The sun sets over Alcatraz. If you think the view is good from the rim, wait until you go inside…

After we tidied up Larry, we ate some lunch and took a quick nap. We intended to start as late in the afternoon as possible, to avoid the hike back out of Alcatraz in direct sunlight. John was in the canyon just last weekend, so we figured if we left by 3:30 or 4:00, we’d time it just right.

Alcatraz has a killer entry rappel. Pull your car up to the edge of the cliff, tie off to your bumper, and in you go. I think it is like 150 feet, partly free hanging. And the canyon wastes no time getting slotty.

John anchors up to the trusty Subaru. Luckily, he placed some chocks under the tires…


John on rappel. My foot on the bottom.

The fisheye look at the first rappel. It’s a fun one.

About 15-20 minutes into the party, the first difficult obstacle shows up. Luckily, (or unluckily, depending on your persuasions…) the anchor was already set behind the pothole, and a rope was left for the rap on the other side. With a small partner assist, I was up and over. This canyon had alot of equipment left in it. Most of it was webbing for handlines, that certainly made a few moves easier. We didn’t clean much of it, but there is no doubt the canyon would be a little more difficult if it was clean.

John enjoying the clean refreshing water in Alcatraz’s keeper pothole. I love the smell of poop in the afternoon.

John raps the backside of the keeper pothole.

Alcatraz is full of good stuff. Lots of fun down climbs, a few constrictions that I couldn’t get through on ground level, and some beautiful narrows. The downclimbs were definitely the most enjoyable. But damn, that water stinks. Or was that John? Either way, both were vomit-worthy.

It’s dark in here. John and I just before we exit one of the super dark sections.

John at the bottom of an interesting downclimb into a pool.


Near the end of the technical stuff, we went into this eery-orange-glowing-chamber-slanted-hallways section. It was downright strange.

The last narrows, with a view out into the land of the living. Awesome ending to an awesome slot.

Yoga John getting his peace and balance on. The views back into Twin Corral Box in the distance are phenomenal.

We made it back out with plenty of light to spare. A storm looked to be rolling in, and the temperatures dropped significantly. It was perfect. We rim walked back to the car, taking in the vistas. I’d almost recommend doing just the rim walk, and enjoying the views. Made for a fantastic stroll out. As the sun started to set, I grabbed my camera gear and ran back to one of the better viewpoints, which is the picture at the top of the page.

Alcatraz rates high on my short list of canyons. It has it all, fun downclimbs, super tight narrows, a nice entry rappel, good light, and a fantastic exit. I’d do it again.

One last picture… John, the hero that he is, gives a proper burial to a dead squirrel. And yes, that is a scapula (?) from a dead cow he dug the hole and carted the creature over to his grave with. Maybe that’s what that awful smell was?