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Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
These Marble Canyon Drainages just continue to provide great entertainment. Each drainage cut is distinctively different. While the two main south branches offer some of the greatest vistas and outright drama, these northern cuts manage to hold their own. The main branch of the north cut is slow to start, forcing you to push on up until the fun begins. This spur off of that branch does not wait so long to provide you with both interesting surrounding rock formations and a pleasant blend of rock scrambling and tilted slab walking. If one characteristic stands out for this canyon it is the bedrock slabs that provide a clear walkway for much of the miles up the cut. These are tilted slabs... often so steep as to have you touching the slab in front of your face as you lean into the grade. Blend that slab feature with a few bits of minor bouldering and you have a canyon with just a moderate level of difficulty, shorter mileages, and a closed in... away from it all feel.
The canyon effectively terminates at a multi-tiered waterfall formation a bit over 6100' in elevation. You get to work your way up and over some blockages, around some overhang falls, then up the final steep slabs... under a fallen rock tunnel, to a grotto'd chimney fall. This final enclosure narrows to just a few feet, leaving a very climbable chimney feature if you care to work your way on out of the canyon and up to Trail 119 for a looping hike, but the scenery will stay much nicer if instead you simply return the way you came. Those slabs are just as much fun on the way back down.
If you intend to climb out, you should have 30' of rope to allow you to pull your pack up behind you after you enjoy the short chimney.
With this great upper feature, this is a perfect short day outing up and back... soak in the sun on the numerous rock slabs and enjoy the sense of being off and away...
This is all off trail... so, rocks are not stabilized. Be aware and be careful.
This spur: walk up into Marble Canyon taking the north branch, left cut(just past the old rock quarry on your left) and then turn left again up into the first canyon drainage. This will be a bit over a mile in from the canyon mouth. Stay in the main drainage. There is another large canyon section coming into this one, again from the north, but you want to stay with the obvious larger area for this hike...
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