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Thread: 07/04/15 - Adams Canyon Waterfall

  1. #1
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    07/04/15 - Adams Canyon Waterfall

    To those in Northern Utah and are familiar with the Adams Canyon hike located in Layton, the destination is the 35ft waterfall after the 1.5 mile hike.

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    Out of the dozens of times I have hiked this, I have always wanted to rappel the waterfall. Many years ago, a few friends and I rappelled the Lower Falls (about 15ft) but not the upper. On the 4th, this just happened by chance and so my buddy Ian and I hiked up in the hot afternoon (which was a perfect combo) while most of the crowds were away. Puuurfect!


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    As far as I have researched, no one has posted a TR or even a blog post online, so this TR is more for that reason. I did come across one candition report where one person did do the rappel, but that's all I had to go from.



    From a technical perspective, there are 2 raps. The first one is a low-angle rap of 15ft which goes directly through the creek (Class C conditions). The rocks are quite slippery, but if you hang to the left side LUC (on rappel) you will avoid the slips. A 125ft rope is what I would suggest in bringing so you can double (or single and biner it) and to give you enough rope to do a easy rope-pull.

    From there, it's a 30ft walk to the bolts located on the right, LDC. This avoids the blunt of the waterfall but still allows you to get wet (depending how good of a rappeller you are can avoid obstacles).


    I would even call this a great beginner Class C, route. If you are a beginner to Canyoneering, please wait until late June or July once the water has receded a bit before proceeding. It would be a dangerous flow in earlier months to those who are ill-prepared and untrained.



    Once you reach the waterfall, you will be presented with two routes. One in which I'm calling the "standard" route, which is followed by the crevice climb located to your North (left). Once on top of the rock scree, head towards the waterfall and downclimb in one or two spots and you are there. This route takes 5-10minutes. It's fairly easily even for those with no climbing or canyoneering skills.

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    The other approach is the "sport" route which is exposed and can be protected, but for experienced canyoneers with climbing experience it will be cake-walk. If you have young kids, I wouldn't take them on this route at all. I warned you.

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    Once on top of the falls, you will be greeted to this. Ian and I didn't find any webbing or bolts on our first survey until we were down-climbing and saw it in plain-sight. This rap is about 15ft in length but takes you directly through the stream. Young kids will have a issue with this, so it's best to have an experienced adult go first and belay and coordinate from the bottom. Again, if you hang to the right side, LDC, you can avoid the slippery parts.

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    From there, walk 30 feet to the cliff wall on the right side, LDC, to the two-bolt station. Where Ian is standing is where it is.

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    Looking down from the rap station:

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    And the aftermath:


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    And a video of Ian rappelling the falls:



    I included a KMZ file (Google Earth file) which shows the waypoints and canyon path for the visually-minded.


    PS - With this TR you will now see more people rappelling off the falls...(way to go Brett, ruin the hike and waterfall...)

    (Edited: corrected needed rope from 100-ft to 125-ft. There is some horizontal distance that wasn't accounted for initially).
    Attached Files Attached Files
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

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  4. #2
    I've been wanting to get up there to rap those falls, but the flow had been pretty heavy with all the spring rains.
    Looks like it's good to go now, so I'll have to hoof it up there.

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  6. #3
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I've been wanting to get up there to rap those falls, but the flow had been pretty heavy with all the spring rains.
    Looks like it's good to go now, so I'll have to hoof it up there.
    It is. You should go!

    I'm curious to hear your thoughts on it when you return.


    Oh, the entire trip was 3 hours car to car, btw. Not to shabby. And we didn't wear any wetsuits although the creek got us about waist high on the 1st rap.
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

  7. #4
    I'll have to rap the lower falls on the way back down. Not to one-up ya, but....... OK, it is.

  8. #5
    I rappelled this four years ago or so, and we anchored from a tree higher up. I don't remember bolts. It's a fun, exhilarating rappel

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  10. #6
    I'll just add on to this Trip Report since it's already got some good info. Thanks to an invite from @jman this past weekend, 3 of us rappelled down Adams Canyon Waterfall, and it was a lot of fun. I brought the drone up as well for a different point of view, I'll have that video done in about a week.

    I just got back from a concert in Denver so I've been a little late on posting some things here.

    Here are a few shots. Brett went up with his friend Rob first while I grabbed some footage with my drone, then I went up afterwards with Brett with a GoPro. Brett and I went the steeper, faster route. I'll let @jman answer any questions about height and the anchor setup, which may be visible from a picture here:




































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  12. #7
    I finally managed to put this video together from over a week ago, thanks again @jman for the invite. I thought it was time to throw some disco funk music on a video again.


  13. #8
    I was thinking of doing this one with my son in a couple weeks, but a friend was just up there hiking last Fri and couldn't see the bolts. He hiked up above the cliffs and down into the waterfall. Any word of some purest removing the bolts? I'm guessing they are still there, he just couldn't spot them. Guess I'll have to go prepared to build my own anchors.

