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DAY 7 - ORDERVILLE CANYON:

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  • JoeB
    OK, something less controversial! Got a few requests for my final trip report, so here it is! :) ... Orderville Canyon -- After a week of great hiking, we were
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 28, 2006
      OK, something less controversial! Got a few requests for my final
      trip report, so here it is! :)

      ------------------

      Orderville Canyon -- After a week of great hiking, we were in the
      mood to do a fun repeat. Orderville Canyon is one of my personal
      favorite routes in Zion, so we planned on doing the same fun romp
      from the top that we had done in previous years. Paid for a shuttle
      ride from ZAC and hit the trailhead a little before 8am on a nice
      sunny day. We hiked down the pleasant abandoned access road and made
      our way to the impressive head of the canyon. The little stream was
      running a lot stronger than I had remembered from previous years,
      going right through the chute into the canyon. Nice! We noticed a
      few bolt farms scattered around the top; looks like plenty of people
      like playing around on this rap. We took the alternate hikers' way
      down in.

      I had remembered the start of Orderville being dry, but the stream
      continued for a few miles before it finally dried up and went
      underground. I have to admit that the first several miles of
      Orderville weren't as exciting as I remember; I must be getting
      jaded! We did the short little boulder rap by the NPS boundary and
      as simple as it was, I did notice that the boulder was several feet
      more exposed than it was a few years ago. This will play into our
      experience later!

      By late morning, we made it to the section of canyon where the water
      appears again. First as a section of thick mud, then clear water
      starts flowing. Now I am in camera heaven! Dark narrow walls, fallen
      boulders, beautiful little waterfalls/flows and lush green plants
      all over the place. We quickly made our way past the double
      chockstone obstacle (another short little rappel) and into the final
      few miles, which I call the "water park" -- plenty of fun
      downclimbs, pools of water to wade/swim through, and plenty of
      opportunities for interesting photos.

      The challenge in Orderville is telling how deep the water is. On one
      downclimb, I prepared to swim only to find that when I step down,
      the water is only knee-deep. Something about the murky emerald water
      makes it really hard to judge depth. On the next downclimb, I figure
      the water is about waist-deep, but I jump in from about 3 feet
      above, and lo-and-behold, I go underwater and don't touch bottom!
      Yeah, fun swimmer! I turn around to see the rock and I recognize it
      from a picture I took in years past. What I remember as a simple 3-
      foot downclimb to a sandy bottom is currently downclimb/slide into a
      7-foot deep pool! Of course, more veteran canyoneers know that the
      canyons always change. It was great to see the change in landmarks
      that I remembered so vividly!

      Last time we had done the canyon, we didn't hit any water deeper
      than our waists. This year, we had three swims all in a row. Many of
      the sandy bottoms were washed away this year. Soon after the final
      swim, we reach the final waterfall and take the left/south side
      down, following the somewhat helpful moki steps that are subtly
      carved in the rock. I took note of the recent (2005) new "Upstream
      travel permited beyond this point" sign. Another 20 minutes of easy
      going and we were back at the familiar junction with the Narrows and
      the final hike out.

      Orderville Canyon is like an old friend of mine -- always changing
      and yet always familiar like home. Aside from many pools being
      deeper, I took note of many formation changes by comparing pictures
      from this year with previous years; boulders shift, rotate, large
      slabs sink into the ground, rocks weld themselves into larger rocks.
      Really impressive forces at work! Here are the before-and-after
      shots of that one boulder/downclimb:
      http://tinyurl.com/hdbt3

