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North. Sierra Nevada
South. Sierra Nevada

Garganta del Diablo CanyonWaterfall (alternative drop-in)


Car approach:
20 km. on paved road
40 km. on dirt road
Hike in: 0 km.
Hike out: 1.6 km.
Hike duration (including the canyon): 6 h.
Date: 04/15/2010
Gear: 2 x 60m ropes and wetsuit.

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The Garganta del Diablo Canyon (Devil's Throat) is mostly dry with the exception of a couple of pools. Watch out! There is a mud pot hole impossible to scape if you go solo. This canyon might be an option if the weather is not suitable for any of the other canyons. We did Garganta del Diablo as part of the activities during the 2010 Rendez-vous organized by the Mexican branch of the ACA.


Scenery from the waterfall (alternative drop-in)From the Hotel Hacienda Cola de Caballo, follow the paved road NL-20 uphill for 6.6 km to the Puerto Genovevo pass (WP PtoGenovevo). Keep on this road till the small village Ciénaga González (CienagaGonzalez) at 15.9 km. from the Hotel. Pass the village and follow the GPS track. The paved road becomes a dirt road with some rough stretches. Follow the GPS track on this dirt road for about 40 km. Along the way you will pass the tiny village Laguna Sánchez (CienagaGonzalez) and a mountain pass (GDMountainPass).

Leave the return car close to the exit of the canyon (GDCarReturn) and keep driving with all your gear until the green house at the drop-in waypoint (GDDropIn). Leave the second car here. Approach the entrance of the fence but don't get in. Continue the fence down to the left, go right at the bottom and then head for the stream.

The waypoint GDDropInAlt may be an alternative drop-in that leads to the waterfall on the top picture.

Description of the canyon:

Narrow sectionThere are a few downclimbs and rappels from this starting point to the waterfall at the alternative drop-in. The first rappel is 10m high (GDRap01 10M).

One of the rappels is about 70 or 75 m long but after the first 40 m, there is a wide platform with a second anchor at your feet. This is right before the waterfall that joints from the canyon right (alternative drop-in).

After some more obstacles, you get to the mud pot hole. In our case, two people rappelled down to the bottom (20 m.) and one helped the other to climb the rock on the other side of the pool. You have to reach a bolt on the wall to help you out of the hole. This bolt could be used to rig a short rope to help others climb out of the pool. The mud is very slippery. Once outside of the hole, there is a couple of bolts on the wall to rig a guided rappel as an alternative to the mud.

Immediately after the mud pot hole follows a short rappel (12 m.) to where the narrow section of the canyon begins. From here, a 10 m. rappel takes you to a cold pool with a short swim/walk. At the end of the pool, there is another rappel (10 m.). The last rappel is the Devil's Throat (40 m.). Take a moment while you go down to look up and admire la Garganta del Diablo on the wall above you.

Hike out:

After a short walk, the canyon opens up on a nice chamber still surrounded by tall walls. You can take off your gear and wetsuit here. Walk out of the chamber looking for a big tree on the river bed where a passage appears on the canyon right. Climb the slope while flanking looking for a narrow gap (1 m.) above between two rocks. There are two thin trees right at the gap. Follow the trail and look for an aqueduct. Follow it downstream until you get to a concrete section of a road. Follow the road uphill until you get to the first car.

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