Is there anything technical in White Canyon above the Black Hole?

LarryBoy

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Hey all, planning a long-distance backpacking loop that would follow White Canyon between Bridges and the Black Hole. There's plenty of technical information on the nearby slots, but I can't find anything on whether the main stem of White Canyon is walkable or not. I'm not looking to do anything technical on this trip and wouldn't be bringing a drysuit or other swimming gear.

In surveying the available resources, the only potential beta I can find is:

  • A "pool" per Kelsey below Gravel Crossing (MP 64). He doesn't elaborate at all on this.
  • American Southwest says it may have "long pools in many other places, as the canyon channels a great amount of water after rainfall" but doesn't really explain where or how deep.
Anyone have intel on whether White Canyon is walkable above the Black Hole?
 
I have walked beyond Kachina down canyon a bit past the "STOP" sign that the NPS put there and it was getting a little bouldery for the rest of my crew so we turned back. I've looked around a bit in the slot that goes under the road by Fry Canyon and empties into White Canyon (I think) and the canyon (White?) seems pretty walkable. But that's all I know.
 
I have walked beyond Kachina down canyon a bit past the "STOP" sign that the NPS put there and it was getting a little bouldery for the rest of my crew so we turned back. I've looked around a bit in the slot that goes under the road by Fry Canyon and empties into White Canyon (I think) and the canyon (White?) seems pretty walkable. But that's all I know.
Thanks, that's super helpful! Could you elaborate on "little bouldery"?
 
Thanks, that's super helpful! Could you elaborate on "little bouldery"?
It's been a while since I tried this, but there looked to be a lot of rock hopping (that's what I typically call a little bouldery) and the crew I was with didn't want to do that. In other words no nice wash to walk in like you can find elsewhere in the monument including nearby around Kachina. It may have changed a bit since then because, as you know, flash floods can do that.
Sorry that is the best I got.
 
It's been a while since I tried this, but there looked to be a lot of rock hopping (that's what I typically call a little bouldery) and the crew I was with didn't want to do that. In other words no nice wash to walk in like you can find elsewhere in the monument including nearby around Kachina. It may have changed a bit since then because, as you know, flash floods can do that.
Sorry that is the best I got.
Thanks, that's helpful!

I haven’t walked all of it but that Cedar Mesa sandstone in the area is really friendly for bypassing stuff. I’d be pretty surprised if it wasn’t doable.
Thanks! That's kind of what i was thinking as well. But considering that all of the side-canyon slots are technical, I wondered if the same thing might be true of the main stem. I checked satellite and most of it seems pretty open... but some things can't be seen from space.
 
Advice...spend a night in Long Canyon. Its worthy of a full day of exploring. Should be water below the first dryfall. Great camping. Nothing technical until you get miles upcanyon.

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When are you thinking of going? Weather has been so unpredictable this year so be very careful down in those canyons. Have hiked an canyoneerred bits and pieces along your route but would love to see a TR if you wander a long ways.
 
When are you thinking of going? Weather has been so unpredictable this year so be very careful down in those canyons. Have hiked an canyoneerred bits and pieces along your route but would love to see a TR if you wander a long ways.
Next week... if the weather cooperates. Models are split on the possibility of a storm system next weekend. Lot of rain this past weekend so soils are saturated already... wouldn't take much to send a flood ripping through there.
 
That alcove looks amazing. I would love to check that out someday!

Its even better with water. Amazing canyon full of surprises.

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Next week... if the weather cooperates. Models are split on the possibility of a storm system next weekend. Lot of rain this past weekend so soils are saturated already... wouldn't take much to send a flood ripping through there.
All the pools we saw were very muddy, so be heads up as far as filtering water. This was 3 weeks ago. The Escalante area and White Canyon both still showed the effects of the epic monsoon floods in August. Side canyon should be a little better, Long had decent water in the first mile.
 
All the pools we saw were very muddy, so be heads up as far as filtering water. This was 3 weeks ago. The Escalante area and White Canyon both still showed the effects of the epic monsoon floods in August. Side canyon should be a little better, Long had decent water in the first mile.
Noted! I might actually cache water at the various 'crossings' since it's right next to the highway anyhow.
 
Well for posterity... got as far upstream as Fry Canyon. There was nothing technical, only one boulder jam that required climbing up and around. But there was just way too much water and quicksand and thus it was very obviously going to get impassible soon. I'd definitely try it again, but I'd wait for dry conditions and bring my A-game.
 
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