The Black Hole - White Canyon
May-September: 8am Departures
12 Years Old (Call us if you have a younger explorer)
$189 - Adults
$149 - 15/under
The Black Hole is not for the faint of heart. With multiple long swims and technical downclimbs and stemming this is the most strenuous of the canyons we offer. While it is the most challenging we would also argue it is the most rewarding. White Canyon drains hundreds of miles of canyon and in this section the canyon walls climb 600 feet into the air and your shoulders will rub the canyon walls. They call it the black hole because sunlight rarely hits the water. We wear wetsuits even on the warmest summer days so that we can enjoy the beauty of the inner depths of the canyon without freezing. If your up to the challenge we promise this to be a day you’ll remember.
- Canyoneering Harness
- Rappel Devices
- Professional Guides
- Small dry bag for camera, wallet, etc.
- PFD or Floatation, if needed for swims
- Push your limits and work as a team to overcome obstacles
- Beautiful twisting sandstone walls
- Remote wilderness slot canyon
Moderate to Strenuous. Approximately 6 miles of hiking on uneven terrain including multiple down-climbs, squeezing and long swims. Must be able to swim about 250’ in cold water (we have floatation for swimmers who need it). 250lb. Max Weight Limit.
- Small day pack
- Comfortable hiking shoes or old tennis shoes that will get wet and muddy
- All clothing may get scraped up and muddy
- Small camera
We’ll meet at Wild Expeditions in Bluff at 7:45 am. We’ll size everyone in the group with wet suits and helmets here before loading up to head out. There are no long rappels in the Black Hole, but we’ll still size everyone for a harness as well in case you need help on any of the down climbs. Once everyone is geared up we will head out in one of our vans. The drive is a full hour drive, but Highway 95 is a spectacular drive and you can just enjoy the views as a passenger. We’ll see Comb Ridge, Bears Ears National Monument, White Canyon and more.
Once arriving at the trailhead we’ll pack our lunches into our dry bags and begin our descent into White Canyon. The trail is a rough switchbacking trail descending nearly 600’ to the canyon floor. Once in the bottom of the canyon we start off with an easy hike for about 2 miles before we get to any water. The canyon walls of White Canyon are magnificent and while we may see footprints of hikers before us it is unlikely we’ll see any other groups in the canyon. The canyon will start to narrow up and you’ll see logs jammed in the slot 100’ above our heads from past flash floods. White canyon drains hundreds of square miles so when it does flood the water in the Black Hole can be over 100’ deep. Don’t worry! We keep a careful eye on the weather and if rain does look imminent we always will have a great backup plan for another great adventure.
After about 2 miles we’ll get to our first swim and we’ll take a break to put on our wetsuits. The water in the Black Hole rarely sees the sun so even on the hottest summer days a wetsuit is a must to avoid hypothermia. This is where the canyon gets interesting… multiple swims, twisting narrows and boulders the size of houses make navigating the canyon tricky. We’ll climb up and down ledges with the help of our team we usually don’t need to break out any ropes, but we’ll have a rope handy if needed. The canyon in places is only 2 – 3 feet wide and hundreds of feet tall which is what makes this one of our favorite canyons anywhere in Utah. These miles of swims and down-climbs always go by quickly and the canyon is always changing. When we reach our canyon exit we will shed our wetsuits and begin the climb out of the canyon. The trail out can be tricky in a few spots, but with some team assists we’ll be at the top in no time. We’ll take a rest at the rim and soak it all in. The Black Hole isn’t an easy accomplishment and we promise it’s a day you’ll never forget!