Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
A fun short Canyon
History: The Echo Canyon trail is the oldest trail in and out of Zion Canyon. Just prior to the turn of the 20th century, Utah Pioneer John Winder reworked the existing Paiute trail up Echo Canyon to drive cattle up to the rim. He was only partially successful, as the trail was still extremely precarious. Here, John is seen canyoneering with his horse in Echo Canyon.
The start of Echo Canyon: Subterranean is the best description for Echo Canyon. This is a splendid journey deep within the sandstone, with a couple short rappels and a handful of short but extremely cold swims, then a splendid exit through interesting narrows with fabulous acoustics. Echo is well hidden and its water remains very cold through the summer. Shortee wetsuits are VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for Echo even in high summer. More protection will be needed in less than blazing hot conditions.
Into the Canyon: the canyon narrows up right away, but takes a while to really get going. After about 20 minutes, the first rappel is found, after wading a few gooey looking pools. (The first rappel is off a kind of loose log (as of 5/28/01) tied off to a pretty good chockstone. Check this anchor carefully before weighting it). With the first rappel, the canyon goes fully subterranean, almost requiring headlamps. There are four short rappels into pools or to the edge of pools. The pools are big, round, deep, cold, and covered with floating debris. And smell like poo.
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.