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Scrambling Cathedral Wash, Grand Canyon

A Puzzle-solving Scramble Down a Slot Canyon to the Colorado River

This is actually an easy hike that quickly turns into a difficult journey, traveling a few miles down a canyon to the Colorado River.

Location: Lee’s Ferry, Arizona

Activity: Canyoneering

Far away from the crowds of the South Rim, Cathedral wash is a true adventure. The good news is that you can venture downstream until you feel uncomfortable, then turn around and hike back out.

For the truly adventurous who feel comfortable on rock you can scramble down all the way to the Colorado River. It is a puzzle too, as there are many dead end ledges and drop-offs to negotiate. Usually it just means backtracking and trying a different ledge system.

DON’T JUMP DOWN EVER! Always stay firmly attached to the earth in this or any canyon.

This is the crux of the adventure. It looks harder than it is. Still, for kids someone should be below to spot them.

Although we didn’t have kids with us, I would take them down. However I feel comfortable on rock, I have good shoes (approach shoes) and I could “spot” them on harder spots. Again you can head down as far as you like then turn around.

Cathedral Wash is the large wash/canyon (not the one with water) in the center of the photo

To get there head to the Navajo Bridge on ALT 89 near Page, Arizona. Head towards Lee’s Ferry and look for a signed turnout / parking area on the left. The wash will be on the right. The parking holds about 15 cars.

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