      Sadly, this is my last report for the next few months. Hope these
      were somewhat entertaining! We'll be back again soon enough... -Joe
    • rentedmule49
      Thanks, Joe! Great Trip Report! Orderville is a gem of a hike! Well worth repeated trips. My nephew wants to return. I may take hime next summer. Thanks
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 29, 2006
        Thanks, Joe! Great Trip Report! Orderville is a gem of a hike!
        Well worth repeated trips. My nephew wants to return. I may take
        hime next summer. Thanks for the encouragement! jerry--- In
        Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "JoeB" <joe@...> wrote:
        >
        > OK, something less controversial! Got a few requests for my final
        > trip report, so here it is! :)
        >
        > ------------------
        >
        > Orderville Canyon -- After a week of great hiking, we were in the
        > mood to do a fun repeat. Orderville Canyon is one of my personal
        > favorite routes in Zion, so we planned on doing the same fun romp
        > from the top that we had done in previous years. Paid for a
        shuttle
        > ride from ZAC and hit the trailhead a little before 8am on a nice
        > sunny day. We hiked down the pleasant abandoned access road and
        made
        > our way to the impressive head of the canyon. The little stream
        was
        > running a lot stronger than I had remembered from previous years,
        > going right through the chute into the canyon. Nice! We noticed a
        > few bolt farms scattered around the top; looks like plenty of
        people
        > like playing around on this rap. We took the alternate hikers' way
        > down in.
        >
        > I had remembered the start of Orderville being dry, but the stream
        > continued for a few miles before it finally dried up and went
        > underground. I have to admit that the first several miles of
        > Orderville weren't as exciting as I remember; I must be getting
        > jaded! We did the short little boulder rap by the NPS boundary and
        > as simple as it was, I did notice that the boulder was several
        feet
        > more exposed than it was a few years ago. This will play into our
        > experience later!
        >
        > By late morning, we made it to the section of canyon where the
        water
        > appears again. First as a section of thick mud, then clear water
        > starts flowing. Now I am in camera heaven! Dark narrow walls,
        fallen
        > boulders, beautiful little waterfalls/flows and lush green plants
        > all over the place. We quickly made our way past the double
        > chockstone obstacle (another short little rappel) and into the
        final
        > few miles, which I call the "water park" -- plenty of fun
        > downclimbs, pools of water to wade/swim through, and plenty of
        > opportunities for interesting photos.
        >
        > The challenge in Orderville is telling how deep the water is. On
        one
        > downclimb, I prepared to swim only to find that when I step down,
        > the water is only knee-deep. Something about the murky emerald
        water
        > makes it really hard to judge depth. On the next downclimb, I
        figure
        > the water is about waist-deep, but I jump in from about 3 feet
        > above, and lo-and-behold, I go underwater and don't touch bottom!
        > Yeah, fun swimmer! I turn around to see the rock and I recognize
        it
        > from a picture I took in years past. What I remember as a simple 3-
        > foot downclimb to a sandy bottom is currently downclimb/slide into
        a
        > 7-foot deep pool! Of course, more veteran canyoneers know that the
        > canyons always change. It was great to see the change in landmarks
        > that I remembered so vividly!
        >
        > Last time we had done the canyon, we didn't hit any water deeper
        > than our waists. This year, we had three swims all in a row. Many
        of
        > the sandy bottoms were washed away this year. Soon after the final
        > swim, we reach the final waterfall and take the left/south side
        > down, following the somewhat helpful moki steps that are subtly
        > carved in the rock. I took note of the recent (2005) new "Upstream
        > travel permited beyond this point" sign. Another 20 minutes of
        easy
        > going and we were back at the familiar junction with the Narrows
        and
        > the final hike out.
        >
        > Orderville Canyon is like an old friend of mine -- always changing
        > and yet always familiar like home. Aside from many pools being
        > deeper, I took note of many formation changes by comparing
        pictures
        > from this year with previous years; boulders shift, rotate, large
        > slabs sink into the ground, rocks weld themselves into larger
        rocks.
        > Really impressive forces at work! Here are the before-and-after
        > shots of that one boulder/downclimb:
        > http://tinyurl.com/hdbt3
        >
        > Sadly, this is my last report for the next few months. Hope these
        > were somewhat entertaining! We'll be back again soon enough... -Joe
        >
      • gootwan
        When I did Orderville last week I was SURE there was more water than the last time I did it. I could swear there were fewer swimmers last time. Thanks for
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 29, 2006
          When I did Orderville last week I was SURE there was more water than
          the last time I did it. I could swear there were fewer swimmers last
          time. Thanks for confirming my hunch... I remember that really deep
          one. I kept telling my hiking partner, "I don't remember this..."

