Rappelling in Ephedra's Grotto, Utah an easy half-day outing with Cliffs & Canyons (images and content copyright Janice Holly Booth)
WHERE: southern Utah
COST: Starts at $145 per person for a full day experience; cost dependent on number of people in group and type of outing
FEAR FACTOR: Medium to High (depending on your comfort with heights)
RISK FACTOR: Medium to High*
WOW FACTOR: High
DO IT AGAIN? Yes
NOTES: Getting inside a slot canyon isn't always easy, but the sheer size of the cliff walls and the twists and turns of the pink and orange sandstone make you feel as if you are wandering around inside an artist's dream world. Gorgeous, breathtaking, humbling...new words should be invented for describing this rugged wonderland. There are many options for a canyoneering adventure, from an easy outing to the most extreme. All gear is provided. For the more technical trips, hiking in or out on challenging trails, and ascending (climbing a rope) are all possible. These are often harder than the actual rappelling which -- once you get over the edge -- is a little like taking the elevator, but with a way better view.
*Notes on risk: Canyoneering, when undertaken with a guide, is relatively safe. If you lack experience, you should not attempt canyoneering on your own, even with a buddy. While professional guides make safety their number one priority, there are risk elements beyond their control, like flash flooding -- which is a real danger and should not be taken lightly -- or the possibility of broken bones.