Garden Creek

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Garden Creek Canyoneering Canyoning Caving
Also known as: Garden Creek Canyon.
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Difficulty:3B IV (v3a2 IV)
Raps:‌6-8, max ↨200ft
Overall:10-14h ⟷13.5mi
Approach:3-4h ↑0ft
Exit:5-6h ↑4600ft
Condition Reports:
24 May 2023

"Beautiful perfect descent! The water and air temps were perfect for no wetsuit. We took our time and spent 2 nights at havasupai gardens (before and a

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This canyon is easily accessible from Havasupai Gardens (formerly Indian Garden) campground, 4.6 miles down the Bright Angel Trail from the Grand Canyon South Rim. It's a short canyon, just 0.3 miles, but it requires an 8 mile hike with 4650 feet of elevation gain on the exit hike. It is highly recommended to stop in the shaded picnic area at Havasupai Gardens to wait until shade or nightfall before finishing the exit hike. There is a small pool at the southernmost picnic table which is nice to keep cool in until the sun goes down.

The source of the water in this unlikely spot in the middle of a very dry environment is a perrenial spring that spouts up at Havasupai Gardens. In addition, on rare occasion, the park service releases water from the water treatment plant, which increases the flow temporarily. In Spring there may be some additional flow provided by snow melt. Under predominant conditions the flow is under 1CFS, does not affect ones path of travel, is not pushy when taken full on the body, does not exhibit any hydraulics and poses no significant threat of drowning. Thus, the Class B rating.


Use Bright Angel Trail from the south rim. About a mile and a half past Havasupai Gardens Campground, just before the trail makes a large u-turn to head south, Garden Creek leaves the trail DCL. This is your drop-in.


Start by downclimbing a few short falls before coming to your first anchor in the slot

R1: 30’ off piton and knot chock wall DCL.

R2: 30’ off bolts DCR, or downclimb.

R3: 120’ off bolts DCR.

R4: 160’ off bolts DCR. First pitch of a 360 foot cascade. The second pitch is low-angle, and may appear smaller than 200’ from above. Chains for rebelay are hard to miss if you’re paying attention.

R5: 200’ off bolts with chains DCR. Second pitch on the 360 foot cascade.

Slide, or rappel off tree into potential swimmer.

R6: 180’ off bolts DCR, multi-tier. Flow narrows and picks up velocity. Lower tiers may be downclimbed.

R7: 80’ off bolts DCL.

After one final downclimb DCL, the creek merges with Bright Angel Trail.


Once the canyon opens, the creek runs through a thick riparian mass. Stay right to get around thick vegetation, then cross straight and climb up a 20 foot ramp to get to the lower Bright Angel Trail. Turn right and head uphill.

Red tape

This canyon is much more enjoyable with at least one overnight at Havasupai Gardens Campground, though most will opt to do the trip in a single day to avoid permitting and hauling overnight gear. You will need reservations to camp at Havasupai Gardens Campground.

Beta sites

Trip reports and media



Information provided by automated processes. KML map by (unknown). Main photo by (unknown). Authors are listed in chronological order.

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