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Canyoning in Ouray

Kaden Anderson, Canyoning Colorado
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1 Person
1 day
Kaden Anderson, Canyoning Colorado
  • Being the most technical and the longest of the three, Bear Creek is definitely the most challenging adventure on this list. The canyon is accessed via Bear Creek Trail, with the approach taking 1.5 hours. With a 6-hour descent, the largest rappels, and numerous downclimbs, this site requires a lot of persistence and dedication that might involve pushing your limits. However, the rewards make it all pay off—Bear Creek features stunning rock formations, grand walls and splendidly carved passageways. One extra perk of this tour is lunch in the canyon!

    • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

      We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Ouray, Colorado please refer to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

      Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

    • What you get on this adventure:

        • An experienced, local canyoning guide with extensive knowledge of the area
        • A half or full day of canyoning in Oak Creek, depending on your chosen itinerary
        • Snacks for half-day tours
        • Lunch for full-day tours 
        • Complete canyoning equipment
        • Photos of your experience

      What’s not included:

        • Transportation 
        • Accommodations
    • For these tours, you have to be an intermediate canyoneer in excellent physical condition. Prior experience is preferred but not required for tours in Oak Creek and Upper Uncompahgre. If you don’t have canyoning experience but you live a highly active lifestyle, climb regularly (lead, top rope), are an avid whitewater paddler, have experience working with ropes or at height, then you might be suited to intermediate canyons. Keep in mind that you will also have to hike up to 60 minutes with gear in tow on uneven terrain. Swimming experience is also necessary because of waterfalls and plunge pools.

      For Oak Creek (3C2 / V3.A4.III) and Upper Uncompahgre (3CIII / V3.A4.III), you will have to rappel for 30 m/100 ft and use a rope and safety lines. Be ready for prolonged immersion in cold water and moderate current. You might have to perform simple jumps between 5 m/ 16 ft and 8 m/ 26 ft.

      For canyoning in Bear Creek (3C3 / V4.A4.IV), you should be prepared for low to moderate vertical flows, rappels over 30 m/100 ft, rough rock edges requiring rope management and landing pools that have current. Setting safety lines will be more difficult.

    • Canyoning isn’t just for outdoor pros, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with excellent physical condition and experience in rock climbing and paddling can have fun. If you’ve never canyoneered before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, and teach you how to manage the ropes. Previous canyoneering experience is a must for canyoneering in Bear Creek.

      If you don’t have any experience with canyoning, outdoor rock climbing or paddling, this tour is not suitable for you.

    • Here’s what you’ll need:

        • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
        • Water bottle
        • Swimwear
        • Towel
        • Athletic shorts
        • Contact lenses (glasses are not recommended, unless you own a pair of sports glasses)
        • Toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)

      All the necessary equipment will be provided by the guide. Your own shoes, clothes and personal belongings will not go into the canyon with you. Upon booking, the guide will ask you to send them your sizes and will prepare the necessary equipment, so please make sure all the sizes are accurate.

    • Group sizes and prices:

        • These courses are private. The usual guest-to-guide ratio is 4:1. It takes a minimum of 2 people for this tour to run.
        • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

      Min. age requirements:

        • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • To get to Ouray, most people fly into Denver International Airport, which is about 6 hours away. From there, you can take another flight to regional airports in Grand Junction or Durango or rent a car. You can also fly to Albuquerque, Salt Lake City or Colorado Springs.

      Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location in Ouray.

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