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Boundary canyon conditions

Discussion in 'Utah' started by madman_lee, May 26, 2020.

  1. madman_lee

    madman_lee

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    Hi All,

    Planning a trip to Zion the weekend. I'm trying to do wet canyons. Has anyone done boundary lately, and should it be attempted at this time?

    Other than that I have Misery, and birch hollow on my Todo list.

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Lee
  2. NevadaSlots

    NevadaSlots

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  3. bnwilso

    bnwilso

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    We descended Boundary yesterday. Very light flow and dwindling by the day. Might be done flowing by next week. Conversely, the flow in Kolob Creek is high and fast. They have been releasing 35 CFS from the reservoir for the last couple weeks. It's not dangerous passage from Boundary to the MIA unless you slip and knock yourself out and fall in a water hole, but it is slow going. Figure on at least twice the time for that part of the trip. And all that work in the creek makes the MIA even more of a challenge.
    darhawk likes this.
  4. madman_lee

    madman_lee

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    Great feedback. Does the canyon require a wet suit when it stops flowing?

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  5. bnwilso

    bnwilso

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    No, but you would want to be sure it wasn't flowing at all. Even with a small flow we were cold in wetsuits by the time we ended the canyon. And right now wetsuits are required for Kolob Creek. Attaching a couple of photos, first is the flow in Boundary, second the flow in Kolob Creek. Boundary. Creek.
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Thanks Bruce!
  7. bnwilso

    bnwilso

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    Something else to keep in mind relative to Boundary Canyon access at this point in time, entering through park property is not allowed. That could change at anytime so check announcements from the park to see when backcountry is reopened. To get to Boundary until then you need to hike down the MIA road until you cross the park boundary (most topo maps show it) and then scramble down into the Boundary drainage. It puts you in close to the first rappel if you stay just outside the park boundary. Also don't forget you need to get and sign a waiver from the MIA camp administrator.

    You've got the same problem with access to Fat Man's Misery. There is a way to get to it by starting outside the east entrance to the park I suppose, but I'm not familiar with it. Birch Hollow and Deadeye Dick are both available without park access issues.
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  8. madman_lee

    madman_lee

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    Bruce. Thank you for the great input. I am a bit confused on the access. I've attached the image. Do i use the roads to the north of Kolob, and then hike around the entire Kolob canyon to gain access?

    Attached Files:

    • boundary info.PNG
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  9. bnwilso

    bnwilso

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    No, you drive to the West Rim Trail Head and park as per usual. Most beta these days has you walking back along the park road to the first meadow on the right and then following some old logging trails/roads all the way down Boundary drainage. Unfortunately most of that is in the park. Instead walk down the MIA road toward the MIA camp to a point outside the park boundary and drop in there. It's actually a shorter approach and not much of a problem. I'll attach a map later when I have some time to draw it out.
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  10. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  11. bnwilso

    bnwilso

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    Here's a map. The red line indicates what Tom said. Be careful doing the bushwhack. The blue line is the park boundary and it's just before the high point Tom references. IMG_20200526_171129185.
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  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I think I would follow the road to the saddle before Pt 7050, then bushwhack down from there. This lets you get another 100 feet or more of descent while on the road. (North Facing slope at high elevation = very very vegetated). Here is a detailed map.

    Boundary Detail.
  13. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Has anyone here actually tried that bushwhack route? It seems that it could be really brutal.
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  14. cjhaines

    cjhaines Chris

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    I have. It was pretty sandy and brutal. At one point my pack fell and I watched my dreams die as it rolled halfway down the hill. The thought of getting it made me want to puke. But on the other hand, it's much shorter!

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  15. cjhaines

    cjhaines Chris

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    Actually, after looking at the map I realized what I did was a different, horrible bushwack out of the drainage....

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  16. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I have been down that mountainside several times, although from much sooner, inside the Park.

    Tom
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  17. bnwilso

    bnwilso

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    Many years ago when the MIA camp was less restrictive and seemed to turn a blind eye to those driving through an unlocked gate, we would drive to the saddle Tom references, park the car (you'll even notice there is a spot that looks like a great place to park a car) and start down from there. It was the fastest way to the canyon and a shorter hike out. If you are uncomfortable with that kind of steep off-trail scramble wait until the park opens and go in the more mild way. And if you find the MIA gate open these days DO NOT drive in. Camp administration is serious about no access without written permission.
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  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    If people wonder why this is not the recommended route anymore...

    Some guys went to do Boundary and took the bushwhack route that I recommended at that time. They got to the head of the canyon and were surprised to find it flowing. They went back to the car, got their wetsuits, returned to the canyon, by using the logging road route that starts similar to Kolob. They wrote me a note saying that the logging road route was WAY more pleasant and might even be faster, certainly was not slower.

    From a beta-tizer point of view, it is also easier to accurately describe. Points in my book (so to speak).

    Currently, you could also just walk the logging roads on the MIA Camp land to get there. In this case, definitely longer, but certainly easier.

    Tom
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  19. madman_lee

    madman_lee

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    The maps and beta are awesome. Even if there is no flow. Should i still wear a wetsuit, or would it be silly?

    Also are there any other wet canyons you all would recommend for this weekend? Is eye of the needle guide only? That looks very fun, but can't justify the price.
  20. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    It would be silly.
    Might want a rain jacket and plenty of warm clothes. The canyon does not have places that become (much in the way of) pools. But it does tend to be quite cold down there. Air-conditioned.

    If you have secured a permit from the Camp at this point, you will not be able to "by this weekend". Please do not poach.

    Eye of the Needle is on private land and access is via Private Land. No dice.

    Zion is closed for canyoneering, and does not really have many "wet" canyons anyway. I here 7 Tea Cups is quite nice right now, assuming your Class C game is up to snuff. Given the "current situation", it is a good idea to only do canyons you have done before, or that are very much within your skill set. Normally, you lose 10 points for calling out SAR. In the current situation, you lose 1000 points for calling out SAR.

    Jus' Sayin'... and I know, it is an annoying time to be a beginner, just getting started. But really, it is an annoying time. For everyone.

    Tom
    Smhunter1983 and Dan H like this.
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