Finally got this one finished...hope it's useful :)
I always dreamed of going into this canyon. Not doing any technical climibing, of course I knew it would remain a dream. Thanks for the page.
Yeah it was beautiful. Do you do rappels? Really that's all you need to know how to do to go down the canyon....it's just a long hike back up the alternate exit I described.
Thanks for the beta! I am hoping to explore Lower Elephant Canyon this weekend. Do you by chance recall the total distance from car to car when doing the Salt Creek return? Is that short 5.6 climb doable as a solo with someone spotting?
Looking forward to learning more!
Personally, I'd use a rope if you exit Salt Creek (you need a rope to descend Elephant Canyon anyway). Take a few quick links, a cheater stick, or some other form of protection.
The short climb is possible with someone spotting, but if you slipped, the penalty points are high. The NPS rangers don't even know of this route, so if there was an accident you are going to have a long wait for a rescue. If there was an accident, the NPS would probably close the route as well as they tend to look down on canyoneers in that National Park.
You could try the route and use the alternate exit if you can't make the climb safely. Plan on a minimum of two days to be safe.
I already sent him an email scott, basically saying what you mention
OK, sounds good.