Weeping Springs and Bighorn Canyon |

Black Canyon

Canyoneering Weeping Springs and Bighorn Canyon - Black Canyon Canyoneering Weeping Springs and Bighorn Canyon

Black Canyon

Overview

RATING: 3A

Sun

Patchy blowing dust before 9am. Sunny, with a high near 60. Breezy, with a south wind 22 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph.

60 | 47

Mon

Sunny, with a high near 60. South southwest wind around 7 mph.

60 | 43

Tue

Sunny, with a high near 64.

64 | 47

Wed

Mostly sunny, with a high near 64.

64 | 49

Thu

A slight chance of showers.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 62.

62 | 48

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SEASON: Fall, Winter, Spring
RAPPELS: 8+ to 58 m ( 191 ft. )
WATER: Generally none in the canyon. Filterable for drinking at the Colorado River.
FLASHFLOOD: Moderate/High

Sun

Patchy blowing dust before 9am. Sunny, with a high near 60. Breezy, with a south wind 22 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph.

60 | 47

Mon

Sunny, with a high near 60. South southwest wind around 7 mph.

60 | 43

Tue

Sunny, with a high near 64.

64 | 47

Wed

Mostly sunny, with a high near 64.

64 | 49

Thu

A slight chance of showers.  Mostly sunny, with a high near 62.

62 | 48

View Full Weather Details
Coming up the deep Bighorn Canyon

Coming up the deep Bighorn Canyon

Weeping Springs is often touted as the best technical canyon in the Black Canyon area. Starting high above the Colorado River, Weeping Springs is a hike until not far from the river, where the canyon deepens in a series of fairly quick rappels. It is a dramatic set of rappels in a deep section of canyon. The canyon ends with 2 choices, packraft 1/4 of a mile down the Colorado River to Bighorn Canyon for the exit, or hike cross-country to Bighorn Canyon and skip the packraft.

I liked Weeping Springs, but thought the exit up Bighorn Canyon was more spectacular and really put the cherry on top of an excellent day! Bighorn Canyon is deeper, narrower, and has a handful of climbing obstacles to keep the day interesting. It also has some bushwhacking down low, but once in the narrows, the pain of the bushwhacking section was soon forgotten!

Time and Skill Note: The route down Weeping Springs is straightforward, but at 8 rappels coupled with about 1,800 feet of elevation gain on the way out can make this a fairly long day, especially if bringing beginners or a large group. Our time with a group of 2 experienced canyoneers, at what, I thought, was a fairly relaxed pace and a lunch break, was 5.5 hours. Many larger and/or less experienced groups take 7-10+ hours.
The exit route up Bighorn Canyon has a few climbing challenges, the hardest being 4th class/easy 5th class with about 5 m ( 17 ft. ) of exposure. This hardest climb is a traverse that would be difficult to protect, but has very positive holds.
Packraft Exit to Bighorn Canyon: Some packraft the 0.25 mile section of the Colorado from the bottom of Weeping Springs to Bighorn Canyon. We did the overland route to Bighorn instead, which I highly recommend. Packrafting adds 1 more short rappel and the short float, but also adds weight to the packs for the hike out. Time wise, the overland is probably about the same as the packraft.
Anchor Note: The canyon has many boulder pinch and rock cairn style anchors. Many of these are a bit back from the edge. Be sure to bring plenty of webbing in case anchors need to be built or changed. This is a canyon where a fiddlestick type device works really well to make rope pulls easier.
Diane on the crux climb/traverse in Bighorn Canyon

Diane on the crux climb/traverse in Bighorn Canyon

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