Upper Stair Canyon - North Wash

Upper Stair

North Wash
Technical Canyoneering

          Upper Stair is a scenic, physically challenging canyon located in an amazing location. The canyon requires no rappelling, but forces all canyoneers up off the ground for extended periods of time. Upper Stair features two separate sections of what is known as a "Mae West Slot", which is a slot so narrow that it is impossible to pass through. This feature forces you to climb up and over the obstacle.

          Upper Stair ends with an engaging slickrock hike back to the rim of the canyon that requires some moderate climbing and route finding. The canyon offers its experience with only a short approach hike. Any descent of this canyon requires intermediate or better rock climbing skills.

Circle of Friends:
          Upper Stair Canyon is part of the "Circle of Friends" program. Members of the "Circle of Friends" have access to more specific information, explicit route information, GPS waypoints, trailhead location and detailed maps. If you would like more information on joining the "Circle of Friends" visit the sign up page.

"Circle of Friends"

Upper Stair Canyon - North Wash Upper Stair Canyon - North Wash

          Upper Stair Canyon is rated 3A R II using the Canyon Rating System. Every member of your group must be a skilled canyoneer. This canyon could be deadly for beginners, even with advanced leadership. The provided description is not a substitute for commonsense and experience. Do not underestimate the difficulty of descending this canyon. To safely descend this canyon every member of your group must be able to climb at a level of 5.7 or above. A rescue in this canyon would be dangerous and extremely difficult.

General Information:
          Upper Stair is an astounding technical canyoneering adventure and a good intermediate introduction to Mae West canyons and stemming. Moderate rock climbing skills are required. This is a physical canyon requiring constant downclimbing, climbing, stemming and chimneying. This canyon is easily accessible year round unless there is snow on the ground.

          This canyon has no rappels, but is not recommended for inexperienced canyoneers since it does require some short upclimbs and extended periods of Mae West stemming.

          A GPS is useful. Good map reading skills are essential. This route has a minor flash flood danger. You must be certain you are entering the intended drainage or you could encounter major difficulties.

Upper Stair Canyon - North Wash Upper Stair Canyon - North Wash

Trailhead Information:
          This route does not require a shuttle vehicle. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is advised for accessing this trailhead, four-wheel-drive is not required, but those without 4-wheel drive will need to hike the final 2.2 miles to the actual trailhead. Lack of a 4-wheel drive will add approximately 45 minutes to your route time.

Upper Stair Canyon - North Wash Upper Stair Canyon - North Wash

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