Fat Mans Misery Canyon, UT
Location: Utah, Zion National Park
Rating: 3B - III
Longest Rappel: ≈ 45'
Fat Mans Misery begins just outside the Zion National Park Boundary making it a great option for days when permits are hard to come by. The approach is mostly exposed and I would always recommend a early start (took our group one hour at a fast pace to get to the head of the canyon). Once in canyon you are treated to pockets of narrows that each have their own nice features and eventually lead to open, exposed areas where on occasion you will think the canyon is complete. The canyon can be done with a 100' rope, we brought two as a contingency, but there is nothing extremely challenging regarding the rope work required or any areas where stuck ropes are a major concern. The canyon drops in and out of tight slots and eventually into the "Grotto Pool", the final and most scenic portion of the canyon (in my opinion) where warm springs fill a dark, tight area that gives the feeling of almost being underground. Once beyond this section you encounter a nice exit through the flow of the sulfur springs into the east fork of the virgin river. A short, and typically secluded hike through this section of narrows eventually leads to your exit point where it is time to pay the canyon. The hike out is long, exposed, and navigation can be challenging, look for small cairns uphillwhen the trail seems to run out. Our group took 12 hours the first time through (navigational difficulties along with an exploration of labyrinth falls down stream from the canyon exit) and 7 hours the second time through (did not get lost and did not go to the falls).