Imlay Canyon (Zion National Park)

Discussion in 'Canyoneering' started by uintafly, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. uintafly

    uintafly Member

    Messages:
    80
    Sometime last spring after I went through my first technical canyon and quickly became addicted I read a report about Imlay Canyon and I remember thinking I wouldn't have the skills or the team to go through that canyon for many a years. Fast forward a year and a half and probably way too many Southern Utah trips than a weekend warrior with kids should be allowed, and the idea doing Imlay comes up after the flow in Kolob was too high for our June trip. After a day of texts back and forth and an accounting of our skills we decide to give it a go.

    The original plan was for us to descend through on Saturday, but with a bad weather forecast we decide to postpone until Sunday, even though it meant a 12 hour canyon followed by a 6 hour drive home so us desk jockeys can all be back to work by 8:00 a.m. It turned out to be a long day, but definitely worth it. After a 2:30 wake up call in Washington we were able to head out of the Grotto parking lot at about 4:45 in the morning. If you haven't had the unique pleasure of hiking up to Scouts Lookout in the dark, it really is an experience that shouldn't be missed. No tourists, no heat, just the sound of the night and the black monoliths silhouetted against the stars. Once on top of the West Rim we were able to hike as the sun rose on Zion Canyon. 4 and a half hours of hiking and scrambling later and we were at the goods. I have to say that of all the canyons I have done, Imlay has the most spectacular approach hike.

    Once into the canyon, the real fun began. Dark, wet and cold, though not as cold as I was expecting, we hopped from rappel to rappel, swim to swim. It was long and fairly physically though technically we found it pretty straight forward. We cheated a bit and hooked out of 2 potholes and lassoed a log out of another, but other than those, the beach whale/ partner assist was the name of the day. After 5 or so hours of fun, came the final exit rappel out into the crowded narrows. 110' mostly freehanging to the tourists below makes you feel kinda cool for a minute, until you remember all of the folks who have taken their 10 year old kids through. haha. After a couple mile slog down the narrows we made it to the Temple in just about 12 hours shuttle stop to shuttle stop. Truly a fantastic hike. What other sport does the approach and exit include 2 of the most iconic hikes in the world (Angel's Landing and The Narrows)?

    Here are a few photos that I will apologize for in advance. A combination of lack of skills and a cheap waterproof point and shoot make for pretty ugly photos.
     

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    River, Nick, danger02ward and 2 others like this.
  2. Mike K

    Mike K Member

    Messages:
    659
    Location:
    Utah
    Good stuff. I always get confused between Heaps and Imlay. I hear both are great.
     
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