LENGTH: 4-6 Hours (5-7 for longer route)
GEAR: Standard canyoneering gear. 30 m ( 99 ft. ) of webbing
RAPPELS: 2+ to 10 m ( 33 ft. ) (20 m ( 66 ft. ) if doing the longer route)
WATER: Often quite a bit. Wetsuit required in cool/cold conditions, recommended in most conditions.
FLASHFLOOD: Moderate, but you can see the whole drainage and skies on the approach.
SEASON: Spring through Fall.
Cowboy Canyon is touted by some to be one of the better slot canyons on Cedar Mesa. The narrow section is relatively short, but very nice. Coupled with being technically very straightforward, this is a great outing for beginners and seasoned canyoneers alike. Be warned, though, it can hold water and be cold in the spring and fall. The route described here is a fairly casual 1/2 to 3/4 of a day.
There are two options for the return. The short route, which most do, and a slightly longer exit down Gravel. The long exit adds and hour or two, but is what I would highly recommend. It adds a nice rappel and a pleasant section of canyon.