ZigZag Canyon, AZ
Location: Arizona, Superstition Mountain Wilderness
Rating: 3A - II
Longest Rappel: ≈ 190'
Zigzag canyon is a fun section in the Superstitions to run when recent rains have created a good flow. In my opinion this is more of a sport rappel than a traditional canyon, but it is just as fun when your looking for something close to phoenix. Zigzag is a 550' wall, that zigs and zags in the middle section and finally drops you down to the Apache Trail just up the road from the Fish Creek bridge. On the several trips I have run, we typically negotiate it in sections using (2) 200' ropes where the wall is broken up into 4 rappels. The first stage is about 90' into a small alcove that makes for a convenient place for someone with rope to go down and rig the next ≈ 200' drop with the rest of the crew still above. Once the second drop is rigged, we typically sequence the rest of the group through this alcove and on to the next rope to avoid overcrowding (dependent on group size. It is a fairly large alcove and should hold your typical group size if necessary). The ledge below this second drop is large and will comfortably hold all members of your crew. Making your way canyon right, you can rig the next anchor for the group where a short section can be negotiated to get you to the final drop of the wall. This again (at least on our trips) is sequenced similar to the first section, sending the first person with rope to rig the final drop and moving one at a time down to the staging area to complete the last rappel. Once down this final drop, simply make your way to the car you have been staring at since the first rappel and say hello to the tourists who gathered near the bridge to take photos.