Guided Canyoneering Trips in Zion
What is Canyoneering?
One of the best and most unique ways to explore Zion is by canyoneering (often called canyoning). Canyoneering is the act of exploring slot canyons, during which you’ll get to hike, rappel, and down climb into areas that would be hard to get to otherwise! The slot canyons of Southern Utah are unique, and we think everyone should try a guided canyoneering trip at least once!
We tailor our canyoneering adventures to fit the skill level of your group. Safety is the number one goal followed closely by having fun. Our certified, full-time guides will show you everything you need to know and our private tours are customized to meet the goals and experience levels of each participant.
Slot Canyoneering Trips We Offer
Each trip is unique, so we have several different options to fit your visit. This allows you to select the best option for your group, both from time and skill perspectives.
What Your Guided Canyoneering Adventure Includes
When you sign up for a canyoneering trip with Rock Odysseys we provide all of the technical gear that you’ll need including harnesses, helmets, rappelling devices, and gloves. If you are staying in our designated pick-up areas, we can arrange to pick you up from your lodging accommodations or campground; or arrange a convenient meeting location near the designated recreation site! Our pick-up areas include Springdale, Rockville, Virgin, La Verkin, or Hurricane.
Once we pick you up or meet with your group, we will do all the heavy lifting! Our Wilderness First Responder Certified guides will teach you how to rappel, down-climb, and the other skills you’ll need to navigate the slot canyons during your adventure.
The only thing you’ll want to bring is water, food, a backpack, and appropriate clothing and footwear. We do recommend wearing footwear with decent tread.
What is a Slot Canyon?
Slot canyons, as the name suggests, are narrow canyons that have been formed over many years by water and erosion. Southern Utah is famous for its slot canyons that span great distances. Exploring these canyons is a great way to get away from some of the more populated hiking routes.
While no one knows or has explored all of the canyons Southern Utah has to offer, we know many of them like the back of our own hands and love to introduce this unique environment to visitors.
Is Canyoneering Safe?
Our certified guides are there to make sure that your time exploring the canyons in Zion is both fun and safe. All backcountry activities carry some risk, but we have led countless safe expeditions and have extensive training in safety. Before you are anywhere close to the edge of the canyon, you’ll know how to use all of your gear and what to watch out for. Once you are hanging off the ropes our guides will have secondary back-up systems to ensure your safety.
We also hire full-time, career guides for our canyoneering trips. These guides have extensive knowledge of the slot canyons and surrounding areas we lead trips to and are trained in first aid and rock-rescue techniques
Zion Canyoneering Basics
Canyoneering is a sport that inspires a sense of achievement and adventure in all who experience it. When preparing to explore a slot canyon, it is helpful to keep in mind that these water and wind-carved twists and sandstone landscapes are intriguingly different from surrounding terrain. The sunlight from above reflects at odd angles and breezes from the exit below can play off these cylindrical rooms. In the middle of a desert landscape, these slot areas can be significantly cooler and/or damp–with some canyons holding standing water. Pre-adventure, we will discuss with you your options based on personal experience and goals to create the best trip possible for your group.
These amazing slot canyon areas range in difficulty, but all technical canyons require special equipment and skills not used in a typical hiking trip. All of the canyons we utilize are technical in that they require ropes and necessary hardware to employ these ropes safely, and must be completed top-down by rappelling vertical drops that cannot be down-climbed. We cover such techniques such the Bowline and Munter-Mule knots; how to safely load and unload your belay device; and proper outfitting and usage of harness, helmet and other safety gear. Rope inspection, and wrapping and coiling rituals are crucial for incident prevention. And Inspecting anchors, tying safety lines, and tying competent knots, are all vital elements in rappelling.