After deciding that canyoneering was going to be a part of my Southwest trip, I got in touch with Zion Adventure Company (ZAC). From our first email exchanges I knew that this was going to be a pretty great company to spend the day with.
One of the best things about booking a trip with ZAC is their flexibility. At ZAC they really give you the freedom to customize your trip and Bailey, one of their amazing guides who I got to spend the day with, offered three different options based on her thoughts and feelings of the day (daylight, weather, etc.). This means that you’ll get to build your own adventure for the day based on your comfort level and what you want to experience (water, heights of rappels, etc.).
Once we arrived at the canyon we hiked in and were able to navigate ourselves around the first few obstacles without rope but we quickly found ourselves at the top of a 60 foot drop into the canyon. After discussing the best way to get down, we thought we could get around the frozen water at the bottom and decided not to put on our drysuits for this rappel.
When I got to the bottom I quickly realized that it was going to be much more difficult than I had thought to get my short legs over the ice without stepping on it and risking getting wet. I tapped around with my foot and after dangling there for what I felt was a sufficient time, decided to just go for it.
As soon as I touched the ice I regretted my decision. As the ice shattered and I fell into ice cold water up to my neck I also realized I had greatly underestimated the depth of this frozen “puddle”. I could feel the water slowly seeping through my insulating layers of clothing and after hearing me sputter “I’m soaked” Bailey quickly rappelled down (like Spiderwoman) and offered the option to go back to the car or change into whatever extra layers we had between us and continue through the canyon. After mustering up my adventure spirit I immediately thought “hell no will a little water end this day” and I changed into dry clothes (yeah, in the middle of the canyon).
The rest of the day went flawlessly and I remained warm and dry thanks to the gear that ZAC provided for me! Some of the obstacles we encountered required rappelling but others we were able to slide down or maneuver our bodes around with or without the help of rope.
Canyoneering in Zion National Park with Zion Adventure Company allows a completely different way to experience Zion National Park and really makes you feel like a kid playing outside again.
I’d definitely recommend this adventure to anyone spending time in the area…and even if you’re not, put it on your bucket list! I promise that you won’t regret it! I’m already desperate for someone to ‘show me the ropes’ (I’ve been dying to use that, haha) so that I can get into climbing and rappelling on my own … any takers (I’m not kidding, email me!)?