Canyonlands: Tales from Narrow Places

Getting back out in Minnow Canyon

Posted in Southern & Central Arizona by canyoneering on November 18, 2009

Minnow Canyon, 3AI
2.3 miles
Tonto National Forest – Superstition Wilderness, tributary of Fish Creek
12/22/08, 11/15/09


The fall in Arizona is wedding season and just about every weekend I am either shooting a wedding, assisting another wedding photographer or photographing an engagement session and for that reason it has been over a month since I have been on rope (my last canyoneering trip was Imlay in Zion). I have started to get that antsy feeling of needing some quality time in the wilderness. Sunday was finally a day when both David and I could go canyoneering together, along with our good friend John. Having shot a wedding all day on Saturday I had some criteria for our outing- I didn’t want to drive far, I didn’t want to get wet if possible and I would like a relatively short day. Shooting weddings are a joy but I generally come home extremely wired and I did not want to wake up super early Sunday morning. David suggested Minnow Canyon in the Superstitions. It was a perfect choice. David had also done Minnow Canyon last year with Mike.

The coolest thing about Minnow are all the caves created by fallen boulders, with earth and vegetation filling in the gaps. This makes for the true canyon bottom below a second level above. Creativity and route finding is necessary to navigate through the two tiered maze. There is one 150- foot rappel towards the end of the canyon.

David and John jogged the 2+ miles back to the car as I waited with the packs happy to be out enjoying a beautiful fall afternoon in Arizona.

-Laura (click here to see my wedding website)

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2 Responses

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  1. Steve Schwartz said, on November 18, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    I thought that maybe you guys were getting old and tired. It’s been almost 2 weeks since you posted anything new. Sorry you have to supplement your income by taking wedding pictures. 🙂

    So two weekends ago a few of us (definitely not your folks Laura) climbed a hill (as opposed to your mountains) called Strickler’s Knob in the George Washington National Forest. Lots of scrambling over rocks, but no rapelling (not that I’d remember how to do that anyway). Beautiful scenery – but not quite as pretty as where you guys go.

    I’m starting to get my oldest grandchild (Justin – 8 yrs old) into hiking. He seems to like it. I’ve taken him on the “Billy Goat Trail” on the Maryland side of the Potomac – also a lot of rock scrambling. He loved it. We’re doing another hike Saturday. If I start him slowly I’m hoping to have a hiking partner for life (my life – not his). Three more grandchildren coming up (another boy and 2 girls). If I plan it right, I’ll have hiking/camping partners for a long time. When I get too old and weak, they can carry me!

  2. Eric Sophiea said, on April 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    PSA: The bolts that had been added for the rappel are no longer there. Anyone descending this canyon should be prepared to use a natural anchor. The natural anchors are good and no bolts are needed in this canyon. There is a good pinch-point as well as a large boulder that can be used. Be safe!


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