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Arizona Canyoneering Information Wanted

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Southern Canyoneer, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Southern Canyoneer

    Southern Canyoneer Desert Hiker

    Planning on venturing out to somewhere other than southern Utah and southwestern Colorado this May for a week of canyoneering. Having ticked off most of our "must do's" in southern Utah and the Ouray area we have decided Arizona is our next destination.

    With that said we want to maximize our time and am looking for local beta on the Arizona canyoneering scene. I have done a bunch of research but always like to couple it with some knowledge from folks that live or spend alot of time in Arizona.

    Below is a list of some of the canyons we really want to do and understand we probably will not get all of them completed with our limited time. Were an experienced group and understand that some of the canyons listed below are advanced so no need to question or school us on our abilities and experience levels.

    The Jug
    Bear Creek
    Barney Springs
    Crack Addict
    Hammer Hoodoo
    Horsetank Wash
    X Pine

    Below are a few questions for those that know Arizona in regards to canyoneering I hope the locals can shed some light on. I understand that alot of these are probably far apart so feel free to group together a good list of canyons that can be done in successful days not having to travel crazy far and include some that may not be listed.

    From the list of canyons I have provided is there a centrally located camping area that you could recommend so we could hit as many as possible and not waste valuable time traveling daily to our destinations?
    Or perhaps if we flew into Phoenix could you recommend a great loop trip where we hit 2 different campsites during the week hitting some great canyons on the way?
    What are the must do canyons to really get a great feel for Arizona canyoneering that I have not listed?
    Typical water levels in mid/late May and historically is that a good time to come out?
    What canyons am I missing that need to be added to our list?

    Thanks in advance for reading my post and for any thoughts or beta on the subject.
    dakotabelliston likes this.
  2. dakotabelliston

    dakotabelliston Living life to it's fullest

    Spanish Fork, UT
    I'm sure you've already checked it out but ropewiki has a lot of Route beta for Arizona.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  3. MrAdam


    These canyons are all located near each other and can be done from the same campsite-

    West Fork of Oak- Illusions, Insomnia, Barney Springs, Crack Addict, Hammer Hoodoo(I wouldn't put this one high on the to do list). And add Immaculate to the list as well. Camp at the top of Illusions and Insomnia, use the sneak exits back to camp and avoid the shuttle.- Bring more wetsuit than you think you need for Illusions, it will still be cold in May.

    Sierra Anchas- The Jug, Parker and Waterslides- May is getting a little late for these canyons, it will be hot, but can be done. Waterslides will likely have a lot of algea at this time also.- Lots of good camping near Parker Canyon on HWY 288-

    West Clear Creek- Bear, Sundance, Wilbur, Horsetank, X-pine- Bear and Sundance are typically done together in the same day. Wilbur is my favorite canyon in WCC, but make sure and take the sneak route exit. Horsetank is pretty, but a long day. X-pine isn't really worth the time.- Camp along FR 142E near the top of Bear and Sundance.

    Must do canyons- Illusions, Insomnia, Bear, Sundance, Wilbur, The Jug, Parker and Waterslides- You got all the heavy hitters on the list.
    Southern Canyoneer likes this.
  4. Downward Bound

    Downward Bound

    Flagstaff, AZ
    One thing to be aware of if doing Illusions, Insomnia, etc:

    A popular highway between Flagstaff and Sedona will be closed to through traffic each night starting Monday and lasting through the fall.

    State Route 89A between Flagstaff and Oak Creek Canyon will be closed nightly from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. The only nighttime openings will be on major holidays.

    The 8.4-mile stretch of highway has required weekday restrictions since March 6. Those will continue through the fall, with no restrictions on weekends and major holidays.

    The night closure extends from Griffith Spring south of Forest Highlands to the overlook above the switchbacks.

    The road restrictions have been needed while the U.S. Department of Transportation works on adding turning and passing lanes as well as wider shoulders to increase safety on the congested mountain highway.

    During weekdays, highway crews will reduce traffic to one lane between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., with a pilot vehicle leading motorists through the construction zone. Commuters and others will have a window between 5 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. without construction delays.

    Those looking to avoid the roadwork and night closures can take Interstate 17 from State Route 179
    The widening project required the Department of Transportation to cut down some trees. The U.S. Forest Service was given a contract for tree and stump removal, which is nearly finished.

    The last time Highway 89A was closed this extensively was during the summer and fall of 2014 after the Slide Fire. Back then, it was closed around the clock to all but local traffic between the overlook above the switchbacks and the northern boundary of Sedona.
    Southern Canyoneer likes this.
  5. Cbrauly


    0 has great beta for AZ.

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
  6. pyle762


    Ropewiki and On Rope canyoneering have already been mentioned but and also has lots of beta on the canyons on your list. If you want photos of the canyons, hikeaz has tons of photos taken at different times of the year by different users so you can get a somewhat gauge of what kind of water flows you would be looking at when you are here. The variable is always the weather from year to year.
    Southern Canyoneer and Cbrauly like this.
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