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Slot Canyons

If you’re the kind of person that loves to explore narrow, dark, and convoluted spaces then Bryce Canyon Country is one of the best locations for slot canyon adventures.

The term canyoneering is often used to describe the process of hiking, rappelling, rock scrambling, and generally exploring a slot canyon. On good weather days a slot canyon adventure will be one of the most unique and intriguing experiences of your life. As you prepare to explore a slot canyon it is important to understand how to have a good experience in doing so.

Sandstone slot canyons are partially carved by wind, but more predominantly by the flow of water. Winter snow-melt or irregular rain storms will often bring strong water flows through these narrow crevices. The Bryce Canyon region see less moisture than many other areas of the United States and this means the soil does not readily absorb water. Sometimes rain comes so quickly that it water levels can reach 40 feet or higher inside a narrow slot canyon. Normally this water moves very rapidly through a slot canyon and will also bring rocks, wood and debris that only enhances the danger of a flash flood. While a flash flood is a very rare occurrence is it unwise to enter a slot canyon at a time when rain is imminent.

Water can also accumulate in deep pools within the dark recesses of a slot canyon, and depending on the depth of the canyon the sun may not reach far enough to warm up these areas. Only enter canyons in good warm weather conditions unless you are prepared with a dry-suit or wet-suit to insulate against possible cold water conditions. Some slot canyons are short and quite shallow, but the longer and deeper the slot canyon, the more you’ll need proper preparation and gear. For some slot canyons you may need rappelling gear, wet-suits or dry-suits, proper footwear, and sufficient food and water.

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