Immaculate Canyon, AZ

Location: Arizona, Secret Mountain Wilderness
Rating: 3B-III
Longest Rappel: ≈ 180'

Immaculate Canyon is a great trip through the Secret Mountain Wilderness area just outside of Sedona that drops you into the West Fork of Oak Creek and ends at the Call of the Canyon parking lot (we parked down the road a bit because no one was at the lot booth. I have been told they would prefer if you let them know your intentions and that a vehicle will be there overnight). Our trip consisted of a group of five with (3) 200' ropes, (1) 100' rope and (1) 200' pull cord (we only used (2) 200' and the 100' ropes, but it was nice assurance to have extra on hand). Driving up the night before we camped near our planned entrance where we could easily wake up rested, eat breakfast, and hit the canyon. We ended up walking out of camp fully loaded at 6:30am to begin our adventure only knowing the longest rappel, some of the pulls in the canyon had been notoriously difficult, and on occasion a few stuck ropes had been left on prior trips. Once we veered into the canyon, we found the growth to be fairly thick, wet from dew, but easy going. Reaching the first rappel it was game on, a good number of drops came fairly quickly and a couple required some attention be paid to particulars to avoid any rope mishaps. Our trip consisted of a couple pools that were easily walked across on the floating log jams encountered, but I can imagine some knee to waist deep situations occurring depending on season. If memory serves me correctly we encountered 3 bolts during our trip that seemed to aid in the efficient decent of this canyon. The first placement allowed a short rappel to be easily completed, while the second placement of two bolts immediately followed, allowing one to save some webbing by not having to tie an extended anchor off some of the logs in the nearby pool. Once the technical section was over we soon we found ourselves in thick overgrowth battling our way down to the west fork. Once we arrived in Oak Creek it was smooth sailing and we quickly found a place to sit in the shade for an hour while eating lunch. With our meals complete we began walking down Oak Creek only to encounter more and more people as we got near the established trail. With a good pace going, just under 7 hours after leaving camp we found ourselves back at the lower truck just down the road from Call of the Canyon gearing down and strapping sandals on our feet.

 


 

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