          Jordan

          --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "JoeB" <joe@...> wrote:
          >
          > OK, something less controversial! Got a few requests for my final
          > trip report, so here it is! :)
          >
          > ------------------
          >
          > Orderville Canyon -- After a week of great hiking, we were in the
          > mood to do a fun repeat. Orderville Canyon is one of my personal
          > favorite routes in Zion, so we planned on doing the same fun romp
          > from the top that we had done in previous years. Paid for a shuttle
          > ride from ZAC and hit the trailhead a little before 8am on a nice
          > sunny day. We hiked down the pleasant abandoned access road and made
          > our way to the impressive head of the canyon. The little stream was
          > running a lot stronger than I had remembered from previous years,
          > going right through the chute into the canyon. Nice! We noticed a
          > few bolt farms scattered around the top; looks like plenty of people
          > like playing around on this rap. We took the alternate hikers' way
          > down in.
          >
          > I had remembered the start of Orderville being dry, but the stream
          > continued for a few miles before it finally dried up and went
          > underground. I have to admit that the first several miles of
          > Orderville weren't as exciting as I remember; I must be getting
          > jaded! We did the short little boulder rap by the NPS boundary and
          > as simple as it was, I did notice that the boulder was several feet
          > more exposed than it was a few years ago. This will play into our
          > experience later!
          >
          > By late morning, we made it to the section of canyon where the water
          > appears again. First as a section of thick mud, then clear water
          > starts flowing. Now I am in camera heaven! Dark narrow walls, fallen
          > boulders, beautiful little waterfalls/flows and lush green plants
          > all over the place. We quickly made our way past the double
          > chockstone obstacle (another short little rappel) and into the final
          > few miles, which I call the "water park" -- plenty of fun
          > downclimbs, pools of water to wade/swim through, and plenty of
          > opportunities for interesting photos.
          >
          > The challenge in Orderville is telling how deep the water is. On one
          > downclimb, I prepared to swim only to find that when I step down,
          > the water is only knee-deep. Something about the murky emerald water
          > makes it really hard to judge depth. On the next downclimb, I figure
          > the water is about waist-deep, but I jump in from about 3 feet
          > above, and lo-and-behold, I go underwater and don't touch bottom!
          > Yeah, fun swimmer! I turn around to see the rock and I recognize it
          > from a picture I took in years past. What I remember as a simple 3-
          > foot downclimb to a sandy bottom is currently downclimb/slide into a
          > 7-foot deep pool! Of course, more veteran canyoneers know that the
          > canyons always change. It was great to see the change in landmarks
          > that I remembered so vividly!
          >
          > Last time we had done the canyon, we didn't hit any water deeper
          > than our waists. This year, we had three swims all in a row. Many of
          > the sandy bottoms were washed away this year. Soon after the final
          > swim, we reach the final waterfall and take the left/south side
          > down, following the somewhat helpful moki steps that are subtly
          > carved in the rock. I took note of the recent (2005) new "Upstream
          > travel permited beyond this point" sign. Another 20 minutes of easy
          > going and we were back at the familiar junction with the Narrows and
          > the final hike out.
          >
          > Orderville Canyon is like an old friend of mine -- always changing
          > and yet always familiar like home. Aside from many pools being
          > deeper, I took note of many formation changes by comparing pictures
          > from this year with previous years; boulders shift, rotate, large
          > slabs sink into the ground, rocks weld themselves into larger rocks.
          > Really impressive forces at work! Here are the before-and-after
          > shots of that one boulder/downclimb:
          > http://tinyurl.com/hdbt3
          >
          > Sadly, this is my last report for the next few months. Hope these
          > were somewhat entertaining! We'll be back again soon enough... -Joe
          >
        • Kerry
          ... Joe, Thanks for a great report. I am doing this canyon in a few short weeks. Thanks for the great info. Kerry
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 29, 2006
            >
            > Orderville Canyon -- After a week of great hiking, we were in the
            > mood to do a fun repeat. Orderville Canyon is one of my personal
            > favorite routes in Zion, so we planned on doing the same fun romp
            > from the top that we had done in previous years.

            Joe,
            Thanks for a great report. I am doing this canyon in a few short
            weeks. Thanks for the great info.

            Kerry
          • JoeB
            My wife laughed her @ss off when I went in! :) I was totally not expecting to go completely underwater on that little jump. Thankfully, my camera held tight in
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 29, 2006
              My wife laughed her @ss off when I went in! :) I was totally not
              expecting to go completely underwater on that little jump. Thankfully,
              my camera held tight in the drybag. It's definitely more interesting
              than it's been in previous years.


              > When I did Orderville last week I was SURE there was more water than
              > the last time I did it. I could swear there were fewer swimmers last
              > time. Thanks for confirming my hunch... I remember that really deep
              > one. I kept telling my hiking partner, "I don't remember this..."
              >
              > Jordan
            • gootwan
              I remember wedging myself as low as possible and staying there for what seemed like forever wondering, Is it 4ft deep? 10 ft deep? Oh well... here goes. Went
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 1, 2006
                I remember wedging myself as low as possible and staying there for
                what seemed like forever wondering, "Is it 4ft deep? 10 ft deep? Oh
                well... here goes." Went in to about the top of my head so I guess it
                was just under 6ft deep when I did it. Its amazing just how much the
                canyon changes.





                --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "JoeB" <joe@...> wrote:
                >
                > My wife laughed her @ss off when I went in! :) I was totally not
                > expecting to go completely underwater on that little jump. Thankfully,
                > my camera held tight in the drybag. It's definitely more interesting
                > than it's been in previous years.
                >
                >
                > > When I did Orderville last week I was SURE there was more water than
                > > the last time I did it. I could swear there were fewer swimmers last
                > > time. Thanks for confirming my hunch... I remember that really deep
                > > one. I kept telling my hiking partner, "I don't remember this..."
                > >
                > > Jordan
                >
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