Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sundance Canyon - Canyoning Arizona Slot Canyon

Sundance Canyon is a neat slot canyon outside Camp Verde, Arizona in the Coconino National Forest. Sundance Canyon is know for its 180 foot rappel at the end, which is the best climax to a canyon that I have done.

Entering Sundance Canyon is a steep hike down into the canyon where we found cow bones. The cows were not able to find a way out though we were hoping to be luckier.

Sundance Canyon has an interesting narrows section that has consistent scrambling, down climbing, swimming through pools, and rappelling. There are 4-5 short rappels into freezing cold pools. Wetsuits are required in all of the conditions.

One the best treats in the canyon was a short jump into a freezing cold pool. If you were awake yet you were now. There is nothing like completely under water that is ice cold to get the senses moving.

The highlight of Sundance Canyon is the 180 ft drop into West Clear Creek Canyon. What makes the drop even more impressive is the keeper pot hole you have to maneuver just to get to the edge. It is amazing to be in a narrow slot canyon and freezing cold pools of water with a 180ft drop just over the other side.

The final 180 ft rappel is awesome. The final 130 ft are a free hang where the ground just looks so far away. I don't recommend this rappel for anyone who has a heart condition as I promise your heart will be beating a little faster as you drop into the gorge.

To get back to the truck is a short hike in West Clear Creek Canyon which is a 25 mile canyon hike that I would like to do as some point.
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