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Recommended canyons for an international visitor

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Fat Canyoner, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Fat Canyoner

    Fat Canyoner T2

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    G'day folks,

    After a couple years of promising myself that I'll get to the States to go canyoneering (yep, I'll even use the local term for this thread!) the stars finally look like aligning this year. I'm thinking of spending about three weeks in the US, from mid to late July and into early August. At the moment it is still too early to lock anything in (I'll move over to the meet up forum when I am closer) but I was hoping to pick everyone's brains for the absolute, must do canyons.

    Realistically, I think visiting parts of Utah and Arizona are as much as I could hope to fit in. Obviously places like Zion and the Grand Canyon jump out, but I love the look of so many of the other canyon areas, especially in Utah. So if I spent a couple days in each area, doing a few classics, I figure I could slowly move NE and go to as far as Moab.

    So in that context, what are people's suggestions? I'd like a mix of hard day trips, a few shorter rest days, and if possible one or two multi-day trips, to really get into some remote parts. To put it another way, if you were told you only had three weeks to live, and you wanted to revisit all your favourite, unforgettable canyons before you dropped off the perch, what would your itinerary be? (And bonus points for a link to some photos of your recommended canyons).

    T2
    Dan Ransom and Ram like this.
  2. Ram

    Ram

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    Going to the places that are in season is best. Are you locked into that time frame? The best places that time of year, the places in season, are Zion when the monsoon isn't active, the Pacific Northwest, Ouray and other canyon venues in Colorado. Other places are doable, but will tend to be quite hot.
  3. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    Agreed. If you could move towards September, the list of goodies would be quite long. With only 3 weeks to live, you could put together a nice variety of canyons all across the plateau, maybe ouray too.
  4. Fat Canyoner

    Fat Canyoner T2

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    My next window of opportunity with work would be late September and into October, although that falls within school holidays which usually mean more expensive flights. I'm open to guidance, so I might just start working under that assumption. How would the conditions be if I went from approx Oct 7 until the end of October? Is that getting too late?
  5. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    certainly could be a bit colder in the big zion canyons and ouray is very marginal that late, but everywhere else is pretty good. there is always a risk of a cold front and bad weather. but october tends to be pretty stable, and there are options to rally even if a storm develops. i'd probably take october over july/august, unless you have your sights set on mainly zion canyons. if you want to experience a lot of different areas, i'd say october is preferable.

    but i mean hell, you are used to doing canyons naked down under, throw a little extra neo on and you won't even know the difference... :twothumbs:
  6. Ram

    Ram

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    All three time periods you are talking about are great. I perfer the Sept-Oct or the Oct only options because of wider and more varied options. Others feel otherwise. Those folks often love Zion best and it can be said that the scope of the place is grander. On the other hand the bureaucratic hoops are larger to jump through and the monsoon could be a problem. The other areas that are in season later in the year are more wilderness orientated. Might need a sturdier vehicle to access some of it. That said, Zion is still available on the later date options, so I lean with Dan. The middle or later option is what I would do if the costs aren't prohibitive.
    R
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I concur, Drs. Ramoo and Ransom. There are a few canyons to do in July in Zion, but really only a few. Elsewhere it is just too darn hot! October is prime season and would let you enjoy both some Zion classics AND some of the skinny slots out in the wild that are unique to Utah.

    Tom
  8. Fat Canyoner

    Fat Canyoner T2

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    Sounds good guys. I'll take all that on board and push back my plans for later in the season. I'll try for the Sept / Oct period. That sounds like it should be much better.
    Dan, I wasn't going to pack any neo. Can't I just nude canyon over there too? ;-)
    And while I love what I've seen of Zion, I hate bureaucracy, and crowds, so want to do a few there but actually much keener on some narrow little slots elsewhere in Utah.
    Given all that, what are your suggestions for the trip? Or to put it another way, if you had to pick your top 10 canyons in Utah what would they be? I know I'll barely get the chance to scrape the surface, so I want to pinch as much local knowledge as possible to avoid too much wasted effort in average canyons.
  9. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    Any concerns with the skinnies? Here's a few to get started.

    Wingate - Neon, Choprock, Pandoras
    Navajo Skinnies - Leprechaun, Shenanigans
    Navajo Potholes - Squeeze, Quandary Direct
    Expedition style - Muav Gorge in Grand Canyon (Tuckup or 150 Mile area perhaps, but logistics and bureaucratic hassles can be a problem)
    Fat Canyoner likes this.
  10. Fat Canyoner

    Fat Canyoner T2

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    Nice. That's a good list to start researching.
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