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Good canyoneering practice sites near Boulder?

Original Post
Page Weil · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 80

Planning a trip to take some relative newbies to Utah to do some canyoneering. Where is a good place close to Boulder (flatirons, bocan, eldo, flagstaff) that has some short slots or chimneys where i can get everyone some practice stemming and doing some easy canyoneering movements?

There are tons of spots to rappel but i can't think of any hood stemming chimneys close to the road.

D Stevenson · · Escalange, UT · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 25

There's plenty of easy canyons near Flagstaff. Give 'em a rappelling primer and take them into something no harder than a 3BIII

GLD · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 83

If you're going to Zion there are a few water canyons that can kind-of suffice. If you're goi ng to escalante, north wash, cedar mesa, etc. I don't know of any place near Boulder, CO to practice that kind of movement. I concur with Davis stick to the 3's and if they're rock climbers they'll figure it out.

Eric Carlos · · Chattanooga, TN · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 40

If they can rappel and have any basic climbing knowledge, then they will have no problem with most slot canyons. If not, then don't take them on something technical. The San Rafael Swell has tons of non-technical slots: crack canyon, chute, ding and dang, little wild horse, bell, etc.

Josh Schutz · · Estes Park and Telluride, Colo · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 65

Someone put up a canyoneering route in boulder falls. I believe that there are 2 wet rappels. I'm not sure on the exact beta. Check on Also, there is another route below a basin on snake river falls. Super fun and short enough to lap it a few times. If you are doing wet canyons in zion, i would highly suggest bringing full wet suits. We had farmer johns and nearly froze our assess off.

Josh Schutz · · Estes Park and Telluride, Colo · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 65

And to put it in perspective, I've done snake river falls in a farmer john and i was fine. Went to zion in the summer and froze!!!!

Page Weil · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 80

Thanks for the advice! I am definitely going to limit our exposure to 3BIII, regardless of how well these guys do in practice. The plan is to go to the North Wash/Robber's Roost/San Rafael Swell part of Utah and do some stemmy and squeezy dryish canyons.

What I am really looking for is a smallish chimney that I can get these guys to do laps on. The rappelling portion will not be hard but since they are not all climbers, I want to make sure everyone is comfortable stemming horizontally for 15-20 feet at a time without falling.

Stephen Burns · · Coloardo · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 25

No practice necessary, trial by fire, disposable clothing, the all important "gyno" metaphore for how was decends a narrow slot. Bring costumes. Don't bring your fat friends into shinanigans. Horsetooth resivoir's rotary park has a perfect vertical slot that is fun for practice just climbers left of the bolt wall.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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