Canyonlands: Tales from Narrow Places

A magnificent afternoon in Wilber Canyon

Posted in Northern Arizona & the Mogollon Rim by canyoneering on May 30, 2009

Wilber Canyon, (aka Carcass Canyon) 3BIII
4.2 miles
Coconino National Forest, tributary of West Clear Creek


Wilber Canyon (also known as Carcass Canyon) is one of my favorite canyoneering trips of the West Clear Creek tributaries. This canyon is a perfect escape from the brutal summer heat. Wilber Canyon has a stunning section of winding and wavy narrows along with some beautiful fun rappels.

One of the first real obstacles of the canyon is a climb down an extremely slippery log. Both David and Mike made their way down effortlessly, when it was my turn to shimmy down the log I knew I was in trouble. One minute I was on the log the next I was hugging the tree in mid air. There was really nothing left to do but fall. Oh well, a few scrapes were not going to ruin my afternoon. There is a second log down climb shortly after the first, this one into a nasty thick black pool of water, poor Mike lost his Monster energy drink in the pool and tried his utmost to find it with no luck (I should mention we always carry out trash we find in canyons and we are sorry to add any litter ourselves). Farther down the canyon through the narrows comes a few lovely rappels and a hallway swim. The final rappel ends with a swim that leads you to West Clear Creek.

The hike out of West Clear Creek back to our car was way longer than we expected. We kept thinking that the trail out was right around the corner but it never was; when we finally got to the point where we thought we missed the exit, there it was! I can’t wait to descend Carcass Canyon again this summer.



2 Responses

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  1. Mario Dominis said, on November 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Just did the Wilbur Canyon yesterday, November 5, in company of my friend and neighbor Garret. It was my first, canyoneering experience and awsome it was. 7 rappels, swims, wading and the incredible, natural beauty was the most wholesome experience. Even a very strenuous climb out of the sunny, beautiful West Clear Creek Canyon added to the fullness of this memorable day. Knowing that at 70 years of age I am not going to have too many more opportunities in the future to enjoy such a unique activity, I am for ever grateful to my friends Garret and Jenson to have made it possible.

    • canyoneering said, on November 6, 2009 at 9:17 pm

      Good for you Mario.

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