January 09, 2017

Exit of Keyhole Canyon, Nevada
 Keyhole canyon is a excellent Sunday afternoon canyon for the winder due to the mild conditions and close proximity to the Las Vegas area.  The canyon itself is less than an hour from Las Vegas but make sure you have a high clearance car to get to the trail head.

Keyhole Canyon, Nevada
 Once we got to the trail head, Laura and I hiked up a wash and followed a ridge around a couple of draws to the head of Keyhole canyon.
 This canyon was surprisingly beautiful as each of the 4 drops had a polished pastel pink dry fall with some sculpting and small pockets of limestone embedded in between strata.

Adam Haydock dropping into the first rap in Keyhole Canyon, Nevada. Photo by: Laura Sangaila
 The first drop was around 40ft in length and had a small seepage spring trickling down the drop.

Keyhole Canyon, Nevada
 Once we got to the second canyon, looking down canyon we could see a pink hue with more of a fire dark orange glow near the top which was quite beautiful.  The canyon meandered through a narrow corridor with the remaining raps yet to be encountered.
 Keyhole Canyon, Nevada
 The second drop was around 50-55ft. but the anchor is a long chain which is not exactly to the safest way to rap down this drop.  There is some webbing backing up the chain but should be tightened a bit more to narrow down the dynamic forces if the chain were to break.
Laura in Keyhole Canyon, Nevada
 So far the canyon was beautiful and the drops were straightforward and nice.

Adam Haydock Rapping down the third rap in Keyhole Canyon, Nevada Photo by: Laura Sangaila
 The third drop opened up into more of a gorge but had a fluted meandering canyon wall and was around 40ft in length.
Keyhole Canyon, Nevada
 It was a bit cooler in the canyon than it was on the outside but the weather was still really nice for this winter day in the desert.  I was imagining just how cold and boring Chicago would be at this time and we are able to enjoy a sunny day with 55 degree temps in a nice canyon, awesome!!!
Last rap in Keyhole Canyon, Nevada
 We showed up at the last drop and it was indeed the best drop out of them all.  The flutted walls were really nice and almost Zion like in nature but the rock was a harder looking rock in nature. This drop was 100ft in length and had a good anchor setup.
 Keyhole Canyon, Nevada
 We could see the desert sun setting in the distance among the corridor and hear stone monkeys climbing trad and crack climbing on the walls in the foreground.
 rapping down the last drop in Keyhole Canyon, Nevada
 Once we got to the bottom of the canyon and headed out we noticed a lot of petroglyphs on the walls which was surprisingly abundant and covered a lot of the larger rocks in the area. I have not done much research on this area so I do not know more about these artifacts but I can rate this canyon as a 3AI and one of the best choices for a cooler day in the Lake Mead/Las Vegas desert region.
walls of petroglyphs in Keyhole Canyon, Nevada

You Might Also Like