Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
You don't need the stone to translate "fun".
A fairly short technical canyoneering trip with 2 slots that can be explored.
This canyon presents moderate flash flood danger, do not go if there is any chance of rain. For this trip, rappelling is needed, you will want to bring: helmet, harness, rappelling device and biner, and 2x50 ft ropes.
The canyon is very narrow, individuals who are over 200 lbs or very large will have a tough time. You likely want to bring old clothes as yours will be damaged. Knee pads and a long sleeve shirt might help, though you can go without if you don't mind getting a little bloody.
Less is better in this canyon - hop in your shrink-ray device, take a smaller pack, and leave the luggage at home. The less you have to lug around, the more you'll enjoy it. But bring enough water for those hot summer/fall days!
Named for the Irish Theme of the canyons in the area.
Approach: From the mouth of the canyon, walk to the west side up a small hill to where you will find an easy slope. Walk up the slickrock slope, bearing mostly north,and a little to your left (west). After climbing up a few hundred vertical feet of slickrock you will eventually come upon more of a trail, where you continue almost straight north for awhile and gradually to the northeast.
The trail gets fairly good up top, though there are a few points it is indistinct. Somewhere along the line it actually split and I missed the junction, following the trail to Shilleglah. No matter, for a quick jump over a hill put me back on course.
West Fork: At the top of the west fork, put on your harness and begin descending down the slot. It gets very narrow in sections, but is quite beautiful. A couple of rappels will be found along the way, up to about 40-45 ft, with lots of downclimbing and stemming. You will likely be forced sideways a few times. Going with as little gear as possible will be a benefit in this canyon, as otherwise you will have to deal with wrangling a large pack in tight places. Bring enough water but otherwise less is better!
You may encounter a bit of mud and a possible wading section, but it is likely you will be able to stem over any such obstacles you encounter. Soon enough you will arrive at the junction with the east fork coming down from your left. This is the first area of the canyon wide enough for the sun to really penetrate and brighten things up.
East Fork: Assuming you want to continue your adventure, climb directly north up the slope between the two forks and then contour your way up canyon to the northeast, climbing (somewhat) parallel to the east fork coming down. You should be able to climb almost all the way to the top of the east fork, to a point about 40 ft below the headwall of the canyon. From here jump into the east fork and begin stemming and downclimbing. I thought the east fork was very pleasant - it seemed a little better sized for men, as opposed to the child-sized west fork. You will encounter 1 rappel of about 17 ft in the east fork, but otherwise it is narrow downclimbing and stemming. In only another hour or a little more, you will have finished climbing and descending the east fork and end up back at the junction.
Main Fork: From the junction, continue downcanyon, which will widen quickly and allows easy walking (with a little brushy section) out to the TH/rd. Adventurers can walk up the main fork from the bottom to the two junctions, but there is better hiking to be had in the area.
None, bring plenty
Plenty of turnoffs off highway 95 in the area.
Most will do the east fork and then the west fork. Stats for this trip include doing both. You can shave off time and mileage if you only have time to do one slot.
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.