Monday, September 16, 2013
Neon Canyon is home to the Golden Cathedral. This is the most beautiful feature in any slot canyon on
the Colorado Plateau which makes for an unforgettable rappel.
Make sure to check out the video below.
Neon Canyon is located in the Escalante Grand Staircase.
It is roughly 30 miles southeast of the town of Escalante.
We pulled into the trailhead around 1am and just camped there. There are no signs saying no camping so I assume it's allowed. There is also decent primitive camping along Egypt road. If you're looking to backpack in and do a few canyons, there are some good camping spots throughout the Escalante river basin shown in the map below.
Fence Canyon is in the upper left corner and Neon Canyon is in the lower right.
It had rained for a few days before we went through the canyon and it was full of water. The water was actually pretty warm and I had no problem without a wetsuit. However for those with less tolerance for the cold, a wetsuit would probably be a good idea. Keep in mind that August conditions are a lot different from spring or fall conditions.
We were wading or swimming through water for probably 2/3 of the canyon, but water levels can change in a matter of days. There are two keeper potholes, but the water was so high we weren't even sure when we went through them. Apparently when the water is lower they can present quite a problem. On a less important note, that was the most disgusting water I've ever been in.
It took us just under 10 hours to complete the route stopping to take a few breaks to eat and wash off the smell in the Escalante River on our way out. For GPS waypoints of the route, join the "circle of friends" at climb-utah.com.
Video courtesy of Jason Williams