The Golden Cathedral in Neon Canyon is truly one of the prettiest places I have seen in my short time here in this life. As you begin the descent through Neon Canyon (Escalante Utah) heading towards your final rappel down the Golden Cathedral, you’re greeted with an incredible place that’s been shaped by the sun, sand and water; that’s so fun to circumvent and navigate your way through. There are several rappels and a bunch of down-climbs that you’ll get to do one your way down.

Golden Cathedral by Dan Ransom on 500px

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To get there you’ll have to drive down a long washboardy road right next to Escalante Utah, as this canyon is within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. You’ll have to hike some distance down to the creek bottom, then you’ll follow the creek a little ways before you’ll ascend up the hillside before dropping into Neon Canyon.

At times the canyon will narrow up and you’ll find yourself hoping it doesn’t get much skinnier, as you can’t get much skinnier, but alas that doesn’t last for long. And watch out for bunches of spiders often called Daddy-Long-Leggs, as a few of our fellow hikers almost went face first into big bunches of them. This as we know is just par for the course at times.
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As you come around the bend and begin the final rappel through the Golden Cathedral, you’ll find yourself saying “that was way cooler than I ever anticipated”. These images of people hanging on a rope above the water just don’t do it justice. In fact I don’t think an image ever could do it justice. It can show you it’s beautiful and stunning, but it cannot combine the rush you get descending from a rope through that little opening in the ceiling. What it feels like to look up at it as you go. Then finally getting your feet back on solid ground and looking up from when you’ve came. No, pictures just cannot provide that, they can only remind you of it…