Monday, May 4, 2009

Canyoneering Bear Canyon - Keeper Pot Holes & Rappelling into Ice Cold Pools

Bear Canyon is right next to Sundance Canyon. You actually park in the same spot and find your way back to the truck using the same route for each canyon. After getting done with Sundance Canyon by just after noon we decided to take advantage and head down Bear Canyon.

The trick to getting into Bear Canyon is that there is a short gully in the way. Many people think they are in Bear Canyon only for it to end with no where to go. You have make your way through gully and over the next ridge to get into Bear Canyon.

Bear Canyon starts with a canyon hike through fallen trees and boulders. After just rappelling 180 feet out of Sundance Canyon we started to wonder if Bear Canyon had anything to offer. Then you hit Bear Canyon's narrows.

Bear Canyon has a cool section of narrows which require multiple rappels and swims through even colder pools than Sundance Canyon. An excellent section of pot holes leads you into the depths withoug obvious places to set anchors. After a keeper pot hole there is a bolt placed in the wall for the largest rappell of 40 feet.

The pools in Bear Canyon are colder than Sundance Canyon just next door. The slot canyon walls are higher and lack even more sunlight. This is also obvious with the presence of snow and ice we found deep in the canyon. I highly recommend wetsuits as you make your way through the narrows.

The narrows of Bear Canyon make it a fun canyon well worth the trip.
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