Misery Canyon - next week (wetsuits?)


Feb 20, 2014
I'm going with a group of friends to tackle Misery Canyon on Tuesday (5/13). This is our first time down Misery, so I have a quick question about whether or not we should take wetsuits. It's been in the 50s, and I believe tomorrow is the first day it'll hit the 70s this year. I have zero experience with the use of wetsuits in canyoneering, and no first hand experience in Misery. So, can anyone give me insight on whether we need wetsuits for this route? We'll be out of the sun, and I assume it'll be in the low to mid 60s the time of day we're in and out of what I assume is going to be very cold water. We don't want to take extra bulk & weight if it's unneeded, but we don't want to be miserable either. The outfitter we're working with said we need wetsuits b/c of the temp of the water, but I figured I'd pose the question to the board. Any advice will be much appreciated!


Aug 9, 2007
There isn't usually a lot of prolonged water in Misery. A bit of water near the arch room, maybe a pool or two after that then the bit through the grotto and out via parunaweap. If it's warm out and your group doesn't have unusual sensitivity to cold, I would definitely leave them behind. It's a LONG hike.


Aug 9, 2007
Side note. I've done it in September and May and never worn a suit. One member did in the May trip (drier than Sept that year) but she was a small female very sensitive to cold water. No one else in our group regretted not carrying one.

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
Jan 4, 2014
I've heard tales that Misery is wetter than drier at the moment but, that said, none of the multiple narrows are long and the wide spots are sunny.


ephemeral excursionist
Jan 17, 2012
Been through three times in September a week apart. And it was tippy top full the first time. Water level dropped significantly each time. I did not take a wet suit. However the third and last time when water level was at the lowest and our group slower than previous groups I got too cold to the point I quit chattering and was a bit honery. Ambient air temp that last time through was colder than previous trips. I would judge taking a wet suit on temperature, cloud coverage and group size and expected speed and the ability of person to cope being cold. On the second time through that same September two of the ladies that came were small and lacked body fat they wore wet suits and were happy. I have plenty of body fat to spare and did fine without a wet suit. And one final note it was not the big lake or pond we had to cross that made me so cold. It was waiting at Mystery Springs rap in the shade and slight breeze then the dip into the cold water as you come off the rope and standing around at the bottom that got me. That water is brrrrr cold!!! You really don't see much sun at that point if it is late in the day. It was a good thing I had a dry long sleeve shirt and fleece Beanie or I might have turned into a blue popsicle. (*sorry for grammatical or spelling....typing on phone is challenging.)

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Howells Outdoors

Adventure is my middle name...actually it's Keith.
Sep 26, 2012
I know it's late, but I've never needed a wetsuit in Misery. I've gone in early spring, spring, summer, and fall (winter trip is next!).
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