At first, I was a bit confused about the difference between caving ( also occasionally known as spelunking in the United States and Canada and potholing in the United Kingdom and Ireland ) and canyoneering.
In very lame terms : exploring Ape Caves or Guler Ice Caves is the most basic type of caving.
During my visit to Moab, I finally got a chance to try canyoneering and saw for myself how different it was from caving.
Again, when I say "caving" all I really mean is a" guided tour of a well explored and maintained cave". You don't really do anything strenuous, challenging, technical.
When it comes to canyoneering, even the most beginner friendly outing might not be suitable for everybody ( fear of heights anybody ? ).
Canyoneering is risky, it's physically demanding, but it's also tons of fun !
During my half day trip I had a chance to explore the beautiful Ephedra's Grotto.
It's a very popular trip, close to downtown Moab, and there are many companies that offer this great experience.
Honestly, I didn't expect much. Repelling down a 100+ feet rope wasn't anything new to me, but the place itself was absolutely amazing !
After walking through the washes and across the slickrock you come to the top of Ephedra's Grotto. You drop 60 feet down to a small ledge which you have to back yourself over and then rappel down another 30 feet. At the bottom you are surrounded by shear cliff walls on every side and so you can only hike out through a small slot opening.
The next repel is even more impressive !
Morning Glory Arch is the fifth largest natural bridge, spanning 243 feet. The first 40 feet you are along the wall but the remaining 70 feet you are suspended in air, surrounded by the beauty of the canyon walls, the arch above and the stream below.
If you have a chance, make sure this is the moment somebody is taking your pictures !
After you're done with repelling, it's 2.2 miles back to the car.
Though I visited both Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, Negro Bill Canyon was my hiking experience in Moab. This is a very popular trail in Moab. It follows a year round stream through a deep sandstone canyon among willows and cottonwoods and sandy trails for several miles ( Morning Glory Natural Bridge is its final destination ).
All in all, I'm happy that my first canyoneering experience took place in Moab !