If you thought that canyoneering was only for the crazed adrenaline junkie, think again. These sites cater to all skill levels – some guided, some not. Take equal parts of hiking, climbing and swimming plus a moderate level of fitness and an adventurous spirit to enjoy canyoneering in the USA.
In south-eastern Utah, there are no less than 5 spectacular national parks. Thanks to the grandeur of geological formations sculpted by the Colorado and Green Rivers, canyoneering operators are not in short supply. From half-day tours to multi-day adventures, skilled guides provide safe and secure passage around these canyons. From Entrajo Canyon suitable for beginners to Alcatraz Canyon for experienced canyoners, Utah provides excitement in every corner.
Over millennia, numerous rivers and creeks have eroded through layers of soft and hard deposits that make up the San Juan Mountains to produce the stunning geology to be found in Ouray. Not surprisingly, it’s called the “Switzerland of America” whose economy is run by tourism. Waterfalls and hot springs abound making it the perfect site to explore canyons. Local tour operators not only offer different adventures based on skills but also provide training courses for canyoneering and rigging.
Salome Creek, Arizona
Better known as The Jug, this wet canyon boasts pink granite walls. Wet canyoneering in Arizona is the perfect way to escape the heat (the best times are September, October and April to June). In the late summer, pools are stagnant and in the monsoon season, currents can be dangerous, so choose your times carefully. Canyoners can traverse this canyon without a guide so be sure to do your research before you take it on.
Eagle Creek, Oregon
Eagle Creek is situated in the Columbia Gorge Recreation area and is a tributary to the Columbia River. There are several falls to negotiate – Skoonichuk, Punch Bowl, Lower Punch Bowl and Metlako with a few others entering from tributaries. This trail is picturesque and a fun hike but should not be done alone. Also, there have been serious injuries caused by jumping into the falls which is now prohibited.
Hidden Falls Canyon, California
This canyon is within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservancy area. The mountainous hike to the head of the canyon offers stunning views. It is a technical canyon that can take about 6 – 8 hours to complete and is a loop route. However, it should not be done alone and requires gear and skill So, if you can’t find anyone to go with you, rather get your thrills from using New Zealand mega casino bonuses and pick another day when you have a partner. A beautiful waterfall rappel lands you in a grotto at the end of the trail so it’s worth the wait.
The difficulty to negotiate a canyon can be rated by a system that describes technical (rope work), water and time aspects. Be sure that you have the right level of skills for the canyons you wish to visit.