Zion: Spry Canyon
Spry Canyon is a hidden gem of a canyon right next to one of the busiest parts of the park. It’s a technical canyon that requires a permit and some skill in canyoneering. It’s also strenuous, with an initial 800 foot climb followed by 10 rappels that are part of a 1,900 foot descent. The approach is the same as that for climbing Mountain of the Sun, so if you want to see pictures of that section check out my blog post on that climb.
The first rappel is 165 feet and the last is a 90 foot overhang. Spry Canyon is almost completely unseen from any other place in the park but you can get a glimpse into it while you are driving up the switchbacks to the tunnel. It requires two cars, or hitchhiking. If hitchhiking it’s best to get that done in the morning before you are dirty and wet.
As I approached the edge I startled another group of bighorn sheep. The one on the right panicked and ran straight up the side of the mountain.
I did spry with my local friend Alan, and even before we started we ran into another group of hikers doing the same canyon. Eventually we decided to team up with Michael and Justin and their kids Isaiah and J.D.. They had done the canyon before and teaming up allowed us to get the next set of ropes rigged up while people were still using the previous set. All in all it took at least 7 hours, which was surprising considering the whole hike is less than 4 miles. But it was a fantastic day with great scenery and good weather.
Alan descending an alternate route and Justin downclimbing in a wetsuit.
J.D. on the left and Isiah on the right. Both of these guys are capable canyoneers.
Alan rigs up and descends.
This cool looking choke point took a really long time for us to all get down. There was water straight below that the kids had a hard time getting out of. Here Michael traverses a bit to avoid a watery descent.