Bonita Falls/Lytle Creek Canyoneering

Bonita Falls/Lytle Creek Canyoneering

Oh, Canyoneering, How We Love Thee**

When we’re not paragliding or rock climbing, you can find us canyoneering. Broadly speaking, canyoneering combines hiking with swimming, high jumps, scrambling, stemming, and technical rope skills such as rappelling (abseiling). Of course, it is possible to descend certain walkable canyons without doing any of these. But those are not the sort of canyons we Fools prefer.

Stumbling To The Start

The weather was a brutal 100 degrees.  Really, we should not have attempted the canyon during the dog days of summer – talk about a foolish decision (pause for groans). But this canyon had been on our list for a while. So when we found ourselves with a free day, we decided to go for it.

After hiking along a stone-filled riverbed, we headed up a ridge under direct sun. That was the most taxing part of the day. We may have stopped a few times (okay, like, 6) to wipe ourselves down and gulp in water. By the time we reached the first rappel, located in a nice, shaded clearing, we were happy to relax for a bit while taking in the view.

Hiking up the ridge under direct sun was brutal.

Rappelling Down Waterfalls

The descent is a series of four rappels ranging from 30 to 160 feet. It’s a straightforward route – no way finding between them. Three of the rappels are directly along waterfalls. As it’s been a wet year in California, two of the falls ended in near waist-deep pools – extremely refreshing on that hot, hot day. In previous years, owing to the drought, many local waterfalls had slowed to a trickle.

Relaxing for a bit while taking in the view from the drop in point.

As a team of two, we work our way through canyons relatively quickly. A short 3.5 hours after we started the hike, we were back at our car.

Even though the hike up was brutal, we got some pretty pictures along the way.
View of the hike in from above.
**Disclaimer: Canyoneering comes with serious risks and should only be done if you have proper training or an experienced leader. The information above is not to be used to attempt the canyon and is purposely vague. For proper guidance, check with your local canyoneering experts.
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