most, and all were fine.

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

Recent rains seemed to have it mildly full - 4-5 long swims in perfect conditions. A 4/3 wetsuit was great. A couple passed us without suits and seemed to be fine. The end of the Black Hole section is pretty congested with logs and soup and was difficult to exit out the main hole at the end for two aging but fit canyoneers/climbers. That said several parties went through the day before and doesn't seem like a serious problem. Great canyon!

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 23, 2020

Water is pretty clean actually. Hand line of crusty webbing is in place at the down-climb, but our group didn't even use it. Great day. Took our group of 8 about 5 hours.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 14, 2019

Amazing trip. Only bad part was what I assume is The Black Hole is full of nasty log soup and straight exit was totally log jammed. We were able to climb out on right instead. Would probably be smart to hang a reversable handline on the Black Hole in case it jams completely.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: April 4, 2019

3 areas of concern at this date:

- A narrow passage was blocked by a vertical tall tree trunk. Climbing under was not possible due to log jam. Climbing over it, was possible for some team members, but other needed assistance. Climbing down was possible for some, others needed to jump after depth check.

- The exit for a long swim under large boulders was almost blocked by a log jam. Passage was a difficult swim with a thick log soup that made progress slow and difficult. Flotation aid is a must in that passage with that soup.

- Some of the semi dry areas between swims had deep quick sand. A team member sunk in one and got stuck for a bit.

Other than these...

About 4,5 loooong very cold swims. Team members with dry suits and thick under layers were ok. 4/3 mm wetsuit was not adequate for another team member.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 14, 2017

Full with lots of extended swimming. We swam several very long sections. 4/3 mm good enough.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 24, 2017

Water is not at full capacity, plenty of cold swims in water filled with mosquito larva. A wet-suit is a must have!

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 2, 2017

significant water, but not full. lots of deep wading, and some long swims. we were all in 3mm wetsuits and fine. started at 10:30 for warmer conditions.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 20, 2016

Tons of water, lots of swimming. Wetsuits surpisingly not needed, water was warm. However, I would still recommend bringing them as conditions change.

Handline is useful. Special note to the other groups we saw in there: bring a real rope not some small accessory cord...

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 28, 2016

All drops downclimbable with teamwork. 4/3 or warmer wetsuit recommended. LOTS of bugs at the TH. Fun!

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 22, 2015

Having done this only 1x before, 4 years ago I cannot rate it anything but a 5. I had been to the entrance a month earlier with water flowing mid-calf deep so with the streambed being dry this time we went in. I think we by-passed a lot of what I swam my first time in. Many of those areas had lots of mud, only some water and until right in the 'real' black hole, there was not much actual swimming.

We had everything from no rubber to 3mm full black suits and everyone came out alive and happy.

Well marked and heavily travelled routes both into and out of the canyon.

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

Lots of water & swimming. A section before the actual "Black Hole" part was a subterranean corridor that was a morass of floating debris & difficult to get through - too thick to swim through - too thin to crawl across. After the Black Hole section (long swimmer there) there were still a few more swims, deep wades etc., and shallower wading all the way to the exit. Quite the adventure. Amazingly sculpted rock.

Default_avatar_thumb SRG
4 out of 5
Date of Trip: June 21, 2014

Multiple long swims, as always.

Water was relatively clean and cool.

We all brought wetsuits and were glad we did. It was about 90 degrees out.

It took our group of 3 about 4.5 hours car-to-car with a bike shuttle.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 26, 2014

A trickle of flow today after heavy rain last night. Canyon full of fresh water. Not as cold as we expected. Comfortable in 4/3 suits on this 70 degree day. Lots and lots of swimming, really really fun. Never rapped, didn't take gear, maybe used a handline twice. Used the narrow canyon exit. The few up climbs were fun and straight forward. Switchback down canyon after the second climb for the easiest route. Truck to road in five and and a half hours then ran up the road (without gear) to retrieve the truck. Great day!

1 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 31, 2013

Lots of water flowing in White Canyon today. 5-10 cfs? Stay away for at least a day or two.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: June 15, 2013

Great fun. Our group of seven all used shorty 3/2 wetsuits (except for one girl who gets cold very fast and very easy) and we all loved it. The water was as warm as a pool throughout most of the canyon, with the exception of the black hole section, where we were happy to have the wetsuits.

The slot canyon took us about 7.5 hours (in addition to the many pictures and playtime, we took the first exit and had to rock-climb to get out).

Lots of fun all around.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: June 2, 2013

Great conditions. Comfortable with full length 3/2 wetsuit. Hands a little chilled in the first 2 pools, than fine afterwards. Last few pools felt quite warm. Good rope hanging from the log that gives the D/C into the start of the Black Hole. Water level low enough that we were able to swim under the log that was after that. Water pretty fresh. No log soup. Lots of cairns marking the exit.

Entrance trail: there are 2 social trails. Follow the one that goes north. The southbound one cliffs out.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 24, 2013

perfect conditions 3/2 wetsuit ok

dc from a log at entrance easier with handline

before the long cold swim usual 2 old fixed ropes but is a swimmer so possible jumper if you want

bypassed the log soup on the left

4 people ,tons of play in the water 5,5hrs car to car with shuttle

mosquito repellant for no see hum at the end

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 5, 2013

Loved this canyon! I have never done it so I can't compare water levels, but it seemed clean and plentiful with many very long swims. The only place with somewhat putrid water was in the black hole proper (which can be bypassed, although it was a very fun swim). There were logs floating in the black hole proper but they were not an issue. The rest of the canyon was clear of log jams. Used a 5mm wetsuit, doubled up 2mm socks, and 3mm gloves. Got a little chilly but not to bad. Can't comment on anchors because we downclimbed everything.