April 12, 2012

4/7/12 – Cathedral Wash Trail

We'd taken a leisurely walk at Lee's Canyon but I wanted something a little more interesting. The ranger told us the Cathedral Canyon trail was considered a Class 3 hike.  That means there's a moderate scramble across rocks and some climbing, but you don't need ropes.  I wouldn't know what to do with a rope if I found one anyway.  (George heard "moderate". )

The old trailhead was pretty crumbly, so we walked down the road to find a better place to go down. The wash starts off sandy and wide, but quickly narrows.  The cliff walls are layers of Navajo sandstone and other rocks.
Sometimes you have to climb up on the rock wall to continue. 
Sometimes it's really narrow, and there are water tanks you have to go around. 
Sometimes you walk back down in the wash.
Sometimes you go under great big rocks or overhanging ledges.  (This part was easier for me than for the big tall guy.)
At one point, we were walking along a ledge on the wall, and it got pretty scary.  We couldn't figure out which way to go.  There was another couple in front of us, and I figured if they could do it, we could too.  The fact that they were 30 years younger was irrelevant.  (George would have been perfectly willing to turn back then, but I just kept going on.  Isn't it wonderful that he followed me?  After all, he had the truck keys...)


There's one place where there's a 30' drop for a waterfall, which was thankfully dry this time of year.  You have to go down, then around.  (Oh, did I mention I'm afraid of heights?)
At the end of the trail is the Colorado River. 

Of course, eventually we had to turn around and go back up the canyon.  I'd built a few little cairns so we could tell where to go up and down, and most of the time we found them.  Remember the 30' waterfall?  Once we'd climbed back up, we got the water bottles out of the pack.  I dropped the lid to mine...and it bounced all the way to the bottom!  (Of course I had to climb back down to get it--it was the Panasonic bottle I got when I retired--besides people, one of the few positive momentos I got from there!)
Now George knows the difference between a walk and a hike.  And since we handled this one successfully, I should be able to talk him into more hikes.  See you on the trail!

Altho I've probably included most of the good pictures here, you can see larger pictures of Cathedral Canyon by following this link and running the slideshow:  Cathedral Canyon hike 

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  1. I've not seen George in years and he looks absoutely great. travel and life are agreeing with him. Have a great travel.

    Ken Irwin
    Tucson, AZ


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