  14. #9
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canyon_Cal View Post
    I was thinking of doing this one with my son in a couple weeks, but a friend was just up there hiking last Fri and couldn't see the bolts. He hiked up above the cliffs and down into the waterfall. Any word of some purest removing the bolts? I'm guessing they are still there, he just couldn't spot them. Guess I'll have to go prepared to build my own anchors.
    If he was hiking up there, yea, you can not see the bolts. And thatís the point. Hidden from the average hiker.

    I would be very surprised if someone removed them. If not, there are plenty of natural anchors you could use to rappel from up there.

    Report back if you do go, please. Iíll make another attempt up there in the near future.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

  15. #10
    Jesus! Well I did the waterfall, but it was a near epic - several times! Got knocked over in the swift current while standing on the very slippery moss of the upper stage - did the rest of that on my knees! Felt like a fire hose blasting my crotch! I then had a difficult time pulling the rope, so I tethered to a small tree and leaned out over the water to get a better angle and it pulled.

    Came up 10 feet short of rope for the second rap. I doubled a 100' rope for 50', thought that would be enough for the alleged 35' rap. A guy standing at the bottom said it looked like I was only four feet short, but it was over double that. After I rapped off the end, I hung as low as possible with my hands and jumped. Didn't get hurt.

    I had no problem spotting the bolts. Replaced the webbing on the lower stage with a new blue sling. Didn't have time to remove the old slings, sun was setting. 100' of rope isn't enough unless you use a pull cord! I think the upper stage should always be done double strand, there are a lot of ways a 'biner could hang up on the pull. I did it double strand without a biner block, and it still stuck
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  16. #11
    Did the waterfall rap again today, this time with my son. It all went super smooth this time. I took a little more rope, and wore a brand new pair of 5.10 Canyoneer shoes for better traction on the wet, mossy rock. Didn't even get knocked over in the upper falls this time! Removed the old red sling and brought it home with me. Very nice outing, my son loved it!
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    Last edited by Canyon_Cal; 08-11-2017 at 05:22 PM. Reason: added pictures

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  18. #12
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canyon_Cal View Post
    Did the waterfall rap again today, this time with my son. It all went super smooth this time. I took a little more rope, and wore a brand new pair of 5.10 Canyoneer shoes for better traction on the wet, mossy rock. Didn't even get knocked over in the upper falls this time! Removed the old red sling and brought it home with me. Very nice outing, my son loved it!
    Good to hear. Thanks for sharing.

    Btw - have you ever been the Lower falls? You can rap that although it’s like a 15-foot drop. But with that one, you get the full force of the stream and only need to hike the top of the switchbacks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

  19. #13
    Visited the lower falls a couple times, many years ago. Thought I heard access to that had been closed, due to being on private property? Not sure if that is true. We actually thought of trying to get over to that one yesterday, because we weren't sure we would make it to the upper falls. It was 100 degrees at the trail head, and Cameron got a mild case of heat exhaustion going up the switchbacks. He's a pretty tough kid, but he's on a lot of anti-rejection drugs for his kidney transplant, and that makes him sensitive to heat and sun. We just sat down in the creek and soaked for a half hour, then he was good to go. He really enjoyed the mild rock climb up the gully and found a better route than I had been using.

    Btw, the hornets are wicked up there this year, especially around the water. I laughing at the folks running from them, when one nailed me real good - twice on the arm - hurt like hell! Karma I guess.

  20. #14
    Just did this again yesterday with wife, daughter & son in law. Gets more fun every time! One thing we noticed though, is the left bolt hanger on the lower rap station is getting a little loose. Couldn't turn the bolt with my fingers though, and I didn't have a wrench handy so we just went with it. Maybe whoever goes up there next could remember a wrench.Name:  Cal Starting Second Stage.jpg
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  22. #15
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canyon_Cal View Post
    Just did this again yesterday with wife, daughter & son in law. Gets more fun every time! One thing we noticed though, is the left bolt hanger on the lower rap station is getting a little loose. Couldn't turn the bolt with my fingers though, and I didn't have a wrench handy so we just went with it. Maybe whoever goes up there next could remember a wrench.Name:  Cal Starting Second Stage.jpg
Views: 68
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    Thanks for the heads up. I'm trying to get this girl I'm dating to go with me this Saturday up there... She just did her first rappel yesterday in fact and was a natural at it. Seems like it is in good conditions!

    I'll check out the bolts too.
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

  23. #16
    Swell date idea, jman! Rappelling a waterfall is on everyone's bucket list, no mater who they are! Much better than a date to Shenanigan's in North Wash - my wife still wants to kick my azz for taking her there!

    Anyway, don't wait too long on the waterfall, temps are already starting to drop in the evening. Btw, I just placed a bolt at the top of the gully to belay my wife on the up climb - she used to climb that just fine, but she had a stroke last year and hasn't been quite the same since. If you want to belay your g/f off it, its 100' as the rope travels up the gully. Its also handy for going back down the gully, much nicer than down-climbing it. Already used it to get a couple kids down that got in over their heads.

    Edit: Bolt is actually not at the top of the gully, but at the point you traverse out to the waterfall

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