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Cathedral Wash

Difficult
 4.9 (14) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Short and sweet slot canyon that ends on the banks of the Colorado River. Serious fun!


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Map Key

2.9

Miles

4.7

KM

Out and Back

3,435' 1,047 m

High

3,165' 965 m

Low

270' 82 m

Up

270' 82 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

8%

Max Grade (5°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views

Overview

Cathedral Wash is a short and scenic slot canyon with easy access and big rewards. This moderate adventure has no major technical challenges, though there is some scrambling and care should be taken to choose safe routes over ledges and dropoffs. And, of course, any hike in this desert wilderness needs to be taken seriously with respect to heat and weather.

Need to Know

This canyon has potential for flash flooding - avoid if there are thunderstorms in the area.

Description

The trailhead for Cathedral Wash is 1.3 miles north of Navajo Bridge on the road to Lee's Ferry. From the parking pullout head east into lower Cathedral Wash, which at this point is a shallow sandy arroyo. As you walk downstream the canyon walls quickly rise above and the scenery improves dramatically. Further on, the wash develops into a true slot canyon, with high sheer walls, fantastic geology, and not much sunlight penetrating to the canyon bottom.

While most of the walking is easy, there are a few ledges that require some scrambling and care should be taken to scout the best route. Eventually Cathedral Wash opens up at the Colorado River within Marble Canyon. Because the Glen Canyon Dam is not far upstream, the river runs clear and blue here.

Enjoy the scenery, which may include groups of rafters just beginning their trips through the Grand Canyon from the Lee's Ferry put-in spot a few miles above. When you're done soaking in the canyon scenery head back up the way you came.

Shared By:

Almonzo Wilder

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 14 votes

#401

Overall
  4.9 from 14 votes
5 Star
93%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#22

in Arizona

#401

Overall
257 Views Last Month
11,175 Since Apr 26, 2015
Difficult

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21%
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79%
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Photos

Deep in Cathedral Wash
Apr 26, 2015 near LeChee, AZ
Ascending out the Cathedral Wash slot canyon level by level...a very adventuresome route!
Jan 17, 2018 near LeChee, AZ
At the end of the Cathedral Wash it opens up to the Colorado River...great place to have lunch!
Jan 17, 2018 near LeChee, AZ
Some of the cool rock formations in the canyon
Jan 17, 2018 near LeChee, AZ
Descending the Cathedral Wash slot canyon level by level...a very adventuresome route!
Jan 17, 2018 near LeChee, AZ
Descending the Cathedral Wash slot canyon level by level...a very adventuresome route!
Jan 17, 2018 near LeChee, AZ

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 12 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

May 5, 2020
Kacper Pawlaczyk
16h 00m
Mar 8, 2020
Michael Messenger
Jan 27, 2020
Lukas Peschka
16h 00m
Aug 13, 2019
Michael Gaines
This was an awesome hike, had to do some bouldering to get to the river. don't be fooled it's 3 in and 3 out for 6 miles round trip 6mi
Jun 19, 2019
Mark Nocella
GPS showed an 8 mile round trip. trail was a bit tricky to navigate which I loved! A little tougher than it looks. — 9h 00m
Jun 14, 2019
Emily Freed
Nice scramble at end, jumped into Colorado River: ice cold! Lots of paths, create your own going along the walls. 2.9mi
May 31, 2019
K K
2.9mi
May 29, 2019
Robert Mor
Cathedral Wash