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Sundance Canyon, AZ

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Guide 45 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Clints Well W
Rated
4.8
4.8 of 5 by 12
 
3
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Canyoneering
Consensus
View 14
Grade3
WaterB
RiskR
TimeII
Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,563 feet
Elevation Gain 750 feet
Accumulated Gain 850 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.75
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
18  2015-09-11 outdoor_lover
20  2015-08-18 CoryTallman
25  2015-06-27 GrottoGirl
30  2014-08-23 outdoor_lover
50  2014-07-04 GrottoGirl
1  2013-08-10 markguycan
74  2013-07-06 GrottoGirl
12  2012-06-24 sbkelley
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
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Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → 10 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:59am - 5:21pm
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Route Scout App
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Official Route
 
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Point Trail - West Clear Creek
Point Trail - West Clear Creek
0.1 mi away
7.2 mi
-750 ft
West Clear Creek - Bear Canyon to Bull Pen
West Clear Creek - Bear Canyon to Bull Pen
0.1 mi away
25.0 mi
-2,800 ft
Bear Canyon - West Clear Creek
Bear Canyon - West Clear Creek
0.4 mi away
3.0 mi
-600 ft
Avocado Canyon
Avocado Canyon
1.1 mi away
5.5 mi
800 ft
Tramway Trail #32
Tramway Trail #32
1.2 mi away
1.0 mi
-750 ft
Tramway Canyon
1.3 mi away
1.8 mi
800 ft
Shamrock Canyon
Shamrock Canyon
1.4 mi away
2.6 mi
900 ft
Maxwell Trail #37
Maxwell Trail #37
1.8 mi away
0.5 mi
-640 ft
Dirty Snake Trail #76
Dirty Snake Trail #76
2.2 mi away
1.6 mi
8 ft
Tramway Maxwell Loop
Tramway Maxwell Loop
2.3 mi away
6.0 mi
968 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Cassidy Canyon's neighbor
by nonot

Overview: A short technical canyon that can be an easy romp or a deadly trap, depending on conditions.

DANGER: THIS CANYON CAN CONTAIN KEEPER POTHOLES, CANYONEERS MUST BE PREPARED WITH KEEPER EXIT STRATEGIES! DON'T DO THIS CANYON ALONE! DON'T PULL YOUR ROPE UNTIL SOMEONE IS OUT OF EACH KEEPER IN CASE RETREAT IS NECESSARY!


DANGER: ALWAYS CHECK THE WEATHER BEFORE ENTERING A SLOT CANYON, DON'T PUT YOURSELF AT RISK OF A FLASH FLOOD!

Warning: This is a technical canyon with some semi-keeper and keeper potholes, you will need a full set of canyoneering gear (including helmet) and 400 ft of rope for the last 180 ft rappel. This is not a canyon to be taken lightly, if water levels are low this canyon can become a deadly trap. Bring proper gear and rehearse your exit techniques prior to committing. This canyon has some deep water and may be quite cold. A shorty might be fine for summer if you're warm blooded, but a full wetsuit or drysuit might be preferrable, especially if conditions are difficult and you spend alot of time in the water and/or potholes. I am not responsible if you end up trapped in this canyon, death by hypothermia. 2x200ft ropes and a 60 ft rope will make you well prepared rope-wise. Experienced canyoneers only, you are responsible for self-evaluating your abilities. Read those danger warnings again, read the legaleze at the bottom of the page. Are you sure you're ready for this? Are you a danger to yourself or others? Don't do this canyon alone! Don't do this canyon unprepared!

History: First descent: unknown. While filming a PBS series Anyplace Wild, Rich Carlson and group took a film crew and John Viehman through this canyon. Joking around with the theme they were "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", the name stuck. Later Rich showed it to Todd (of Todd's hiking guide). However the secret couldn't stay secret for long and this gem was revealed to the public.

Hike: From the Point TH try to find the old road that heads southeast, after awhile the road peters out and you bushwhack through some locust bush and some easy downclimbing to reach canyon bottom. Downstream you will encounter some shallow potholes and wading through gunk. After 20 minutes from the TH we reached a rappel, sign the register and then rappel 7 feet to a ledge and another 15 ft to the bottom. We pulled our rope and resumed a speedy descent. We cruised through several more potholes, did a steep downclimb, climbed down a slippery log, splashed some more until we reached a pothole at a bend in the canyon, one of the keepers. Past this is another rappel which you rig, then walk 10 feet to rappel 20 feet into a bowl. This bowl is a deep keeper and you will have to fight to get out of the pothole and into the precarious keyhole. Once in the keyhole downclimb a slick log 10 feet. Rig your final rappel, 180 ft, don't be HAD (Harness, Anchor, Device). Make sure you rig enough friction if going single strand! Packs should be hung from harnesses! Rope joining knots should be properly tied, blocks secure! Of course, you should know all this already, if not then should you even be thinking about attempting this canyon right now in your canyoneering career?

The last 130 ft of the rappel into the grotto is free hanging, enjoy it while you can. Send down an experienced canyoneer first to untwist any tangles and provide a fireman to any novices. Last person should check the rigging before committing, the pull is not bad, only time consuming. After pulling and coiling your rope greet any fans you made and hike left, downstream, through West Clear creek to the Point Trail. Head up the steep trail 750 ft to your car.

nonot
    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.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To 142E Trailhead
    From Phx, take I-17 N to exit 287/HWY 260. Take 260 E and just before milepost 249, turn left/N onto FR 144. Take FR 144 1.8 miles and turn left onto FR 149. Follow FR 149 1.1 miles to a T junction with FR 142. Turn right onto FR 142 and follow it .8 mile to FR 142E on the left (there was a sign for 142D and on the other side of the same road was a rock painted with 142E). Stay straight on FR142 another 0.8 miles until it dips down and crosses Tom's Creek. There are parking options in this area off the road.

    2016-07 lindaagm writes: The last 1/3 mile or so on 142E is the only rough part, maybe not great for low clearance, but easy enough to park there and walk a little extra to the trailhead.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 132 mi - about 2 hours 30 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 237 mi - about 3 hours 59 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 90.2 mi - about 1 hour 51 mins
    page created by nonot on Sep 08 2009 8:24 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker