Imlay Canyon (Sneak Route) |

Zion Main Canyon

Canyoneering Imlay Canyon (Sneak Route) - Zion Main Canyon Canyoneering Imlay Canyon (Sneak Route)
Zion Main Canyon

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TICKS & TODOS: 18 Todo Lists / 6 Ticks
GEAR: Standard Technical Gear, Pothole Escape Tools
RAPPELS: More than 20 to 37 m ( 122 ft. )
WATER: Much cold water. 5mm+ full wetsuit or drysuit
SEASON: Summer, Fall
Mon Hi:48 Lo:36 Tue Hi:58 Lo:34 Wed Hi:63 Lo:36 Thu Hi:67 Lo:39 Fri Hi:72 Lo:40
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One of the heavy hitters in Zion, Imlay is as demanding as it is beautiful. This is not a place for beginners. All members of your group must be advanced canyoneers.

Imlay is famous for its potholes. In tippy-top full conditions, the canyon is fun and straightforward. As the water level drops, however, it becomes difficult very fast. Think potholes 10+ feet deep, requiring pack tosses, ingenuity, and as a last resort hooking to surmount. Now picture not just one or two of them, but a lot of them. Mix in hours of cold water exposure, and more than 20 rappels, and you begin to get the picture. A group size of 3 is likely the minimum safe number for dealing with the potholes, but more than 5 will slow you down in the many raps.

One of the things I personally like about Imlay is it requires technical skills, but also a high level of fitness. Climbing in an out of pools all day in cold water takes its toll. By the time you reach the final rappel into the Narrows, you feel a sense of awe by the beauty of the canyon, but also a sense of accomplishment. Every member of the group needs to be in good shape, with a heavy wetsuit (5mm+ full) or drysuit.

Note: Imlay via this sneak route is often in one day, but a long day. (12+ hours) I would not recommend trying to do it in a day if this is your first time through. Pack light camping gear, and bivy at the start of the narrows. This gives a big head start on the canyon on day 2, and allows for a less hurried pace. Even still, day 2 will be a long one.

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