Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Word of mouth
Overview: A 3AIII/3AIV canyon in Zion National Park with rappels up to 120 ft.
Warning: Canyoneering involves rappelling slot canyons. Always check the weather before you depart and do not go if there is any chance of rain.
Make sure you go with proper gear, which for this canyon will likely be 2x200 ft ropes. A shorter rope, perhaps a 100 fter will prove useful in this canyon if you are willing to bring it.
History: Named for a telephone line which went up the west rim near this canyon.
Hike: From the Grotto Trailhead, cross the bridge and begin the steep hike up towards Angel's Landing, ascending the "Walter's Wiggles" switchbacks until you reach Scout Lookout. Bypass the trail heading up Angel's Landing and get on the West Rim trail as it climb up, then down, and through Little Siberia. Ascend as you pass Behunin drainage until you reach the top of the West Rim, 2.5-3.5 hrs, 5 miles, and approximately 2800 ft in elevation gain from your starting point. Find the telephone trail near the old cabin and walk about a half mile until you observe the canyon on the right. Find the head of the canyon where it goes from shallow drainage into a dark abyss. Find the tree on right LDC. From this tree you have 2 options: rappel down approximately 190 ft, or do it the fun way, which involves a 30 ft rappel with tricky, steep traverse to a tree. It would be desirable to use the tails, or another rope to help pull the first rappeller towards the tree from the rim, should the first rappeller slip off the traverse. From the tree rap about 120 ft into a sculpted pothole and downclimb about 30 ft to the landing area and next anchor.
From here the rappels come quick and furious, seldom is there much distance beween raps. Make sure you locate the next anchor before pulling your ropes, as some of the setups are for double rappels. Halfway down the canyon becomes slanted and the rappelling and downclimbing is slightly uncomfortable due to having to negotiate this tilt for a long time. Eventually you will reach the bottom and downclimb a few trees. After a long string of small pots, exit right LDC along the slickrock and descend slightly as you make a beeline for the west rim trail. Find a good place to cross the drainage coming from the east side of Behunin Pass and climb up a short distance on the slickrock to find the west rim trail. Head back down the trail to the Grotto.
Water Sources: There is a spring at the top of the west rim, along the trail near the cabin. Bring a filter.
Camping: In Zion Nat'l Park at the South Campground or Watchman.
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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