I am in no way responsible for your actions
or decisions based the information here. Canyoneering
is a dangerous sport. No matter how careful you are,
how much training you have, how well planned your trip is or
much experience you have; there is still the possibility of
being severely hurt or worse. Nothing will completely
eliminate risk from this sport. Learn all you can and
be safe. The information on this site
is provided as just that, information. Gather as much
information from multiple sources as possible. Above all be safe and THINK for
There are a few canyons that are too skinny for a lot of people
to visit. If you are claustrophobic you will be very
uncomfortable. Also if you are too large you simply will
not fit! Be careful and understand what you are getting
into before you venture into one of those very tight canyons.
Check out the Skinny Canyon
Warning page for a little more information.
Canyoneering includes a variety of dangers
to be aware of. Being aware of these dangers can help
plan to prevent them or deal with them when they arise.
Dehydration can easily occur while on a
route if enough water is not consumed. Traveling in
the heat can bring on dehydration rapidly. Plan to
bring enough water along to keep yourself hydrated. It
is a good idea to bring a little extra along incase you
miscalculated or somehow lose part of your water supply by
breaking a container. Some areas will have no water on
your entire route so bringing everything you need is
important. Other areas will have water along the way
and you can refill while on the route. If you are on a
route with water be sure to bring along some form of water
treatment kit. All water, no matter how good it looks,
should be filtered. There are times when the only
water you are presented with has been sitting for weeks or
months in a pothole full of wood, leaves, or what ever else
has found (or wandered) its way into the hole.
Treating the water may not make it taste good but will make
it safe. If traveling in the heat salty snacks or
electrolyte replacement drinks are recommended to keep your
salt levels up. Your body needs to maintain a balance
between the salts and water levels. As you sweat you
lose salt and water. If you drink only water to
rehydrate, you are adding little or no salt. This
throws off the balance of salt and water in your body.
If this balance gets too far off you will develop
hyponatremia which can make you nausea and a head ache.
If your salt and water balance continues to get worse
hyponatremia can progress to coma.
Heat and Cold can present
serious dangers on the same outing. Traveling in the
heat can quickly dehydrate you leading to heat exhaustion or
heat stroke. Wearing clothing to shade you from the
sun can not only help with keeping you cooler they can also
keep you from getting a serious sun burn. Another way
to avoid getting overheated is to plan routes in hot areas
with lots of sun exposure for cooler months. Cold can
be a very serious danger in the wet canyons. On some
routes the hike to the canyon may be well over 100°F, but
inside the canyon you will find yourself in 40°F or 50°F
water for prolonged periods of time. This cold water
can quickly lead to hypothermia which can be fatal.
Wet suites or dry suits are often used to prevent this.
Falling or something falling on you are
some of the obvious risks while on a canyon route. It
is possible to suffer a severe or fatal fall while in a
canyon. While navigating down canyon you may be
climbing up, climbing down, rappelling or traversing a
ledge. Loose rock can be the cause of you falling or
be what falls on you from above. Anchors or your own
equipment may fail while on rappel. While maneuvering
where you might fall be careful and check for loose rock you
might be standing in. If you are above someone
climbing or rappelling try to stay away from the edge so you
don't kick loose rock down on your partner.
Flash floods and water flow in the canyon
can pose a sudden threat. A dry calm canyon can very
quickly become a raging torrent. Rain from many miles
away can cause a flash flood in the canyon you happen to be
visiting. Before going into any canyon look at the
weather reports and ask local authorities if there might be
any dangers of flash floods. The skies may clear over
your head but a good down pour 5 or 10 miles away can in
some cases result in deadly water flow in your canyon.
If the weather gives you any doubts about how safe you are
from flash floods, consider calling off the trip.
Better to do it alive and well later than take the chance.
Potholes offer another unique danger to the
sport. Some potholes are shallow and easy to climb
right out of. Others are deep and not at all easy to
get out of. In some cases the pothole will have
standing water in it that is deep enough to make standing
impossible. You have to continue to swim until you
find a way out. At the same time the ledges may be 10
or 15 feet over head and the walls are over hanging on the
way up. These potholes are carved from water so the
walls of these are generally smooth. If you find
yourself in a pothole with deep water and high smooth walls
you will need special gear to assist you in getting out.
