Cassidy Arch Canyon


Mountain Carver
Feb 19, 2012
I have had my eye on this one for years and finally decided to hit it, so I took one of my 3 Aggies with me and we bagged it. A very pretty canyon with great anchors at every rap. However, be sure you are OK with some significant exposure before going because this route has it.

This route has 7 raps. The first two are about 130-140 feet with mucho freehang. The bottom is not visible on either of these from the top. We used two 60 meter ropes tied together with two Euro-death knots (double rope rap not one single strand of course) and our ropes reached. The first rap starts right at the arch. All of the raps are pretty close together and this route is really just a series of fun raps with little canyon walking. The second rap is the one that caused me some pucker. One walks out on a slanted ledge to some bolts. They are about 20 meters out on the ledge and the bolts are out on a precarious point. Definitely take a cowtail out with you and clip in to these before jacking around with your ropes etc. Though the anchors are all straight forward on every rap I would say that this route is not for the faint of heart just because of the exposure on the first two. (even though @Blake Merrell finds it so mellow he does this canyon with toddlers :) )

The first rap is right at the arch. The very top left of this shot shows the tree used to drop in. You can see my son freehanging at the bottom of the shot. The bottom of the rap is not visible in the shot.


The below is a closeup of the tree-anchor. We did ghost this rap and all beta I read on this stresses that this needs to be ghosted because it is near the arch. I'm not sure I agree. The base of this tree is in a dip in the rock and I don't believe anyone hiking around the arch would ever see any dark webbing. But, as stated, I went there prepared to ghost it and we did. Be sure to have your pull line on the DC side since you will end up slightly DC at the end of your rap.

The below is a failed attempt to show the awesome view of hanging in that canyon with the arch overhead. What a view!


Below is a gopro snapshot of the same view. Notice the Reebok "gloves" he is using? The bonehead forgot gloves and had to use his socks :)


The below shot is a VERY weird angle. It is a still from some gopro vid. This is the second rap. He was rapping and spinning . I had to invert the vid to get this pic. To see the real angle the pic would have to be rotated 45 clockwise and then held overhead (which you can do if you are on a laptop or tablet). You can see me sitting back on the ledge waiting my turn to walk over and clip into these hangers, precariously near the edge and scary, and then clip into the ropes for the rap. The bottom is not visible and, in fact, it is very difficult to communicate with someone at the bottom. I am not sitting because I am taking a break....this entire "ledge" slopes toward the 140 ft drop. yikes!


The bottom of the second rap goes through a narrow opening and drops into a dim chamber, seen in this shot below. Part of why communication with the top is difficult.

5 more raps and one 7-9 ft downclimb. These 5 raps are 50-75 ft or so. Nothing big and great anchors. FYI I don't downclimb I always rap (I mean we are wearing harnesses anyway right?) but this downclimb had a tree pushed up against it like a ladder so I actually did downclimb for once. The below shows one of these raps with a tree anchor.


The below pic shows a dryfall to the side that you will see. The canyon takes a sharp right turn and this is on the left. The interesting thing is that just to the left of the shot is a crack about 1 ft wide and very cool air was coming out. I'll bet it was 25 degrees cooler than the ambient temp (which was a high of 94 on the day we were there). A thermal crack that was heaven to cool off with :) If you hit this canyon in the summer stop and cool off here!


Rap 5 goes through a window and hangs in front of a chamber. Very pretty


One of the raps starts in a narrow slot. Difficult to navigate with a backpack. Some stemming, squeezing, and sucking-in got us through it. The squeeze is about 8 feet deep and then opens up for a regular rap. This shot shows the squeeze.

BluuGnome Luke tipped me off about rap 6. The dryfall has a narrow, rope snagging groove. But, a short climb up to the left leads to a ledge that has an old cable mounted and two bolts to anchor from. Perfect for using the "cowtail" to clip into the cable and then walk over to the bolts. In this gopro vid snap he has unclipped from the cable and is starting his rap off of the bolts. This rap goes over a ledge that sticks out and it is a bit of a pain going over the lip.


Below is a GoPro vid snap of the walk out after the last rap.

A fun canyon.

Blake Merrell

Life Elevated - Rising Higher
Feb 25, 2013
Haha! Thanks for the shout out :) I love This canyon. Dang straight to call this one Mellow!? Lol if a 3yo can do it, anyone can haha. Just gotta get the momma to agree. ... that is the difficult part hahaha

Just kidding! I agree, this canyon is not the best canyon for kids who can't rappel. Better to go somewhere a bit more straight forward. ...

Loved your TR! Thanks for sharing.


Aug 9, 2007
Yep, this does not sound like kiddie canyoneering to me! I puckered a bit just reading about that ledge. Nice report, Duke.


Mountain Carver
Feb 19, 2012
Yep, this does not sound like kiddie canyoneering to me! I puckered a bit just reading about that ledge. Nice report, Duke.

Like I said....Blake and his offspring have nerves of steel :) :)
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