Boundary Canyon 5-16-15

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Feb 15, 2013
So I have a few more days left in Zion before heading off to other venues. I have been invited on a few other trips but I have promised to meet four folks for a canyon and the canyon is Boundary. Two run afoul of work and two are far away and checking the weather radar. I figure if the weather turns, there are great back country routes I know with wonderful summits for every level and taste. Once someone goes on one of these with me, they never hesitate signing on again. But getting them there that first time? Aw well. The folks cancel. But by now, other folks are interested. A Heaps trip cancels due to fresh rain, cold temps and a forecast short of perfect. Those folks file in. Others express interest and suddenly we are a group of 8. I am the only one from the original crew. So it goes. Canyon over there. Lets go, with an eye on the sky.

We drive up top, passing and saying hi to Felicia who is running a shuttle. Bruce, Andy and Eric have come. Kody and Kyler are back for more, with daughter Lacey this time, joining the mix. Denali Mike rounds out the crew. It has snowed overnight . A lovely wet inch on top of the brilliant green grass. The world fairly sparkles and smells rich. We take the longer and flatter approach so as not to cause erosion on wet slopes. Conversation among friends seen and spoken to, too infrequently, passes the time quickly.

At one spot on the approach, the creek flowed, but alas, at the drop in there is only shallow pools and no flow. Aw well. We take the shorter entry rap, from near the top, allowing us to carry no rope over 30 meters. Only the remnants of sloughed snow exists on the edges of potholes. The sky is gray and the lighting muted. Boundary drops quickly and deeply. What draws me back to the place......other than avoiding the permit the gargoyle shapes and fluting of the walls up out of the depths of the slot. They display in red and white and orange, with their odd shapes, cut from a watercourse long ago dug deeper, where we pass now. These upper walls almost appear to be dripping rock.

There are competent leaders everywhere and the groups 'flips over" regularly. Front to back, back to front, all in a relaxed atmosphere. Again the conversation swallows the time and we are too soon below the last rap. The trash another group left is packed with us We are now in the garden of Boundary. Cameras don't do the colour green its full justice, in my hands. The place is verdant and vibrant. We can hear the sprinkle of the rain hitting the canopy top, with the odd drop making its way down to us. We hear Kolob Creek before we see it. It is flowing gently. The sun makes a cameo and the group settles into a break and a lunch that lasts longer than needed. No one makes a move to leave. Then the sun hides and a breeze makes its way to us. We are quickly off again

The stroll down the creek is mellow. Twice deeper water is encountered. The lead folks wait for the followers to give advice, but I think also to watch their facial expressions at the moments of immersion, all in good and playful spirit.

Then the dreaded MIA. Why its dreaded, I know not. Just a nice workout on the StairMaster in a place nicer than any gym. Add conversation if you got the wind. lLsten if you don't. Break a sweat and then it is over. Today we are lucky. The sun comes out at the top of the hill where we snack, making the transition of drying sweat and its accompany cooling, quite comfortable.

The roads up to the top often leave me stiff, with the reduced range of motion required. Good conversation and exchange of ideas can and do distract us today. The views up top on a clear day in late afternoon lighting, can be stunning. But we are earlier than that on a gray muted day. The conversation will have to do. On a day of relaxed and easy grace, the one piece that did not work to perfection is the mud in the last 1/8 of a mile, taking clean shoes and soiling them just before getting in the cars.

Except for a few hikers starting down the West Rim trail at the hikes start, we have seen no one. Somehow only 7.5 hours have passed in spite of our doggedly relaxed pace. All too soon, we head our separate ways. Hopefully we see each other again soon


Early AM drive to my partners. West Temple in the clouds

Mid may and fresh snow

Bruce Wilson is a really great fella

Andy is too

Fast dropping canyon

Kyler and Lacey on the rim

Thumbs up from Denali Mike

Lacey dropping in

Some snow that sloughed off

Kyler and a rap that could use a different anchor to prevent grooves


The walls of boundary are special

Andy ARCHibald

Eric with the big smile

Final rap

The world turns green


Down to Kolob Creek. Lacey dyno's over a waist deep spot

Eric, I missed the rock too

Top of the MIA hike

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Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
Jun 7, 2012
I really love the color and tafoni on pics 17, 22, 25 etc. Very unique.
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Jul 5, 2014
You're a great wordsmith Ram. I always enjoy these reports. The technical climbing and terrain you guys explore is such a different universe from the simple walking in the woods that I do. Hopefully I'll get a taste of this stuff one day.
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New Member
Jun 6, 2015
Awesome. I will be doing my first canyoneering trip next Monday and Tuesday. This is one of the three canyons that we will be doing. I'm trying to gain as much insight as possible.


Mar 1, 2012
Nice write-up Ram. I plan on making my way through Boundary over the 4th of July. Looking forward to it!
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