Canyonlands: Tales from Narrow Places

A bunch of dudes in Meadow Canyon

Posted in Northern Arizona & the Mogollon Rim by canyoneering on July 15, 2009

A bunch of dudes in Meadow Canyon

Meadow Canyon, 3BIII
9 miles
Coconino National Forest, tributary of West Clear Creek
07/12/09

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Sweaty dudes. It felt like a whole lot of dudes in Meadow Canyon on Sunday. Normally when David and I go canyoneering it is a group of about four and there is a good chance I will not be the only girl. Sunday was not one of those days. David and I drove up to Meadow Canyon in the morning to meet up with Chris, Pat, two Erics and Mark who was a welcome last minute addition; six sweaty dudes total. Seven people makes for a big group canyoneering but if ever there is a canyon for a larger group it is Meadow.

Meadow Canyon is a nice technical canyon with a few rappels and down climbs before opening up into West Clear Creek. Even with a group of seven we moved quickly through the smoke filled canyon from a distant controlled burn under a light drizzle. Our efficiency was in large part because we used a rigging technique to allow two people to rappel at the same time.

Though Meadow Canyon is pleasant enough, the highlight of the trip is the trek along West Clear Creek. After a quick break at the confluence of Meadow Canyon and West Clear Creek we continued upstream. Despite the difficulty of walking along the creek from underwater rocks and boulders covered in green algae that makes every step a spastic challenge, travel along the Creek was especially pleasant in the hot unusually muggy air. We ate lunch by the beautiful hanging garden spring along the creek. The lush delicate waterfall was tranquil and seductively beautiful. Trudging on up West Clear Creek we finally came to the White Box (although we mistakenly thought a previous long swim was the White Box, which we named the Faux Box). The White Box is a hallway of deep water filled narrows. The swim was so long I had to alternate between floating on my back and using my pack like a kickboard.

An easy hike out of the canyon brought us back to our car. With sweaty hugs goodbye to the all the dudes, David and I headed back to the oppressive heat of July in Phoenix.

-Laura

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