Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Brisk but a Steep Kick in the Pants
Overview: Class 3 canyon that is a very short tributary of Little LO Spring Canyon and contains 4 official rappels, one is up to 35'.
Warning: This is a technical canyon, you will need a full set of canyoneering gear (1x100ft rope, 30' webbing, 4 rap rings, harness, descender, helmet, and carabiners). This is a short and fun canyon great for beginners but please never go into a canyon without an experienced leader. Though it's short, an easy trip can always turn into a disaster if the unexpected happens. In the summer a wetsuit is not required for this canyon, the water is very warm. All ropes pulled easily, I had a backup but it was not necessary, bring one if you choose
DANGER: ALWAYS CHECK THE WEATHER BEFORE HEADING INTO A CANYON, DON'T PUT YOURSELF AT RISK OF A FLASH FLOOD!
Hike: From Kelsey Spring Trailhead descend down into the canyon a few short but steep switchbacks. The trail then levels out, still descending but more moderately. After about 10 minutes you will arrive at the Kelsey spring, A piped spring and an old steel tank, which are about 15 feet off the trail to the right in a lush grassy area. The trail bends left and continues through the forest. Within a few more minutes you will come across a dry streambed filled with dark-gray boulders
This is where you leave the trail, rock hopping downstream. It's very scenic due to a few very small springs popping out of the ground here and there.
After about 30-45 minutes you will reach a 15' drop off with your options being to rappel or down climb into the canyon. Looking down canyon, on your left is a large tree with webbing. Once down this rappel do not coil up your rope for there is a 35' drop into the main canyon. This area was wet and slick with running water from above as we rappelled it. It gave a very tropical feeling with all the green lichen and water. After walking a few more feet down the canyon we came across a 25' chute that was also very slick with water so we rappelled this rather than down climbing.
Keep walking down canyon, you'll soon be faced with a long down climb, if you're not comfortable with your skills look for webbing because this is also set as a rappel. Next you'll come across a 20' drop, from a tree on canyon left. Following this you'll encounter a large chokestone that forms a 10-foot drop off, a belay may be required but even our worst climber in the group made is safely on their own.
A very short walk will bring you to the drainage of Little LO Spring Canyon near it's confluence with Sycamore Canyon. We basked in the sun for a brief moment to eat a snack and then headed out. Following Little LO we had one deep wader, then we were walking the shallow creek until we saw a pile of white rocks forming a cairn on canyon left. On the way up you'll encounter Babe's Hole Spring, with a sign and a scuba mask. The hike up is well defined and gradually gets steeper as you near the top.
Personal Note: This was a very fun short trip, would definitely bring beginners here or hit it up when itching to get out and adventure with only a limited amount of time available.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.