Slot Canyons
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Paul Johnson
(johncooper) - F

Locale: SoCal
Slot Canyons on 06/13/2013 12:53:51 MDT Print View

We are considering a slot canyon trip to Zion next year. Can anyone recommend trails/routes that they have done with scouts? How did you prepare and did you hire a local outfitter or guide?

We are in Southern California and are looking for a location to build skills. Can you recommend any slot canyons in Southern California?

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Re: Slot Canyons on 06/14/2013 00:15:04 MDT Print View

Have you hiked slot canyons before? The Narrows is a good starter canyon. They call it the Narrow because at its deepest, it’s ~1500 feet deep and 22’ wide. It's a fun overnighter, 16 miles total, but you are walking in the water and over boulders a lot. Timing is the issue. Monsoon season is late June to August and you get clearance ~24 hours in advance. In June, the water flow may be too high. I would recommend renting canyoneering shoes as the submerged boulders can be like walking on top of alga covered bowling balls. Zion Outdoor Adventure is a pretty cool place to rent gear. If you want to do some really wild stuff, got to Zion Outdoor Adventure and book a guided trip to hike Subway. There is a 70 foot repel there. There are many other guided canyoneering day trips where you may need dry suits and climbing gear. Have fun - Jon

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Slot Canyons on 07/24/2013 13:28:12 MDT Print View

I suspect most slot canyons there would require a guide and rental equipment since you aren't experienced. The one that wouldn't Jon mentioned. My 15 yo son and I just did the Narrows top-down overnight trip. Your problem with it would just be getting a permit and expense for the shuttle ($35/person). While not a slot canyon (too wide), it's a very nice hike that Scouts would enjoy unless they have a problem with prolonged wet feet. We just wore our normal hiking socks and shoes. Personally I think the canyoneering ones aren't worth it unless you don't have decent traction on your current ones though maybe are more helpful at higher water levels. I don't believe I ever put my camera in a ziploc or the waterproof housing I had gotten specifically for this. I took plenty of video while walking in the river, too, but have good balance and recovery skills.