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Clearwater Canyon - Cataract Canyon

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Quality Ratings


With Colton

13 hrs, no shuttle; with Scott

Entry road was no problem in a CRV, would be no sweat in a 2WD sedan type car. The exit trail head road is crested in the center and you'll need decent clearance to get there. Clearwater was fairly dry on our trip. Very little in the way of flowing water but we found enough in the lower half to fill water and sit in, but I wouldn't call any of them a "magical oasis." Perhaps water is too low at this time of year. Overall our trip down to the river was fine, nothing to really write home about with the exception of two sets of fantastic panels (one is just past the first rap on the rim to the right, but before you drop the rap). Honestly we've done bigger and better, but it was alright. We camped down at the river and saw scorpions, so keep your eyes peeled for that. The riverwalk was absolutely the worst. "Frustratingly loose" is not apt. Perhaps "will make you question your ongoing insistence at remaining alive." Spirits were lower than low at that point, and given Ryan's description of the ascent canyon past that I was considering just floating down to Lake Powell and finding houseboat full of upper-middle class mid-westerners to adopt me as their own. Don't worry, that was the worst of it. The ascent canyon was honestly my favorite part of the entire circuit. It was super fun albeit athletic scrambling and route finding. After that, brace yourself for a slog through the desert. While the tumbleweed gauntlet was less fearsome than I expected, I'll be picking stickers out of my socks and shoes (and legs) for the foreseeable future. It is very secluded, which is nice. Didn't see a soul the whole weekend (including Cheesebox the day before). Overall a very mediocre canyon with nice views toward the end of the descent and excellent scrambling on the way back up Easter Pasture. I will likely not do this canyon again, but I am strangely glad I did it...

Eh. Panels were cool and there were couple nice spots, but really not worth the trouble in my opinion.

Hell of a journey! One of the longer more intense (physical -wise) canyons I've done so far! Worth the intense journey hands down, the views are epic! Cataract canyon is a super beautiful place and camping on the Colorado river was amazing! 5/5 for sure!