March 22, 2015
Over the last week, two canyoneering groups required assistance because they entered the wrong canyon.
On the evening of March 18, 2015, a canyoneer contacted Zion Dispatch because the other two members of his party were stranded 400 feet above the Riverside Walk. The group had intended to descend Mystery Canyon but ended up in the next canyon to the south which culminates in a 375 foot rappel. One party member had been able to exit the canyon by rappelling to a small ledge, pulling the group's rope, and then rappelling to the ground. On March 19, rangers traveled through the canyon, which is closed to the public due to the danger caused by rappelling directly above the Riverside Walk, and provided rope and assistance to the stranded canyoneers.
On the evening of March 21, 2015, Zion Dispatch was contacted by cell phone by a stranded canyoneering party. The group was fortunate to find a location with cell service which is not common in Zion's canyons. The party of four had intended to descend Hidden Canyon but misread their map and rappelled into the next canyon to the south, Red Arch Canyon. Red Arch Canyon culminates in a 280' rappel. The party did not have enough rope to complete the final rappel, but were able to lower enough material tied together to reach the base of the rappel. Rescuers at the base of the rappel tied long enough ropes onto the party's ropes. The party pulled up the longer ropes and safely rappelled to the ground.
Canyoneers are reminded to check their map and route description thoroughly before beginning a first rappel. Once you complete the first rappel and pull your rope, you must complete the canyon whether or not it is the one that you intended to enter.
Last updated: June 10, 2015