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Winter Cabin Canyon
2 Photosets

2014-08-31  
2011-10-15  
mini location map2014-08-31
18 by photographer avatardesert_boonie
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Winter Cabin CanyonSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Aug 31 2014
desert_boonie
Canyoneering11.50 Miles 2,450 AEG
Canyoneering11.50 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.77 mph
2,450 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Day two of the weekend started with driving on into the Winter Cabin trailhead area to start the day. Once I turned onto the road for Winter Cabin there was a car inching its way along and to the side of a huge mud puddle in the middle of the road. So of course I did what anyone in my shoes would have done, I drove past them right in the middle of the mud puddle while waving at them. I was actually impressed they drove in that far with a car. Needless to say, I didn't see them again that day or their car when I drove out later.

Once at the trailhead I was alone again, gathered my things for the day and set off. There was a nice gust of wind that stood tall most of the day which made the first half of the day nice and eerie as I made my way down the swinging trees. I reached the Winter Cabin and checked out the area for a few minutes. Since I wasn't up to date on my tetanus shots I didn't get too close to everything inside. Interesting place and with the spring right down the hill I could see myself staying in the area for awhile.

Continuing on my way downhill, you come out of the trees and see the area open up and get your first glimpse of Winter Cabin Canyon from above. You can also see the bushwhacking section you will have to do. From here you are now exposed to the sun as well, it isn't bad until the hike out, trust me. You pass Ott Lake on the way down as well so I thought I would check the area out knowing I wouldn't see any water. It doesn't take long to get there and the area is just amazing. A lush meadow now and the total feeling of seclusion. And again with the wind gusting it made it a refreshing time.

Now on to the canyon, back on the trail I reach the point to break away and do a short bushwhack to the side drainage which will lead you into Winter Cabin Canyon. Nothing I haven't done before so it really wasn't that bad, I don't even feel the scrapes on my legs anymore. In the drainage and immediately the bottom is a wet clay texture. It felt good to be in the shade and work my way down.

Like Bunker Hill, this canyon is not technically difficult, there are some down climbs to manage and then you hit some amazing sculpted canyon walls, some of the best I have seen form in the sandstone. I reached the point where most do the 1st rappel but I was able to down climb the 15ft drop. You are pretty much in the narrows the entire time as this canyon works it way down. The second drop others rappel I down climbed as well, although here it was a little bit tougher. There is only one pool in this canyon which was knee high and refreshing to get it halfway down the canyon.

I finally reached the big drop in a spectacular sculpted wall. I rig the rappel and couldn't help but using my free left hand to feel the wall on the way down. It was amazing, a very nice area to be in for sure. I pull my rope and finish up the canyon which doesn't have many obstacles to handle. At the bottom there are some more amazing formations in the sandstone. I get to Sycamore Canyon and check out the area at the bottom here. Bone Dry! I was hoping for some water so I could wet my clothing for the hike on out. Oh well, time to take a break in the shade and drink a brew.

Now for the hike out. This hike is brutal this time of year, fully exposed to the sun, very steep at the bottom, and faint in some areas so pay attention. Of course the wind had died down at the time it would have been best to be in. I stopped in the few sections of shade for a minute just to get that second of cooling my body down. Boy does this trail not waste anytime climbing out. Once I made my way up to the point I would get back into the pines and some shade, I ran into a group of 3 hikers making their way from Kelsey Sprint to the bottom of Sycamore to see the pools. I told them it was dry at the bottom but one of them insisted that if you head south towards Clarkdale (his exact words) there is a nice section. I wished them a good hike as that is a long trek they were doing and made my way back to the cabin. I went to the spring and got some water to dump on me.

After refreshing myself and feeling like a million dollars again I made my way on up back to the Jeep. I cooked up the last of my food and chilled there for an hour in the hammock before deciding to finally come back home. Had some fun in the mud on the way out and traffic wasn't bad until south of Sedona. But i'll leave my highway driving rant to myself.

Good weekend.
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