Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
It's A Ditch!
Sometimes Less is More…
This small cut is a great example of that dynamic.
Ridge Canyon (N3) is a bedrock based shallow “ditch” sliced out of the Ridge just south of Grotto Canyon in the Marble Canyon North drainage.
While it lacks the drama of towering cliffs (for the most part it has side walls in the 8’ to 20’ range), it provides a constant challenge and setting that many of the larger area canyons are missing out on. This closed in, very steep route is just fun.
It tends to be slightly overgrown, yet there is always a bedrock path leading ever up. The slanted rock base is augmented with fun Class I dry falls. The scrambling breaks the hike into a full body exercise. You will work your way up this canyon.
Destination: The canyon narrows out on to the ridge about halfway up the mountain. You have the option to return the way you came… or drift over to the south to check out the huge dry falls halfway up N5 (Big Rock Canyon)… or walk a short ways over to the Grotto’d falls halfway up N2 (Marble North, North Spur).
If you plan to descend this Dry Waterfall, make sure you bring along some rope! It would make for a nice loop to loop down this more open canyon.
You could head up and over to connect with the “A” Trail (t119)… but it will be a bit of an off trail chore.
To begin your gorge adventure, hike about one mile up Marble Canyon… following the canyon bottom along the north drainage. Just past Mable Bluff turn to your left. This branch drains N1, N2, N3 and N4 down into the main section of Marble North.
Enjoy the next .3 mile… you will pass an obvious cut on your right (N4), another “ditch” canyon… working your way up to the split of N2, N3, N4 (5250‘). The main channel is N2(Spur Canyon) with N1 (Grotto Canyon) taking off to the left… N3, Ridge Canyon, slides up the bedrock to your right. The entry is slightly overgrown but not too hard to spot.
Take the time to find this little gem; it is worth the effort.
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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