Old Bill Canyon

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Old Bill Canyon Canyoneering Canyoning Caving
Also known as: North Fork of Old Bill Canyon.
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Old Bill Canyon Banner.jpg

Difficulty:3B IV (v3a2 IV)
Raps:‌8-15, max ↨200ft
Overall:8.5-13.5h ⟷6.9mi
Descent: ⟷1.2mi ↓2093ft
Red Tape:No permit required
Shuttle:Optional 30 min
Vehicle:High Clearance
Rock type:Sandstone
Condition Reports:
27 May 2023

"This is a great canyon that is of similar style/feel to String of Pearls or Mud Springs but is a step up challenge wise due to more advanced downclimb

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A classic full featured route complete with beautiful scenery, lots of downclimbs, some chimney slots, stemming, and multiple great rappels.

One of the defining features is a beautiful multi-pitch rappel that can be broken up in 3 sections.

Depending on time of year there are a few un-avoidable pools.


Leave a shuttle vehicle at First Creek TH then Drive 30mins over to Little Zion TH. High clearance vehicles recommended on the final stretch of dirt road as conditions change. The hike is fairly mild and starts as a well defined trail that eventually cuts off following a ridge line.

An alternative with no shuttle is to follow Questionable Decision Approach, then drop over the saddle near Decision Peak and head south into Old Bill drainage.


This canyon has many somewhat spicy downclimbs throughout, most of which are bolted, your rap count may vary.

After the first narrow section, there is a large 3 pitch rappel sequence with obvious bolted anchor stations to stop and re-rig. Largest rappel is 200'. There is a simple and obvious walk off ramp DCR of this sequence.

For a more confusing and somewhat outdated beta, you could reference Blue Gnome's write up. However, despite that beta, this canyon is easily done with 200' ropes without any added risk.


It is bewildering that crossing into the Spring Mountain Ranch State park is considered "illegal". However, the park is fairly aggressive about enforcing this.

The yellow exit route is from bluugnome.com, and is what you should take. However, 350ft of elevation gain and traversing off trail at the end of the long day will likely not seem appealing.

The orange route briefly crosses the state park lands, however does so up in the desert and a long way from any park facilities, so it's unlikely anyone will notice or care. This will take you to Bonnie Springs Road, where you could have left a vehicle, or take a brief 2 mile walk out to First Creek TH.

Red tape

DO NOT hike out through the State Park facilities or on their road. The tree cops will get you.

Beta sites

Trip reports and media


Rappel waypoints courtesy of Bluugnome.com


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

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