Fiddle Me This
Log in to rateLog in to rateLog in to rateLog in to rateLog in to rate 4.0 (4 ratings)
Difficulty:4B III (v4a2 III)
Raps:9-11, max ↨200ft
Red Tape:Permit required
29 Oct 2023
"Fiddle Me This turned out to be a really nice Zion canyon. It has a decent amount of walking, but compensates with three highly enjoyable narrows sequ
Fall, Spring, early Summer
Fiddle Me This is a pleasant Zion canyon with an easy approach and an exit that follows the East Rim trail. It has three sections of entertaining narrows that will make for a solid day of canyoneering. This canyon does not have bolts or established anchors, hence the ACA technical rating of 4. It is suggested that canyoneers accept the "Ghosting Challenge" using a combination of toggles, sandtraps, and partner assists to descend this canyon safely, though a bit of webbing here and there is no big deal. FMT runs to the north and is shaded most of the day -- good in summer.
Park at the Stave Spring trailhead. Walk a half mile along the Stave Spring trail, then turn right onto the East Rim trail. After another quarter mile, the trail crosses a drainage which deepens to the left of the trail: this is Fiddle Me This. Leave the trail on rocky terrain and descend the wash. The drainage deepens quickly, with two dryfalls appearing in short order. The first is bypassed RDC, the second LDC through vegetation. Soon a sculpted drop appears. This is R1.
R1 - 200ft over two stages. This is by far the longest rappel in the canyon, with all other drops measuring between 20ft and 60ft. Leaving a 200ft rope here to pick up when exiting is an option.
Several rappels follow in this section, anchored mostly from trees, logs, or rocks. Eventually the canyon opens out to a well-vegetated wash, from which escape is possible to the East Rim trail RDC and upward. After a bit the canyon turns sharply left and enters a second slot section.
This section contains a two-stage pothole sequence as its major challenge. The full rappel is about 60ft and lacks a conspicuous toggle-friendly anchor. A sandtrap can be used, and a rock pinch is available to be slung with webbing if needed. In most conditions the second 'keeper' pothole can be escaped by climbing out without too much difficulty, even when the pothole is swimmer. Further along, several short drops are downclimbed with assistance from partners below.
Past the second section, the canyon opens to a sun-exposed wash. Escape to the East Rim trail RDC is straightforward from the lower end of the wash, where a third slot section begins.
In this section, the major challenge is a steep drop into a tight crack with no conspicuous anchor. The simplest path is to back down to the previous pothole, and escape to a rincon on the left using a partner assist. A couple of drops will return you to the watercourse. The last rappel awaits, 50ft into what is often a deep pool but does not always hold water. A sandtrap may be useful here.
Please remove any slings you find in the canyon.
After the last rappel you are in Echo Canyon. Walk downstream and exit up the first easy gully on the right. The gully tops out at the official East Rim trail (cairns). A slickrock area to the left provides a venue for sunbathing and changing clothes for the hike out. Head on up the East Rim trail and ascend back to the Stave Spring trailhead.
One can also continue down Echo Canyon through a couple short drops (often with pools) to the start of the Middle Echo Canyon route.
A Zion permit is required for this canyon, but it is not on the online list and must be obtained in person. The Wilderness Desk will recognize this as Stave Spring Canyon. Group size limit is six. Descending Middle Echo Canyon requires a Middle Echo endorsement on the same permit.
- CanyoneeringUSA.com : Fiddle-Me-This
Trip reports and media
History: The first two sections were first descended Aug 28, 2013 by Emma Raisl, Casey Wall and Tom Jones. Jonathan Zambella and friends descended it a week or two later and continued through the third section, finding slings from a prior descent. The name was Emma's idea!