After having an epic canyon trip a couple weeks back, I was looking for another challenging canyon trip with a positive outcome to help me further get back into the swing of things and this canyon fit the bill perfectly.
I've done this amAZing canyon so many times I could almost navigate it in my sleep.
Dropped in the side canyon after hiking in from AZ 260 and noticed that the water level was much lower in the upper sections than on past trips, but thankfully the water was at normal levels at the first short narrows. We geared up for the many pools and the few rappels to come.
Some light down climbing and we reach the main upper narrows were we down climbed that initial drop, the keeper was full, and then made the awkward 20ft rappel and dropped into those sweet narrows. The next drop we down climbed instead of doing a super awkward rappel, followed by many pools, and a exhilarating elevator down climb below what's left of that log jam... The canyon opens back up thru a dirty debris sections before hitting the sweet 60-80ft drop into a wet grotto followed by a tricky exposed down climb. The lower half of the canyon is full of pools, rock/boulder hopping, a couple good cliff jumping pools, and a lone 15ft mossy waterfall rappel. Eventually the canyon dries & mellows out with just loads of sunny rock hopping which is also a great time to drop gear and look for the exit canyon on the right.
We slowly made out way up that equally rocky exit canyon and worked up the easier up climbs while anticipating the 2-3 difficult up climbs. Storm clouds were quickly moving in when we made it to those infamous climbs but thankfully we were able to work up them without much difficulty and before the clouds dumped up on us.
The exit hike out of the canyon and to the mesa was very wet while a major monsoon system passed overhead and soaked us head to toe with a couple lightning strikes being rather close.
Once we started for the mesa, the cell had already passed and we were greeted with blue skies again while huffing & puffing our way up that slope and then across the muddy roads back to my car.
All in all, another great challenging run thru the humbling Horsetank Wash.