Eagle/Forgotten Canyons |

Western Swell

Canyoneering Eagle/Forgotten Canyons - Western SwellHiking Eagle/Forgotten Canyons - Western Swell Canyoneering Eagle/Forgotten Canyons
Western Swell

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TICKS & TODOS: 26 Todo Lists / 4 Ticks
GEAR: Standard Technical Gear
RAPPELS: 1+ to 15 m ( 50 ft. )
WATER: Generally little or none.
SEASON: Any, hot in summer
Tue Hi:67 Lo:43 Wed Hi:71 Lo:45 Thu Hi:73 Lo:48 Fri Hi:73 Lo:49 Sat Hi:71 Lo:48
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It is no wonder they built a rest stop and view area on the rim of Eagle Canyon. From the rim, it is deep, sheer walled, and dramatic. This is a canyon that is impressive from the rim, but even more impressive to actually hike down into and visit up close. My first visit to Eagle, in about 2005, was a full loop from the Rest Area down Eagle, up Forgotten, and back to a waiting car near the I-70 bridge over the middle part of the canyon. This always stuck in my memory as a good day, but a bit of a slog. Although a bit of a slog, this is likely the most common way the canyon is done.

Ah, but there is a better way! The route described here had peaked my interest for years, until Diane and I finally got down to see if it would go. This is NOT a route for beginners, nor for those looking for a slot canyon adventure. It IS a route for those looking for an elegant and challenging route with a little bit of technical rope work. The route requires good navigation skills, route finding, and most of all, good judgment. In several spots, there is relatively easy, but very exposed climbing. Not for the faint of heart or inexperienced.

En route, however, the trip gives big views of Eagle, up close views of Forgotten Canyon and the Arch in Forgotten Canyon, then an intricate scramble over the mesa and down to the bottom of Eagle through the short narrows of Eagle and back to the trailhead. A must do for the experienced desert lover, it visits the best parts of Eagle and Forgotten without much slogging.

Note: Doing the entire loop requires technical canyoneering skills. Visiting up to Forgotten Canyon Arch and returning the same way is a great option for non-technical hikers. Be warned, however, this option still requires good navigation, route finding, and judgment! Reaching the arch requires a short section of slab climbing in Forgotten Canyon to surmount a dryfall. A rope is recommended to help beginners.

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