LENGTH: 6-8+ hours
GEAR: Standard Technical Gear, Ascending Gear, Extra ropes
RAPPELS: Many. See description for rope information.
WATER: Generally quite a bit, wetsuit recommended in all conditions.
SEASON: Summer, Fall
Note: This is recommended for advanced canyoneers ONLY! This route requires substantial rope work including ascending and passing re-belays. Experts only! Without the proper skills and equipment, a group can easily become stuck in Lower Echo and require rescue.
Ok, enough with the warning. This is a lovely canyon for the expert canyoneer. The park service does not allow making the final rappel from Echo Canyon down to Weeping Rock for visitor safety concerns, so you have to re-ascend the canyon. Re-ascending is physical in spots, and tiring, but worth the effort.
If you like Middle Echo, I would describe Lower Echo as substantially better. Very sculpted in spots with cavernous rooms and dark sections. This is one not to be missed if you have the skills.
Ropes: You will need to fix rope before you start heading down the canyon. There was some debate in our group about how much rope is needed to fix. We used a 77 m ( 253 ft. ) rope that reached from the rim all the way to the canyon bottom and the next short drop below the exit. To be safe, I would recommend a 50 m ( 165 ft. ) rope for the first drop, plus a 30 m ( 99 ft. ) rope to fix from the bolted anchor half way down.
For the canyon proper, I would recommend two 25 m ( 83 ft. ) ropes, two 5 m ( 17 ft. ) ropes, and a 15 m ( 50 ft. ) rope. If the fixing above also fixes the short drop after the jug out, this will be all the ropes needed to reach the end of the canyon from the exit jug out point. You will need to fix ropes in the bottom half of the canyon so it is important to have enough rope.