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Cassidy Arch Canyon

  • The Hype

    Cassidy Arch Canyon is a true classic! The entry rappel will take your breath away, but the excitement doesn't end there. There’s never a dull moment, with surprises around every corner in Cassidy Canyon. Set among tall walls in a neat little package of a canyon, it can be done as a casual sociable day with plenty of opportunities for practicing skills. Alternately, a fast and efficient group could move through the canyon quickly and combine it with a second half-day canyon nearby. Or, take advantage of its convenient central location to break up a long drive.

    Getting There

    Trailhead: Access is via the paved scenic drive, and the gravel/dirt Grand Wash road. The Grand Wash road is accessible to passenger cars under most conditions. The park may close this road when flash floods are threatening.
    To get there, turn onto the scenic drive at the visitor center. Head south for approximately 3.4 miles to the Grand Wash turnoff. Drive East on the Grand Wash road for approximately 1.3 miles to the parking area for Grand Wash and Cassidy Arch. There is an outhouse at the trailhead.

    Canyon: Walk a short distance in Grand Wash, keeping an eye out on the left for the signed Cassidy Arch trail. Follow the trail to a signed junction where the trail splits. Go southwest and follow the cairned route to Cassidy Arch. The first rappel station is to the north-west of the arch. The entry rappel station was changed in the spring/summer of 2016. Picture of the old and new rappel stations, and information about the rappel station changes can be found here: http://www.americancanyoneers.org/utah/cassidy-arch-canyon/
    and here: http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/cassidy-arch-canyon-anchor-work-summer-2016/

    The Canyon - Rating: 3A II   Longest Rap: 140'   # of Raps: 7+

    Skills Required
    This canyon does not require any skills outside of a normal canyoneering skill set, including safety and risk assessment skills, building anchors and setting rappels, use of appropriate friction on longer rappels, anchor assessment, careful travel on slickrock, poison ivy identification, minor route finding, minor downclimbing, and setting up ropes for ease of pull and avoiding rope grooves.

    Rappels
    7+ rappels. Several anchors have changed over the years, and will likely continue to change over the years to come. Some that were previously off of trees are now off of bolts. If something doesn't seem right, carefully look around and assess the situation and your options for safely descending the canyon. The third rappel in the canyon used to be done as a 2-stage rappel. A bolt has been added to split this rappel up and avoid some of the rope grooves that were forming. This is just one example of an anchor that changed. It could change again. At least one drop which used to be downclimbed is now bolted. Keep this in mind if you prefer to downclimb when possible. Some (older) beta may list only 6 rappels in the canyon. The difference is due to the addition of new bolted rappel stations.

    Rope grooves are forming on rap 6 (if every bolt station is counted as a rap). These can be avoided. Throw your rappel strand straight down, but throw your pull strand out—aiming downcanyon or for a ledge on the right looking down canyon (RDC). Pulling from further downcanyon or from the RDC ledge (rather than from straight below the rappel) will make it a smooth pull and will help to reduce or prevent rope grooves. It'll make more sense when you get there…

    Water
    Negligible, if any, though it is a slot canyon so conditions are subject to change. Please report if you have any water that is not negligible.

    Anchor Conditions
    Capitol Reef’s rules regarding anchors are as follows:
    • Installation of new bolts is allowed only after application and approval from the park service. Coalition of American Canyoneers is a good resource if you would like to pursue addition of a new bolt in a canyon in Capitol Reef.
    • The use of power drills is prohibited.
    • Where necessary to leave or replace webbing the webbing should closely match the color of the surrounding rock.
    The plan is that all of the anchors in this canyon will be off of bolts by the fall of 2016. Information about spring 2016 efforts to improve anchors in the canyon:
    http://www.americancanyoneers.org/utah/cassidy-arch-canyon/
    http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/cassidy-arch-canyon-anchor-work-summer-2016/

    Gear Recommendations
    Gear for rappels up to 140 ft, helmet, harness, rappel device, safety tether, slings, 50 feet of webbing, and 2-3 rapides. Body armor (elbow and knee pads, etc.) is not necessary, but may be appreciated for rap 5. Pack size is not a concern. Bring extra layers if the weather is cold, as most of the canyon does not get sun.

