Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sycamore Canyon Canoneering in Southern Arizona

I just finished Sycamore Canyon which is just a few miles west of Nogales. Yes, Nogales which means we were practically at the Mexican border. You have to read my up coming post if you want to find out what happened when we got to the Mexican border which we did.

I chose Sycamore Canyon for one important reason; I didn't want to freeze my butt off. The last canyon much farther north at Christopher Creek was the coldest I had ever been. I take that back summitting Mt. Kilimanjaro was the coldest I have ever been. Yes we could have brought wetsuits to Christopher Creek though it was 80 degrees outsite and Christopher Creek is open to the sun.

Sycamore Canyon has constant running water though the canyon is wide enough with a little scambling and climbing most of it can be avoided if you don't want to get wet. This was precisely my goal since it is now November in Arizona and not June any more.

Because you are not getting wet it makes canyoneering Sycamore Canyon mostly a hike. There is one stretch of narrows where we did swim two pools which were freezing to say the least. I did my best Bear Grylls jumping jacks in the sun to warm up. These pools can be avoided with some decent climbing skills though I had a new guy with me that I was going to make sure got wet at least once.

We covered over 10 miles of sand, rock, water, and boulders which is a lot of miles for going through a canyon in one day. I guarentee you will feel your hips after this canyon.

Sycamore Canyon is an out and back so you can turn around when ever you want. The scenry doesn't change much past the narrows though I would spend a little more time beyond. For those who want to put in the miles you can keep going all the way to the Mexican border where a fence tells you that you have reached the international line.

I recommend this canyon if you are looking for a winter canyon trip that you don't have to worry about getting cold. By the way we climbed around the two pools we swam on the way out.
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