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Cherry Canyon

Virgin River Gorge beta posted by rickinlo
  • The Hype

    A short, easily accessible and attractive limestone slot with numerous rappels and filled with Western Rosebud.

    Getting There

    Access Road:
    Driving North on I-15, 6 miles past littlefield and park on the right just after milepost 14, on the north side of a rocky hill that lies in between the river and the highway.

    From the Trailhead:
    To approach this canyon, you will need to cross the Virgin River. It rises during heavy rain events and in the spring (around April) and could be dangerous at high levels. Levels can be found here: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?09413500. Depth and Velocity will vary at different levels. It was easy to cross and around thigh deep at 120 cfs

    From your car, scramble down the slope, around where a culvert comes out and head downstream for a small cliff. The other side of the cliff makes for a reasonable spot to cross and cross. You will return exactly the same way, so once you reach the other side, you can stash extra shoes, clothes, or even a boat (if water is super high?) so that you can do the canyon with dry gear.

    Head down stream a bit more to where a large wash comes out. Head up this wash. You'll cross a fence and enter a canyon that is easy to hike up. The canyon will turn 90 degrees to the right, and open up significantly. Continue a short distance to the next right hand bend and look for a significant drainage on the left. Take this up, making a right where it comes to a split in the drainage. You'll have a bit of easy climbing to do, then 1000 feet of steep climbing. Stay in the wash until it opens up to a wide flat sloped rock face with bushes on it. Hike up to the top of this, and eventually start cutting to the right to reach the low point on top of the ridge ahead of you and just left of the canyon. Once you reach the top, descend down the other side into the canyon.

    The Canyon - Rating: 3A II   Longest Rap: 80'   # of Raps: 10-12

    Skills required: Anchor building, rappelling, ect.

    Water: Just the river crossing at the beginning. Not recommended above 200 cfs. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?09413500

    Anchor Conditions: This at one time had bolts. Remedying that situation took a lot of hard work. Please don't re-bolt this canyon.

    Gear Recommendations: Rope for rappels up to 80 feet, webbing rapids, harness, helmet, ect.

    Flash Flood Danger: Low

    The Exit

    Turn right and and head down canyon. Cross the river again, and scramble up to your car.

    Red Tape

    You can only legally park on the northbound side of the highway. Closest exits to turn around are Littlefield, AZ, Exit 8, and Cedar Pockets, exit 18.
  • Access Road:
    Driving North on I-15, 6 miles past littlefield and park on the right just after milepost 14, on the north side of a rocky hill that lies in between the river and the highway.

    From the Trailhead:
    To approach this canyon, you will need to cross the Virgin River. It rises during heavy rain events and in the spring (around April) and could be dangerous at high levels. Levels can be found here: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?09413500. Depth and Velocity will vary at different levels. It was easy to cross and around thigh deep at 120 cfs

    From your car, scramble down the slope, around where a culvert comes out and head downstream for a small cliff. The other side of the cliff makes for a reasonable spot to cross and cross. You will return exactly the same way, so once you reach the other side, you can stash extra shoes, clothes, or even a boat (if water is super high?) so that you can do the canyon with dry gear.

    Head down stream a bit more to where a large wash comes out. Head up this wash. You'll cross a fence and enter a canyon that is easy to hike up. The canyon will turn 90 degrees to the right, and open up significantly. Continue a short distance to the next right hand bend and look for a significant drainage on the left. Take this up, making a right where it comes to a split in the drainage. You'll have a bit of easy climbing to do, then 1000 feet of steep climbing. Stay in the wash until it opens up to a wide flat sloped rock face with bushes on it. Hike up to the top of this, and eventually start cutting to the right to reach the low point on top of the ridge ahead of you and just left of the canyon. Once you reach the top, descend down the other side into the canyon.
  • Skills required: Anchor building, rappelling, ect.

    Water: Just the river crossing at the beginning. Not recommended above 200 cfs. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?09413500

    Anchor Conditions: This at one time had bolts. Remedying that situation took a lot of hard work. Please don't re-bolt this canyon.

    Gear Recommendations: Rope for rappels up to 80 feet, webbing rapids, harness, helmet, ect.

    Flash Flood Danger: Low
  • Turn right and and head down canyon. Cross the river again, and scramble up to your car.
  • You can only legally park on the northbound side of the highway. Closest exits to turn around are Littlefield, AZ, Exit 8, and Cedar Pockets, exit 18.
Anchor Pheel likes this.

Condition Reports for Cherry Canyon

  1. Ali White
    January 28, 2017
    Ali White

    Difficulty:

    Moderate

    Skill Level:

    Intermediate

    Water:

    Dry/avoidable

    Thermal:

    Fleece/medium jacket

    Group Size:

    3 people

    Total Time:

    1 hour 4 hours


    I would agree that the longest rappel is now 105-110 feet. I could see where it would have been 80 feet, but a dead man likely washed away and there are no materials with which to build a new anchor.

    The canyon had a few pools with all the recent moisture, but all were narrowly avoidable.

    Posted Jan 30, 2017
  2. Anchor Pheel
    November 25, 2016
    Anchor Pheel

    Difficulty:

    Moderate

    Skill Level:

    Advanced

    Water:

    Dry/avoidable

    Thermal:

    Fleece/medium jacket

    Group Size:

    3 people

    Total Time:

    1 hour 8 hours


    Wonderful dry canyon to tackle during the colder months. Start of the canyon is very easy to find and poses no confusing starts (aka wrong canyon!). This does not appear to be heavily traveled.

    There are currently no bolted anchors. All naturals in place. There are ample natural anchor possibilities. I had to replace webbing on only one anchor and switch out one rapide. Most anchors are extremely well made and are of the rock cairn type. You should be familiar with how to evaluate these anchors for safety (hence the advanced skill level). Low and slow rap style recommended.

    Approach requires crossing the Virgin river. Water flow was about 110 cfs when I crossed which made it about calf deep. Easy at this flow level.

    There have been reports of the canyon being remodeled after the floods in 2014 and I agree the new longest rap is about 105 feet. We had to extend our 100 foot canyon fire rope with webbing on a couple of drops. Some of the drops are multi pitch so setting rope lengths is more complicated than "throw and go".

    If you had to build an anchor at every rap this would be a full day canyon. As it stands, the anchors are so well done that this is unlikely but it still took our average team, car to car, about 8-9 hours.

    The hike up is strenuous but there is no exposure and no technical climbs, just a steep beautiful hike.
    Thank you Rick.

    Posted Dec 3, 2016
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