Since parking at the trailhead was $10 per vehicle, we decided to park at the church in town and walk to the trailhead. While Tara and I were waiting for Anthony, Arianne, and Kevin (they missed the exit), we decided to play around on this nifty playground toy.
Anyway, on our third or fourth spin, Tara scraped her knee pretty good. Off to a great start.
This hike came recommended by a cousin. About all we knew going into it was, "there's a sweet slot canyon in Kanarraville. The first part up to Kanarra Falls is pretty easy, and that's where most people turn around, but if you keep going, it gets harder." Since we didn't know how technical it would be, we brought wetsuits, rope, and other basic canyoneering gear. We asked a young family to point us in the right direction, and we were off.
The first couple blocks were awesome. Just what we came for... nice paved road... pretty view... the works.
It only got better from there.
After a couple of "you better watch out or we'll boot your car" and "don't trash our canyon" signs, we started up the canyon.
The first 3/4 mile follows a dirt road. There are a couple of stream crossings. They were small enough to jump over, boulder hop, or just walk through. Keep in mind that this was October, so the water was quite cold.
We couldn't decide if the white "5" on the cliff (below) was natural or man-made.
At the end of the dirt road, the trail continues up Kanarra Canyon.
The sketchiest part of the whole hike was where you have to wak along a pipe because the trail has eroded away. Piece of cake.
There are several small waterfalls along this section of trail, but the coolest ones are farther up the canyon.
The fall colors were amazing.
Another stream crossing.
The red sandstone cliffs at the mouth of Kanarra Canyon were very picturesque.
I really liked this waterfall on Kanarra Creek.
More stream crossings.
A dead tarantula (or maybe just a shed exoskeleton).
Anthony decided to climb up to a sandstone cave.
It was about 6 feet deep and had several bats inside.
Did I mention that there were lots of stream crossings? By this point, we had completely given up on trying to keep our feet dry.
More fall colors.
After about an hour and twenty minutes, we reached the slot canyon. The cliffs are very majestic and seemed to come out of nowhere.
We came to Kanarra Falls just a few minutes after entering the slot canyon.
Tara and I stayed behind to shoot a 360° panorama at the base of Kanarra Falls.
Kevin, Anthony, and Arianne went on without us.
We figured that this was the point where most people turn back. But we kept going obviously. Just upstream of Kanarra Falls is a big boulder you have to climb up, then the canyon opens up.
We passed several more waterfalls.
This waterfall was one of our favorites because of the bright yellow fall leaves in the background.
Farther upstream is another section of slot canyon.
Then another waterfall with a ladder.
While the girls were putting their wetsuits on (the guys had already put theirs on), a youth group caught up to us. They were all wearing shorts, and they were freezing cold.
This is the only place on the hike where we got wet above the waist because the waterfall pours down right on top of the ladder.
Eventually the canyon opened up again, and the sunlight came with it.
At this point, there was almost no detectable trail. In a few places, there were some small footpaths, but it didn't look like very many people had come this far.
At one point along the creek, we found some cool sandstone caves.
Here's where I put in a shameless pitch for my website.