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technical potholes

technical potholes

Technical potholes require serious skill! These canyons should be reserved for experienced canyoneers that understand pack tosses, shoulder stands, floating pack assists, and all the other tricks of the trade for dealing with potholes.
So, what are potholes? The best comparison is to imagine a 12+ foot deep swimming pool without any exit ladders. How would you get out?

Full of water? Swim to the edge and mantle out. Easy-peasy.
Empty? Maybe you can create a human pyramid to get the first man out and have them throw a rope down for everybody else.
1/2 Full? You'll be treading water until you drown unless you have a plan before you get in!

For a technical discussion on their formation, the Utah Geological has great information on how they are formed.

Pothole escape skills are best learned from an experienced canyoneer or professional instruction. I will say potshot tosses and swimming assists have served me best.Pothole canyons vary in difficulty GREATLY depending on water level. Be sure you have the skills for the worst possible water level, because you never know what the level will be until you reach the pothole.

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Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef is a diverse destination. Many short park trails and scenic drives make for great family fun, while some technical canyoneering adventures keep the more adventurous entertained.


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Escalante & Bryce

Escalante area is likely best known for its stunning backpacking opportunities. There are also plenty of hiking and canyoneering adventures. This makes a great spring and fall destination and would take a lifetime to fully explore.


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Lake Powell

Lake Powell is unique in the world with miles and miles of exquisite boating. Beyond the boating, however, are some of the most stunning canyoneering and hiking adventures on the Colorado Plateau.


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North Wash

Canyoneering is king in North Wash, and likely the reason most visit. North Wash canyons tend to be short, narrow, and physical. This is the place to bring long sleeves and long pants. With easy access, next to the highway, this makes a good choice for groups.


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San Rafael Swell

My favorite area in Utah, the San Rafael Swell offers excellent camping, hiking, canyoneering, and rock climbing. For solitude and amazing views, this is the place to go.


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Zion & Southwest

Quite possibly the canyoneering capital in the US, Zion offers  canyoneering, climbing, and hiking among towering sandstone walls. The park itself is a destination, but within a short distance of the park are many additional wonders to be visited.


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