OVERVIEW: A spectacular and challenging technical canyon with deep, dark, sculpted narrows, frigid pools, numerous rappels, natural anchor challenges and a potentially deep and difficult to escape keeper pothole. The canyon was discovered by Joe and Sara DeSalme in 2005 and we explored it on several occasions by fixing ropes and jugging back on the return. It was soon obvious that the canyon was easily the best in all of Arizona (and I don’t say that lightly). The first complete descent was made by Joe and Sara DeSalme, Tom Wetherell, Stephanie Martin and Todd Martin on September 5, 2005.
LOCATION: Coconino National Forest – Tributary of the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon
REQUIRED GEAR: 1x200' of rope (or 2x100' ropes), 80’ webbing, 13 rap rings, harness, descender, ascending gear, helmet, carabiners, drybag, a warm wetsuit, pothole escape gear (an Imlay Canyon Gear Happy Hooker or its equivalent works well) and 2 etriers.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS: The water in this canyon is extremely cold, wetsuits are required at all times of the year. Several pools in this canyon form keeper potholes when water levels are low. This canyon should only be attempted by small groups of fit, experienced canyoneers capable of evaluating natural anchors and escaping potholes. The canyon is described using mostly natural anchors. Though bolts have periodically appeared in the canyon they may or may not be available for your use. Key rappels in this canyon feature bolted anchors; no additional artificial anchors are needed. Also be aware that several of the rappels descend pristine, moss covered rock. Take care not to destroy the moss on the rappels. Finally, be aware that the canyon contains Arizona Bugbane a rare plant that has very narrow habitat restrictions. It exists in only four small population areas in Arizona. All known populations are located within the Coconino, Kaibab and Tonto National Forests.
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.