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Oink, oink, oink, the Hogs!! The 4 Hog Canyons are some of my favorites in North Wash. When I first visited them in about 2004, I was surprised at their beauty, and their difficulty. They offer a small notch up from many of the North Wash Canyons, and serve as a great intermediate playground. The 4 forks all have different characters, and are short enough a motivated group can easily do 2 or 3 in a day. A very motivated group might be able to do all 4, but I have heard of few who have actually done them all in a day.
The forks are listed before in the order you come to them from the standard trailhead:
Hog 4 - Miss Piggy
2+ rappels to 25 m ( 83 ft. )
Named Hog 4 because it was the 4th one descended, not because of its location, team work is the name of the game for this one. There are many short drops that work well to have someone be the human anchor for the rest of the group, then the rest of the group catch the last man down. Very fun and scenic. It joins up with Hog 1 just before the end of Hog 1. This one can also hold the most water of the Hogs, up to about waist deep. Avoid it during colder times, or bring cold water protection.
Hog 1 - Boss Hog
1+ rappels to 15 m ( 50 ft. )
The first of the Hogs I did back in the day, and it left a big impression on me. Mostly casual, this is another good one for practicing your downclimbs. Though only 1 mandatory rappel, many groups may do a few more. The canyon offers a bit of easy high stemming in spots, and a few elevator style downclimbs.
3 rappels to 40 m ( 132 ft. ) (or 2 rappels to 20 m ( 66 ft. ) if the first rappel is bypassed)
Ah, the final downclimb on Hog 2 is what you will remember, a dark pit, often referred to as the Birth Canal. Truly a memorable canyon! I would rate this the easiest of the Hogs, and a good one to start with. It is the one I have repeated more than the others.
Hog 3 - Razorback
1+ rappel to 25 m ( 83 ft. ), R rated
Somewhat awkward downclimbs and team work are what Hog 3 is about. Many of the downclimbs seem wide and hard to start, but once committed, they are straightforward. Some will want to rappel a few of these. Downclimbs, coupled with some high stemming, make this an R- rated canyon, and the hardest of the Hogs. Intermediates or advanced canyoneers only. Though fun from a climbing perspective, this was my least favorite of the Hogs.