Zion National Park
Water Canyon is one of the few routes that cuts through the high cliffs
that form Canaan Mountain. The route climbs up the canyon along the side
of the narrow technical slot. Canyoneering this technical slot does not
require a permit, which makes it the perfect option when the Zion Permit
system plays havoc with your plans and schedule. This is a really good
canyon and should be on everyone's tick list.
Circle of Friends:
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"
Water Canyon is a technical canyoneering adventure that will require
complete technical gear. Water Canyon is rated 3B III using the Canyon Rating System.
Water Canyon is outside of Zion National Park and a Zion Backcountry Permit
is not required.
A GPS is useful. Good map reading skills are essential. Navigation for this adventure is
moderate. Water Canyon has a moderate flash flood danger, check the
local weather report.
The Water Canyon
Trailhead is normally accessible to all vehicles in good weather conditions,
however the last two miles are on a dirt road and I've seen it get a little
ugly if it hasn't been graded in a while. High clearance vehicles should
never have an issue. The trailhead is located just outside the twin towns of Hildale/Colorado City. The Town is Hildale
on the Utah side of the state line and Colorado City on the Arizona side of
Water Canyon Trail History:
The trail you hike to access the top of Water Canyon is actually an old
stock trail used to move cattle from Hildale to the top of the Mesa. The
trail has fallen into disrepair and there is not a chance in hell of cattle
using it today. But it's still interesting as you hike to the top of Water
Canyon to note many of the cuts and some of the blasting that was done to
originally create the stock trail.
Enjoy a short entertaining video of a trip through Water Canyon.
Hiking Water Canyon:
Water Canyon also makes for a nice hike with no technical obstacles. A round
trip to the top of the canyon normally requires
about 4 hours.