A great intro canyon to give Kelli a taste of canyoneering!
The rain the day before had me worried we'd need wetsuits so we came prepared and we hit the scattered showers on the drive in and while gearing up, but it wasn't enough rain to prevent us from safely doing this small canyon after briefly waiting the rain out. After traversing the hillside along the highway, some cactus dodging & avoiding catclaw, we dropped down into the flowing El Capitan Canyon. We did some light rock hopping and down climbing alongside the creek, but the creek dried up and went underground just as we hit the first technical section that required a few down climbs and rappels. The first rappel we did is probably a down climb for many people, but it was wet & slippery from the recent rain and I opted to build an anchor and rap it. The first official rappel drops into a waist-high pool and since I couldn't find a pre-existing anchor and was in no hurry to get wet, I scrambled up to the left to scout a bypass and found an anchor up there to rap from to avoid the water.
The canyon opens up after that with plenty more rock hopping until we reached the 50ft sloping rappel. If it wasn't so wet it wouldn't have been too difficult of a down climb. I couldn't find the anchor that Todd's describes is around a Jojoba bush, but the bushes at that drop look pretty beat up & covered in debris from the huge flow that must have come thru here after those storms a few weeks back.
So I build another anchor around a small rock rammed between the chockstone and we dropped into that sweet narrows section.
After passing thru the tunnel, we arrived at the next rappel and decided to have lunch under the glowing walls and even waited out a light shower before doing that next short rappel with an awkward start. I again assume the old anchors got washed away and built another one.
The next 15ft drop is bypassable yet rather nasty, so I thru the rope around a chockstone with me as a backup meat anchor and had Kelli rap down, lowered my pack, and then bypassed around. The technical section ended soon afterwards, so we dropped the gear and slowly climbed out of the canyon. Thankfully we didn't get rained on too much, we stayed plenty safe & warm, and didn't need our wetsuits after all!