Sunday, September 21, 2008

Christopher Creek Canyon Canyoneering

The latest canyon we went canyoneering is Christopher Creek Canyon outside Payson, AZ. This is a great canyon full of waterfalls and you are definitely in and out of the water.

The canyon is easy to get to with parking on the side of the road and an easy to follow trail that leads to an entrance to the canyon. Because of the ease of access you might find the beginning populated with people. Trust me though only the canyoneers are going farther into the canyon so you will lose people quickly.

The main concern about this canyon is the water is cold year around. For us it might have been 80 degrees outside the water temp was in the fifties. It was cold to say the least. I highly recommend a wetsuit to do this canyon or at least a wetsuit top. We didn't have either so it swim as hard as you can and then jump and run in place to warm back up once out. The good thing is you are in and out of the water so you do have the ability to warm up.

The canyon is full of tiny waterfalls to go down and around. A few a slid down which is always fun. Be prepared to go through tons of pools which are typically over your head. I rarely just waded through the water, mostly it was swimming.

There are 3-5 rappels you need to complete depending on your climbing skill level. There are obvious natural anchors and some have fairly new webbing already in place though I won't automatically count on that.

Three of the rappels are direct in waterfalls that are extremely slippery. Every person slipped at least once so make sure you go slow and keep your hand locked on the rope during the rappel.

Over all extremely fun canyon with tons of waterfalls and pools to swim.
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