Research Report • Canyoneering in the United States

The Coalition of American Canyoneers (CAC), in conjunction with Southern Utah University, has released the first-ever research on the state of canyoneering in the U.S. Based on an online survey of over 800 canyoneers, the research describes canyoneering practices, including those relating to technical expertise, safety and environmental issues. The research was conducted in early 2015.

We have all seen that canyoneering is a fast-growing sport. The results of the survey bear that out with over 50% of respondents having their first canyoneering experience in the past five years. Only 13% reported more than 15 years of experience. As might be expected, beginning canyoneers lag behind in almost all skill and technical areas, leading to twice the rate of rescues.

The community, even beginning canyoneers, generally has a high degree of sensitivity and awareness of environmental issues, although clearly there are opportunities for improvement in this area. This holds true for local area regulatory issues as well, particularly in awareness of the permitting process and regulations. Respondents report that when permits are required, they obtain them 88% of the time.

The complete report is available to download: CAC Research Report

Thank you to CAC Board Member Bill Aho for his work on the original survey and research report.

Join CAC Button