Water Canyon

Last Candition: July 23, 2011


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.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 12, 2014

Took another trip to Water Canyon, just five weeks after our last one, but what a difference a month makes! A recent rainstorm filled some pools, emptied others and moved a whole lot of sand around. One rappel we walked in knee deep water last month was a full-fledged swim this time around. Last month we were 7 people and it took 11 hours car-to-car. This time we were 11 people (several noobs) in 8 hours. Much faster. So fun!

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

The upper pools were mosquito infested. The first rap runners were removed off the tree, mosquito and skanky water, opted for the walk around. Water on 2nd and 3rd rap cool, but doable without wetsuit as it was 85 out. Pool after big drop just waist deep and not to cold. Canyon is drying up, hence the low rating. All gear in good order minus the first rap. Seems to be a wetsuit free canyon going forward for the summer season.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 2, 2014

We stayed in the water course and appreciated the wetsuits. Swam a few times. Kept the wetsuits on throughout the canyon. I was bummed by the amount of trash we packed out from the end of the technical section. Such a beautiful place to be a dumping ground.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: April 5, 2014

Pretty full of cold water. Wetsuits recommended.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: November 9, 2013

1st rap we found the pool frozen over with 1 inch thick ice. Tons of fun breaking through the short swim to shore. 2nd rap we found 1/4 inch thick ice on the top. From than on no more frozen pools. All anchors, webbing in great to good shape. Had a 4/3 wetsuit with vest/hood, gloves and 5mm booties. With a group size of 4, more than warm enough in the waits for each rap. Great weather window enjoyed. Only one other guided group in canyon, an epic experience! Had there been more water in the pools and it flowing I would have given it a five.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: September 12, 2013

Full of water, estimate 1-2 cfs. First time for 3 of 4 in our group. Tons of fun from the top. Road last 2 miles to get in was muddy an impassable without hefty truck. Found a ram's head (full horns) after rap 5 or so in one of the narrow slots and hauled it out (very heavy). Lots of fun and pleasantly surprised.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 28, 2013

Tonsa fun! It was full... of water, solid webbing. Came in from very top, and had probably 4 swims (all very short.) We had some rain, but no flashes. Our group worked well together and we moved through challenging conditions smoothly.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 13, 2013

Dropped in at the very top. Everything was completely full of water. No wetsuits required as the air temp is pretty high still.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 28, 2011

From a conditions standpoint, it's in great shape for summer fun. No need for a suit due to low water levels and no flow, the anchors are all in and bomber. Right now, I'd give these specific ratings (based on 1-5 scale with 0 = none, 1 = low, 2 = medium, 3 = high, 4 = very high):

1. Anchor quality: 4.5

2. Water depth: 1

3. Water temp: 4

4. Water flow: 0

5. Suit recommend: 0

6. Pothole escape difficulty: 0

Water Canyon has numerous escapes and has decent sun exposure, so getting dangerously cold is not likely right now w/o specific circumstances (e.g. injury).

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 23, 2011

Canyon is drying up fast and not flowing past 1/4 mile up, otherwise it would have been a 5/5. All raps are good, ton of froggies and polywogs. The swimmer disconnects are shallow enough to stand in. And was also spotless, no trash or anything i expected to find in a public canyon. Video and pics at http://www.bogley.com/forum/showthread.php?57538-Water-Canyon-7-23-2011