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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Exploring Water Canyon Waterfalls

I enjoyed a great hike in Water Canyon over the weekend and got some great photos of impressive waterfalls.

Water Canyon is located just south of Zion Park, on the Utah/Arizona border. It offers Zion-like scenery and incredible hiking opportunities. The canyon includes a nice slot that is a popular place to learn rappelling and canyoneering skills. It provides access to Canaan Mesa, which offers great backpacking in total solitude.

I was there to photograph the waterfalls and I got some great shots. I’m building a gallery that I hope will eventually include all significant waterfalls in Utah. I am making good progress and enjoy the challenge.

I also enjoy canyoneering and so I used this trip to scout the slot. Zion Park canyoneering routes attract enthusiasts from around the world. But guides are not allowed to take people into the park. Many routes are technical and require advanced skills. So that brings the question, how do you acquire the skills needed to tackle advanced routes?

One way is to become friends with experienced canyoneers and hope they invite you on trips. But that doesn’t work for people who live outside of the area. A better way is to go with a professional guide or enroll in a canyoneering class.

Guides and instructors use Water Canyon as a classroom to teach canyoneering skills. The canyon ranks with some of the classic routes in Zion Park, including the opportunity for 200-foot rappels down waterfalls. Since the canyon is not located in the park, permits are not required and guides can operate freely.

Water Canyon is a great destination, whether you want a scenic hike, a long backpack or a canyoneering classic.

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