    Flash Flood Danger
    Low. If flash floods are expected in the area the road to the Grand Wash trailhead may be closed and/or impassable.

    The Exit

    After the last rappel the surprises keep coming. Follow along the wall RDC to find another neat natural feature, then follow along social trails down a steep slope into the main wash. Follow the wash to the Grand Wash road, then turn left (east) on the road. The trailhead is approximately 1/3 mile.

    Red Tape

    Access
    Up to date access information, including a single page printable access and emergency information card is available here: http://www.americancanyoneers.org/access-capitol-reef/

    Permits
    A permit is not required for canyoneering in Capitol Reef at this time.

    Group size Limits
    Groups are limited to 12 people on backcountry routes (including canyoneering routes) in Capitol Reef.

    Entrance Fee
    The Scenic drive is the only area of Capitol Reef where an entry fee or park pass is required. Passes can be attained at the visitor center or at a self-pay kiosk at the start of the scenic drive. Fees are good for seven days and are as follows:

    • Individual on foot or bicycle: $7.00 (the fee was increased on June 1, 2015)
    • Motorcycle or private vehicle: $10.00 (the fee was increased on June 1, 2015)
    • Capitol Reef National Park Annual Pass: $30.00, available at the visitor center
    • Federal Interagency Annual Pass: $80.00, available at the visitor center
  • Trailhead: Access is via the paved scenic drive, and the gravel/dirt Grand Wash road. The Grand Wash road is accessible to passenger cars under most conditions. The park may close this road when flash floods are threatening.
    To get there, turn onto the scenic drive at the visitor center. Head south for approximately 3.4 miles to the Grand Wash turnoff. Drive East on the Grand Wash road for approximately 1.3 miles to the parking area for Grand Wash and Cassidy Arch. There is an outhouse at the trailhead.

    Canyon: Walk a short distance in Grand Wash, keeping an eye out on the left for the signed Cassidy Arch trail. Follow the trail to a signed junction where the trail splits. Go southwest and follow the cairned route to Cassidy Arch. The first rappel station is to the north-west of the arch. The entry rappel station was changed in the spring/summer of 2016. Picture of the old and new rappel stations, and information about the rappel station changes can be found here: http://www.americancanyoneers.org/utah/cassidy-arch-canyon/
    and here: http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/cassidy-arch-canyon-anchor-work-summer-2016/
  • Skills Required
    This canyon does not require any skills outside of a normal canyoneering skill set, including safety and risk assessment skills, building anchors and setting rappels, use of appropriate friction on longer rappels, anchor assessment, careful travel on slickrock, poison ivy identification, minor route finding, minor downclimbing, and setting up ropes for ease of pull and avoiding rope grooves.

    Rappels
    7+ rappels. Several anchors have changed over the years, and will likely continue to change over the years to come. Some that were previously off of trees are now off of bolts. If something doesn't seem right, carefully look around and assess the situation and your options for safely descending the canyon. The third rappel in the canyon used to be done as a 2-stage rappel. A bolt has been added to split this rappel up and avoid some of the rope grooves that were forming. This is just one example of an anchor that changed. It could change again. At least one drop which used to be downclimbed is now bolted. Keep this in mind if you prefer to downclimb when possible. Some (older) beta may list only 6 rappels in the canyon. The difference is due to the addition of new bolted rappel stations.

    Rope grooves are forming on rap 6 (if every bolt station is counted as a rap). These can be avoided. Throw your rappel strand straight down, but throw your pull strand out—aiming downcanyon or for a ledge on the right looking down canyon (RDC). Pulling from further downcanyon or from the RDC ledge (rather than from straight below the rappel) will make it a smooth pull and will help to reduce or prevent rope grooves. It'll make more sense when you get there…

    Water
    Negligible, if any, though it is a slot canyon so conditions are subject to change. Please report if you have any water that is not negligible.

