MYSTERY CANYON-ZION NATIONAL PARK

Second to the last rap in Mystery Canyon. Zion National Park, Utah.

Troy, Derek, and I got to wake up a bit earlier on this day and collected our permits and headed over to the trail head of the East Mesa to hike across the plateau and onto the rim of Mystery Canyon.  The hike was pretty level and quite nice as we passed mis-me canyon.  The weather conditions for the hike were also pretty much as perfect as it can get.


Daniel Martin, Troy Fuqua, Derek Reneer, and Adam Haydock in Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.

After about a mile or so of hiking, we made it to the rim of Mystery Canyon.  This had an impressive view looking down into the gorge of the canyon itself and we could even see the canyon cut left and into the narrows below.
Top of Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.
The hike down might have been the hardest park of the trip.  It was quite a steep slope that we followed down into the canyons top floor.  We put our helmets on so we wouldn't catch any scree or rocks to the head.
going downhill in Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.
Once at the bottom we encountered a nice forest of maple and birch trees along with some small drops that we could downclimb instead of rap.

Daniel Martin in Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.
The walls started to tower on our sides and there was a beautiful dry wash waterfall next to a series of pine trees which was beautiful.
 
Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.

Finally we encountered our first series of 40-60ft raps into the slot canyon section of Mystery canyon. I tried to get a few shots of Troy but the picture below is the best I could get.  This pretty much sums up how the whole trip went.
Troy's best pose in Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.
The canyon walls had some interesting color to them and some beautiful strata layers etched into the mosiac like a steel comb gliding through the slot.
 
Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.
This was rather unique to see and interesting as we descended lower in elevation, we noticed the geology change and how the dynamic of the canyon started to change. 

Troy Fuqua in Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.
We went down a series of drops which were all straightforward with some down climbing to pass more raps.
Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.

The Slot section itself was beautiful and we all enjoyed going through this canyon with ease.  We could hear a group in front of us but we did not catch up with them until we got to the second to the last rap.
Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.

Finally we made it to the last rap that took us into a more of an open gorge like canyon with a nice forest that appears to be fed by the runoff from rain water.

The group in Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.


Before we got into the main gorge, we passed a canyon with a chock stone with some interesting colors running through it and more delightful strata contours 

there were some small down climbs here but we were able to scale over and through them pretty easly thanks to Derek and his super strength.

Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.
We encountered a few more small rappels and we worked our way to the canyon gorge and through the forest below that took us to the seasonal lake.

Seasonal lake in Mystery Canyon
After the seasonal lake we had a large breakdown pile of sandstone we had to climb up and over which ended up being a spectacular place full of pastel colored sandstone with some amazing design to them.



The tarnishing of the walls that the minerals would add as they ran down the wall with the water in rain events made for an even more interesting design on the walls like a painted mural


I absolutely loved this section of the canyon as there was so much variation and yet another overlook down into the remaining portion of the canyon.

beautiful strata sandstone layers in Mystery Canyon
We descended the breakdown mountain that we were on which turned out to be a lot of sandstone to the bottom where the next slot started to form and develop.

Troy going downhill in Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.

I really enjoyed the variation that this canyon had to offer with the colors and the slot and gorge terrain that we encountered up to this point.  Now it was going to get even more interesting with larger drops and a spring resurgence to work with.
Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.
The others stemmed over the little water there was in the canyon only to find out that there was a large pool of water to swim through at the bottom of the second to the last rappel.
Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.
This is where we encountered the group of three in front of us as they got on rope and made their descent into the remaining part of the canyon.
Derek, Troy, and Daniel taking a break at the top of the sec to the last rap in Mystery Canyon, Zion National park.
They were not to talkative which was surprising but maybe they were just surprised to see us catch up with them.  Too bad I don't know who they are because I think I got some decent photos of them rappelling over the edge.

This was a beautiful slick rock shear wall that had a traverse line that took people over to the 120ft drop with a chockstone tiered before jumping into a pool of spring water at the base of this drop.
 
Waiting on the group ahead of us to get on rope in mystery Canyon. Zion National Park, Utah.

It was really nice to just stay here and hangout as the other group made their way over the edge which allowed us to take in all of the beautiful scenery around us.

Second to the last rap at the spring in Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.
After the group got down we got on rope and made our way to the bottom of the rap. We all jumped into the pool of water and made our way to the shore where the hanging gardens decorated the walls and water flowed from the sides of the canyon down to the stream.

Derek Reneer jumping out of the plunge pool in Mystery Canyon
 
We continued to work our way towards the last rap and found a few plunge pools to jump into that drenched us from head to toe! Awesome!!! it is nice that this is at the end of the canyon so people will not get too cold going through this route.


 
We continue on past the plunge pools and enjoying the red canyon walls above us towering around like a semi arch of sorts.
Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.
After passing the last plunge pool we make to the last 120ft rappel in Mystery Canyon. the famous rap into the narrows.  It doesn't look as dramatic as some of the pictures I have seen but it still looked quite beautiful from above.
Daniel and Derek at the top of the last rap in Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park.
You could see the people below looking up at us wondering how we got up there and inspiring to understand how they can get involved in such a thing. troy released the pack and the throw bag shot outwards towards the people watching which made them jump a bit.  This was a great last rap that ends dramatically into the narrows.

Last Rappel in Mystery Canyon. Derek Reneer, Zion National Park, Utah.
Once we got to the bottom, we pulled the rope down and a group coming out of Imlay told us that all the pot holes are full and it was pretty easy to get through the canyon.
Derek Reneer looking down into the Narrows in mystery Canyon, Zion National Park.
Imlay is our main event and our grand finale to this trip here in Zion!! We got out of the narrows took the trolly to the visitor center and Daniel drove up to drop off troy and Derek at the truck at the top. Afterwards we got the White Pass and drove Daniels car to the temple and we drove up to Lava Point to get some sleep for the great famous Imlay Canyons Full route from the West Rim to the temple.

Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.






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