February 03, 2020

Death valley doesn't seem to have much in terms of life or might even appear to lack the activates many people of the outdoor inclined would consider, but within the barren desert and massive geologically ancient views has some fantastic canyoneering routes. 

The black range has some interesting canyoneering routes which are quite accessible from the top with a shuttle or from the bottom by hiking up to the tail end of the canyon. 

Charon canyon has been on the list of places to visit for a bit and a bottom up hike was suggested as the best way to go. 

The hike was steep and 2800 ft of gain later we were at the top end tail of the canyon in around 2 1/2 hours. 

I didn't really feel that this canyon was all that difficult to gain from the bottom. 

The canyon had over 15 raps and we were quite impressed with the narrow sections of the canyon and the colored walls. 

Big views and colored walls are pretty typical of the black range but this canyon was a bit more narrow in nature. 

I found this canyon to be one of my favorites in the black range area and prob top 5 best in Death Valley. 

There were previous groups that came through this canyon earlier in the season which was obvious by the re-freshed anchors we encountered. 

The views were fantastic as most of these views are but the narrow corridors gave for a great dynamic to the canyon and the dramatic accentuated the personality of charon canyon. 

The biggest drop we encountered in this canyon was around 145 feet. 

There were a number of drops that were around or over 100 feet 

Another feature about this canyon is that is was dropping fast as we descended down, with a lot of boulder hopping and some steep downclimbing. 

Regardless, it had a lot of interesting views and never got redundant. 

We were making great progress as we came down the canyon and made it back within 9 hours of our start. 

I am very surprised that this canyon gets few visitors as it is one of the more scenic canyons in the Black Range. 

We considered coming from the top down but there would have been a lengthily car shuttle and a lengthy hike down the range to get to the Charon. 

Although the bottom up approach seems to be a bit more work, it appears now that it is actually less work over all to come from the bottom up. 

I am all about the less work for more...and the views were excellent coming up the approach. 

The exit back to the car was only .3 miles.

This also avoids the long car shuttle that would have to occur if you came from the top. 

I also find that having everyone carry a length of rope and extra webbing allows for more efficient canyoneering and builds a greater safety margin. 

The best time to visit is in the winter months as it will get hot out here by April. 

Put Charon on your list of canyons to visit in death valley!!

This blog is for informational and diary purposes only 

If you are interested in any of these canyons please do your research and be prepared to build anchors or replace anchor material on your way through the canyon. 

Awesome canyon !!!


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