    Anchor Conditions
    Capitol Reef’s rules regarding anchors are as follows:
    • Installation of new bolts is allowed only after application and approval from the park service. Coalition of American Canyoneers is a good resource if you would like to pursue addition of a new bolt in a canyon in Capitol Reef.
    • The use of power drills is prohibited.
    • Where necessary to leave or replace webbing the webbing should closely match the color of the surrounding rock.
    The plan is that all of the anchors in this canyon will be off of bolts by the fall of 2016. Information about spring 2016 efforts to improve anchors in the canyon:
    http://www.americancanyoneers.org/utah/cassidy-arch-canyon/
    http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/cassidy-arch-canyon-anchor-work-summer-2016/

    Gear Recommendations
    Gear for rappels up to 140 ft, helmet, harness, rappel device, safety tether, slings, 50 feet of webbing, and 2-3 rapides. Body armor (elbow and knee pads, etc.) is not necessary, but may be appreciated for rap 5. Pack size is not a concern. Bring extra layers if the weather is cold, as most of the canyon does not get sun.

    Flash Flood Danger
    Low. If flash floods are expected in the area the road to the Grand Wash trailhead may be closed and/or impassable.
  • After the last rappel the surprises keep coming. Follow along the wall RDC to find another neat natural feature, then follow along social trails down a steep slope into the main wash. Follow the wash to the Grand Wash road, then turn left (east) on the road. The trailhead is approximately 1/3 mile.
  • Access
    Up to date access information, including a single page printable access and emergency information card is available here: http://www.americancanyoneers.org/access-capitol-reef/

    Permits
    A permit is not required for canyoneering in Capitol Reef at this time.

    Group size Limits
    Groups are limited to 12 people on backcountry routes (including canyoneering routes) in Capitol Reef.

    Entrance Fee
    The Scenic drive is the only area of Capitol Reef where an entry fee or park pass is required. Passes can be attained at the visitor center or at a self-pay kiosk at the start of the scenic drive. Fees are good for seven days and are as follows:

    • Individual on foot or bicycle: $7.00 (the fee was increased on June 1, 2015)
    • Motorcycle or private vehicle: $10.00 (the fee was increased on June 1, 2015)
    • Capitol Reef National Park Annual Pass: $30.00, available at the visitor center
    • Federal Interagency Annual Pass: $80.00, available at the visitor center
Nick Halberg likes this.

Condition Reports for Cassidy Arch Canyon

  1. Deagol
    May 29, 2014
    Deagol

    Difficulty:

    NA

    Skill Level:

    NA

    Water:

    NA

    Thermal:

    NA

    Group Size:

    NA

    Total Time:

    NA


    did this canyon for the second time 5/21/2014 and removed unnecessary anchor at first drop for the second time. The first drop is super easy to fiddlestick/smooth operator. There are other drops that are easy to rig as well. Those that aren't are all bolted. no significant water present.

    Posted May 29, 2014
  2. Patrick Kane
    October 04, 2015
    Patrick Kane

    Difficulty:

    Easy

    Skill Level:

    Intermediate

    Water:

    Dry/avoidable

    Thermal:

    None

    Group Size:

    6 people

    Total Time:

    1 hour 5.5 hours


    Not much changes in this canyon. Always beautiful up and down. No webbing on the Juniper tree. Log is still available for the down climb after Rap 5.

    Posted Oct 6, 2015
  3. msmnificent
    Jul 20, 2016
    msmnificent

    Difficulty:

    NA

    Skill Level:

    NA

    Water:

    NA

    Thermal:

    NA

    Group Size:

    NA

    Total Time:

    NA


    Posted Jul 20, 2016
  4. Austin Farnworth
    September 16, 2017
    Austin Farnworth

    Difficulty:

    Easy

    Skill Level:

    Beginner

    Water:

    Dry/avoidable

    Thermal:

    None

    Group Size:

    7 people

    Total Time:

    1 hour 6 hours


    There has been some flash flood damage on the grand wash road and it was closed to vehicles, making the total hike a mile or two longer. I expected to see some standing water in the canyon but as we went down the canyon there was no water other than a few tiny puddles. The canyon clearly has little capability to hold any water and all anchors seem to be out of the path of any flooding. The grand wash road should be open again by now. [​IMG]

    Posted Sep 21, 2017
The information provided here is intended for entertainment purposes only. The creator of this information and/or Canyon Collective are not liable for any harm or damage caused by this information. Conditions in the backcountry are constantly changing, only you are responsible for your safety and well being.