Maze help needed: Route into Water Canyon from Chimney Rock?

steve

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I've been to the maze before, but I've never dropped down into Water Canyon. I've seen some pictures with some interestingly stacked rocks as a sort of "trail", but I'm not sure where it is. Looking at this map, do I have the correct general route down there? Any info, maps, or pictures of this descent into the canyon would be especially helpful. thanks in advance.

http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/View...tLinkKey=a150b1c6-4062-4608-82a0-02e3acdcd218
 

Nick

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I haven't done the Water Canyon entrance but I've heard it's quite bit spicier than your average Maze route (which means it's really spicy, IMO). David Day says there is some 'hand over hand scrambling', 'narrow ledges' and that a 30-foot rope is recommended for raising and lowering packs as it climbs up an unlikely looking 400-foot wall at the head of the canyon. If that sounds not-so-great to you, then just head down Shot Canyon and go over the pass into Water. I've done that twice and it's great. That's where the stone steps are you've probably seen.

Shot Canyon steps:


My GPS tracks from this trip show the Water/Shot route well: http://backcountrypost.com/threads/the-maze-spanish-bottom-to-water-canyon.903/

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Nick

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Have you thought about just walking the confluence trail like we did and dropping into Water Canyon that way? It's a nice hike and there is a spring right there where you cross over the main water course in Water Canyon. Much better than the road walk, IMO.
 

Nick

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Oh, it's also possible to scramble up through Crinoid Canyon and connect with the confluence trail for more of a b-line to Water Canyon. Ken Sanders was telling us about that route before our last trip but we didn't use it. I can dig up the notes from that if it interests you. Crinoid Canyon is the one that heads up on the north end of Spanish Bottom. If I recall the only difficulty was scrambling around some large boulders that are spread throughout the steep canyon.

Apparently there are large concentrations of crinoids in there, hence the name. Could be interesting. You'd miss beehive arch and the dollhouse though.
 

steve

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Lots of great intel Nick, thanks. From that angle, those steps don't sketch me out too much, but I know how the camera typically make everything look easier than it is. Does anyone know if it's pretty easy to find the route to those? I think my GPS link above goes in the right general direction, but you never know 'till you're there.


I'll have to bust out the map and do some scenarios. The road walk won't be that exciting, so I'm open to other routes into there. I do like the dollhouse area, so i'll consider what I prefer.
 

Nick

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Those steps aren't scary at all and they are optional - they just look pretty dramatic. With boots on instead of hooves, you can just walk right up the main watercourse.

It's very easy to find. There is a trail and lots of cairns going through there from Chimney Rock. I'd definitely drop a pin on it if you're coming at it from the top though, just to make sure.

Your GPS link still shows the Water Canyon route, so it goes nowhere near the stairs since they are in Shot Canyon.
 

Joey

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I think you would enjoy it more if you hike the route from the Dollhouse towards the confluence trail, and into water canyon that way. Or any route going that way. There are a lot of areas you could explore along the way. You could walk up water canyon from the spring as well. Its a pretty canyon.
 

steve

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Your GPS link still shows the Water Canyon route, so it goes nowhere near the stairs since they are in Shot Canyon.

Ah, makes sense. For some reason I thought the stairs were in water canyon. Thanks.
 
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