Parunuweap 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"
Parunuweap Canyon is a canyoneering adventure that will require 10 to 14 hours to complete for experienced hikers. The total route is 18 1/2 miles long, which does not include side canyon exploration. This route is commonly done as a two or three day backpack, which allows more time to explore and admire the scenery. Parunuweap Canyon is rated 2C IV using the Canyon Rating System. No Zion backcountry permit is required since the overnight portion of this route is located outside the National Park Boundary.
Navigation for this adventure is difficult, and requires several miles of travel over open terrain. A GPS is very useful. Good map reading skills are essential. There is no real trail and several miles of overland navigation is required to complete this route. You will be walking and wading in a canyon bottom for most of this trip.
A car shuttle is required for this complete adventure. A passenger car can easily access the required trailheads in all weather conditions.
Powell Plaque Inscription Reads:
September 10 -- The Indian name of the canyon is Paru'nuweap, or Roaring Water
Canyon. Between the little river and the foot of the walls is a dense growth of willows,
vines, and wild rosebushes, and with great difficulty we make our way through this tangled
mass. It is not a wide stream-- only 20 or 30 feet across in most places; shallow, but
very swift. After spending some hours in breaking our way through the mass of vegetation
and climbing rocks here and there, it is determined to wade along the stream. In some
places this is an easy task, but here and there we come to deep holes where we have to
wade to our armpits. Soon we come to places so narrow that the river fills the channel and
we wade perforce. In many places the bottom is a quicksand, into which we sink, and it is
with great difficulty that we make progress. In some places the holes are so deep that we
have to swim, and our little bundles of blankets and rations are fixed to a raft made of
driftwood and pushed before us. Now and then there is a little flood-plain, on which we
can walk, and we cross and recross the stream and wade along the channel where the water
is so swift as almost to carry us off our feet and were are in danger every moment of
being swept down, until night comes on. Finding a little patch of flood-plain, on which
there is a huge pile of driftwood and a clump of box-elders, and near by a mammoth stream
bursting from the rocks, we soon have a huge fire. Our clothes are spread to dry; we make
a cup of coffee, take out our bread and cheese and dried beef, and enjoy a hearty supper.
We estimate that we have traveled eight miles to-day.
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