Best Places to Practice Canyoneering
After watching James Franco’s heroic part in the movie ‘127 Hours’ I decided to write a post about canyoning (or, how Americans call it, canyoneering). As the name tells you canyoneering is a sport that involves crossing a canyon and requires multiple techniques and challenges: hiking, climbing, rappelling, rafting etc. Of course, after watching ‘127 Hours’ you might not feel encouraged to take up this sport, but I must say that danger is fully compensated by the adrenaline and breathtaking views this sport implies. The states of Utah, Arizona and Colorado are unanimously regarded as best places to practice canyoneering in USA. Here come some of the most popular destinations:
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Although it is the first on our list and extremely famous, Grand Canyon is not a first option when it comes for canyoneering. The reasons for that are quite simple: canyoneering usually involves narrow canyons or gorges – at its gigantic scale, the Grand Canyon doesn’t quite meet the standards. But there are lots of tributary rivers and that form spectacular canyons, like the Matchbox Canyon, Tapestry Canyon, Deer Creek, Kanab Canyon or Jumpup Creek.
With its apparently insurmountable walls of red rock, Zion is the ultimate canyoneering experience. There are many routes you can try, ranging for beginner canyons (Zion Narrows, The Subway) to the hard-core, technical canyons (Lodge Canyon, Kolob Canyon). As for the challenges you sould expect in you way, these include rappelling and waterfall rappelling, swimming in cold water, climbing (a lot of plain river walking, as well).
North Wash, Utah
If you are looking to add a little bit of challenge to your trip and try to squeeze between the walls of a very narrow canyon, consider North Wash in Utah. There is a famous canyon here called the Leprechaun, with a lot of narrow passages – definitely not for claustrophobics. There is also some interesting rock art made by Native Americans centuries and centuries ago, consisting mainly in zoomorphic drawings.
If you enjoy getting wet and swimming in mountain spring waters, try taking a trip in Sedona, Arizona. Here you can find a lot of spectacular canyons, including Wilson Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon and James Canyon. The views are magnificent, as red rock and pine trees against the unbelievably blue Arizona sky make a dramatic contrast. For a more technical and challenging tip, try the West Fork at Oak Creek.