The proper gear is no guarantee you will be able to get out
if you do not know how to use it. If you are unable to
get out of one of these potholes you will be forced to swim
there until help arrives. If help does not arrive in
time you will swim there until you are exhausted and either
die of hypothermia or drowning.
Animals offer another obvious danger.
Snakes and scorpions among other venomous creatures
camouflage themselves quite well so be on the look out for
them. Mountain lions can present a risk if you
encounter them in a tight section of a canyon. When
cornered a mountain lion will feel the need to fight for
These are only a few of the dangers of canyoneering.
Although the sport is inherently dangerous, these dangers
can be minimized and make the sport very rewarding.
GPS coordinates may not be exact. This is
information I have gathered myself during the trips. The coordinates
are generally accurate to within 50 feet or so, usually less
than 30 feet. I try to get as accurate a reading as
possible on my
GPS before logging the waypoint. There are times when it is not possible to get
fix or a fix at all, due to degraded GPS satellite reception.
In these cases I use the time stamp from pictures and make
note of how fast or slow we were traveling between known GPS
acquired points. From there I can create waypoints on
mapping software that are still pretty accurate. I try to
be as accurate as possible but some errors are bound to happen
because, well things happen.
Elevation data is not given for every waypoint. I give the
elevations for points that might give an overall picture of the
canyon. The start of the route, the top entry for the
canyon, a camp area in the canyon and the bottom of the canyon
are some of the common points there will be elevation data
listed. The elevations listed here are only approximate.
I generally use the elevation the GPS had when the way point was
created. GPS elevation data is not perfect. If no
elevation data was available or the number appears to be way
off, I look at it on maps on the computer at home and make an
Rappels and labeling. Some drops in a
canyon may be a rappel to one person while being a downclimb to
someone else. Everyone has thier own skill set which will
determine what they view as a rappel or downclimb. Some
people would rather jump 15 feet into a pool rather than rappel.
So some would call these rappels and some would not. Also there
may be a rappel in low water conditions which maybe a small hop down in
high water conditions. This makes labeling the rappels accurately,
difficult. One person under a certain set of canyon conditions may
label a canyon as having 25 rappels and another person under other
canyon conditions may label the canyon as having only 17 rappels.
It is important to keep in mind that any guide book or map is only a
helpful hint of what you will experience in a canyon. Be prepared!
Mileages Listed in Quick Facts. In the
Quick Facts section of a route description I list Total Mileage
and Technical Mileage. Total Mileage is simply the total
number of miles a canyoneer will travel on foot to complete the
route as described. Technical Mileage is a little more
complicated than that.
In general I list the Technical Mileage as the distance between
the points on the map marked as the “top entry to” and “bottom
exit from” the canyon. All of the distance between those
points may not actually be technical in nature. Technical
difficulty is not the only criteria used to determine the
location of these points on a map. The visually obvious
head of the canyon or the bottom of the drainage where it dumps
into another drainage are points I commonly use to mark the top
and bottom of the technical section even though that entire
distance is not technical.
The Technical Distance listed in the Quick Facts section is to
give a basic idea of how long the canyon or technical portion
is. It is not intended to be exact.
In some cases (i.e. the Lodge Canyon Route) the technical
mileage will differ from the actual measured distance between
the “top entry to” and “bottom exit from” the canyon
points. Read the trip report / route description to get
the full idea of what you will encounter.
Gear Needs Listed. The items listed on
the "Gear Used for Canyon" list is there to show what we used on
our journey through the canyon. For gear needed, I list
the things I would bring on future visits to that canyon. You
may need different items depending on the canyon conditions or
your skill level. This list is not intended to be a definitive
list of what is needed for this canyon. If you are in doubt
about what is needed, ask a fellow canyoneer.
Canyon conditions change from forces of nature so be prepared
for a surprise here and there. This is an adventure sport after
all. Canyons also change for man made reasons. Some one might
decide they don't like a bolt and yank it out. Many times
natural anchors are added, removed, moved and changed by those
traveling the route. Be prepared to think a little.
Route descriptions listed, are as accurate as possible but
things may be different at a later time. Canyons
change with water flow, flash floods and the intervention of
man. The reports may also contain a mistake here and
there. With that in mind remember to always be prepared
for the unexpected. The beta for these canyons is as
accurate as possible but you may find a few surprises on your
journey through the canyon.