Do you want an adventure that will make your eyes pop out of your head in wonder and amazement? Then you have to experience Battle Creek Canyon in the fall.
Before you fire up your amazing Googling powers and find a way to get there, I should warn you—this is a private canyon. The bad news, that means you can only experience it with the Zion Adventure Company, who owns the canyon. The good news, you GET to experience it with Zion Adventure Company! I’m going to break it down for you so everyone can see why this is an eye-popping experience.
The Setting in Fall
I don’t want to give the impression that this canyon is only fun and amazing in fall. It would be awesome anytime of year. But when you get to experience it in the full bloom of fall colors, you have gone from something amazing to something truly magical. The kind of stuff poets try to capture in their writing. The trees were ablaze with yellow, orange and red. My favorite part of the fall weather though was the pools of water totally covered with pink and red leaves. Stunning is the only word to describe it.
Pool after pool I plunged down with a splash and felt the rush of freezing water and adrenaline. Each rappel was a unique piece of art sculpted by nature’s careful hand. It was incredible to see how the knife of water and time could carve such beautiful stone slides and drop-offs. The feeling of lowering yourself off a sheer cliff and gliding down 80 feet to a new pot of water is something I won’t forget. Lowering yourself down a waterfall by a rope is something you just have to experience for yourself.
The Ascending out of a Canyon
I would consider myself a fairly accomplished outdoorsman with many skills and experiences, but there is always more to learn and try. For me, one of those things was ascending up a rope instead of climbing up the actual rock face and then rappelling down it. Because we had descended a couple hundred feet down Battle Creek, we had to regain that elevation to return to our starting point.
My past canyoneering experiences had accomplished this by finding a hiking trail from the bottom that takes a steep path you can walk up to the top of the canyon. This time, we could only do that for about half the distance we needed to climb. The trail ended at a cliff wall of 110 feet. It was a tricky system to gain mastery of, but by the end, I was confidently ratcheting myself up that rope to the top. As my guide said, it’s a lot more technique than it is brute strength.
The Guided Experience
It takes a very skilled guide to know how much to challenge their participants. Thankfully, I had a very skilled guide. She knew just how much to push and challenge me to discover and learn. It wasn’t handed to me but it wasn’t done in an irritating way either. The ending result was a gratifying and empowering trip. I learned the right knots for the right circumstances. The way to set up fail safes I had never used while rappelling before. New skills to work as a team and assist each other while smearing and downclimbing. And my personal favorite, the proper technique for using ascenders. The requirement to use Zion Adventure Company is the good news because they make the experience one you will always remember.
Zion National Park is so much fun to experience and something I would recommend everyone to see in their life. But if you come to St. George and Zion and only spend time in the park, you would be missing out on some of the best things to see and do in the area. You’d be missing out on seeing Battle Creek, and that would be a huge mistake! Get in touch with Zion Adventure Company and have a real adventure.
Written by: Mike Carr – Online Marketing Mike is all things digital for the Tourism Office’s marketing. So if you have a question about the website look to him. When you don’t find him at his computer you’ll most likely find him on his bike or hiking up a trail in Zion.