Canyoneering Route Description

Questionable Decision Canyon - 4A IV
Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

Quick Facts

2012-10-27, 7 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 12 hours) Took a much longer approach
2016-05-21, 4 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 15.75 hours) Did what we call the expensive route and had multiple issues
2020-04-24, 3 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 12.5 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 10 to 13 hours
Distance - 4.5 miles Total, 0.4 miles Technical
Rappels - 14 Rappels, Longest Rappel 180 feet.
Elevation Range - 3650 - 6380 Feet
Shuttle Required - No Vehicle - Passenger Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 180 feet and 50 feet of webbing for sling placement.  Having a second long rope is a good idea as there are many places on this route you can stick a rope on rappel.

General Comments

Please remember, canyoneering is not the only sport enjoyed in this area. The area is a popular climbing area with a lot of routes going up and down. Some anchors in the lower canyon may not make sense as a canyoneer. Please be respectful and leave anchors in place even though they may not make sense from your perspective. You are not the only one on the mountain. Be mindful of not dropping rocks or doing anything that could effect anyone below you.

There are only a few spots of water and all in the upper canyon. In warm and hot months a wetsuit is not needed. In cooler months a wet suit is might be nice since the water is in areas that see little sun. I suggest avoiding this canyon in cold months just so you do not need to carry a wetsuit. Most water can be avoided if you enjoy wide stemming / bridging. Even avoiding the water most people will get wet to about waist deep in one spot.

Note / Warning:
Since people may add or move anchors depending on what they are willing or able to downclimb, your rappel count may differ slightly from that of the route description.

There are a lot of choke stones and pinch points where you may get a rope stuck, especially with carabiners and knots in the rope. Be careful of rope placement and rigging to help prevent a stuck rope.  Bringing 2 ropes the are long enough for the longest rappel may be a good idea for this route. In the event you do stick a rope you still have an extra one to get you down safely.

Typically single rope rappels are preferred for safety but there are many places in this canyon where a double strand rappel may be preferred to reduce the possibility of getting ropes stuck since double strand rappels will not have carabiners or knots in the rope during pull.

Some portions of the approach route follow convoluted terrain, some portions have use trails and cairns and other parts do not. Pay attention to maps, GPS, route description or memory to get you there, but do not depend on cairns getting you there. There are use trails on the approach ridge that can be misleading and tempt you to harder terrain later. If following this approach route for the first time, allow a little extra time for route finding. Once you have navigated the approach route once successfully, future visits will go much faster.  Once up on top of the mountain, GPS may be helpful to ensure you drop down the correct drainage into the intended canyon.  A helpful image is also provided in the route description.

The upper half of the Questionable Decision has a lot of down climbing through narrow slots where knee and elbow pads are recommended.

Note / Navigation Warning:
Route finding from the end of the upper section to find the correct way down the start of the lower section can be tricky. Choosing wrong way leads to a route that, while fun, requires longer rope and involves a rappel where you need to traverse way off of the fall line and is notorious for getting ropes stuck. A GPS will not be helpful for avoiding this mistake.  The route description has images to help find the correct route down.

The lower half or Questionable Decision has a significant amount of down climbing and some of it quite exposed as you route find down some steep and semi open areas of slickrock.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the junction of highway 215 and Charleston Blvd (highway 159), drive west on Charleston Blvd (highway 159) about 11.1 miles to the trailhead for First Creek (tFirstCreekTH) on the right.

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is needed.  This is done as a loop route.

Maps

GPS coordinate information listed at the bottom.  For information about waypoint naming and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Map Link Icon
Click the links for maps of the route.
Map of the entire route.
Map of the approach up the mountain.
Map of the technical section.

Details

The Approach:
From the First Creek TH (tFirstCreekTH) walk west on the main trail for about 0.9 miles.

Example Pic.

After walking about 0.9 miles, leave the trail (QD-01) you can leave the trail pretty much anywhere in this general area and start walking southwest across open desert. There is no one best spot to leave the trail.  While walking the rolling desert you may find a intermittent use trails.

Note:
Look southwest and note the approach ridge and notice the wide gently sloped hill coming down from the ridge toward the main trail. Leave the trail when you get near where the bottom of that gradually sloped hill gets closest to the main trail.

About 0.6 miles after leaving the trail (QD-02) the gently sloped hill meets steeper rocky red dirt layer. Start up with a short scramble then continue up following intermittent use trail. Route find up toward a large spire-like boulder / out cropping in the bouldery white rocks above about 250 feet away. Route find just to the left of the spire-like rock. As you start up into the bouldery white rock layer, the route becomes well cairned with some use trails forming.

Note / Warning:
There are use trails that will lead you where you do not want to go.  Some use trails follow less steep terrain veering more south contouring around the hillside but lead to more difficult terrain around the other side. Since some of those use trails are well used and on more level terrain, it can be tempting to follow them. Resist the urge to contour around and continue going up where you will encounter a few easy scrambles. It is best to go up the steeper slope to the white rock spire like boulder.

Just after getting above the red layer and starting into the white layer (QD-03), use trails form leading off to the left (more southish) contouring around to the south side of the ridge following more gentle terrain. Resist the urge to follow these use trails as they will lead to amore difficult and convoluted route. Continue up the steeper terrain going up more west then southwest.

Shortly up into the whit rock layer is this short section to scramble up (QD-04).

Continuing up, the route begins to have more sustained scrambling (QD-05) as you go up through the white rock bouldery layer. The route is cairned well and involves a few spots of 4th class scrambles mixed with easy walking on short use trails.

Soon the route does a right-left jog (QD-06) as you get near the crest of the ridge. Follow through the right-left jog then scramble through a 30 foot long sloped crack to get up to wider more open terrain on the crest of the ridge. Continue southwest up the wider more open ridge.

About 900 feet farther up the ridge is the base of a big, flat, smooth faced wall (QD-07). Walk south along the base of the wall following a well cairned route as it wraps around to the right and starts contouring to the west toward a wide bouldery ridge.

After wrapping around the route has a section that is heavily cairned (QD-08) and the route begins going north op the ridge line. After a short scramble follow up a forming brush filled gully with a prominent dead tree seen farther up the gully. Almost 300 feet farther the gully begins to top out on a ridge where you will need to turn left and start west up the ridge.

About 300 feet farther and shortly after turning west up the ridge is the base of vertical rock (QD-09) you can not go up. Continue west following the cairned route down through some boulder debris for about 200 feet to drop into a wide vegetated area near the base of another long gully going up to the northwest.

From the base of a wide vegetated gully (QD-10) going up to the nothwest, follow northwest up the gully for about 700 feet to where it tops out at the crest of a ridge line.

About 600 feet farther the gully tops out (QD-11) as it meets the crest of a ridge and a huge sheer drop off on the other side. There are sometimes cairns near the top of the gully lead to a scramble up to the left to get out of the gully up onto the ridge. Once on the ridge, continue northwest up the ridge line following a well cairned route.

About 350 feet farther the route drops off of ridge (QD-12) and into a steep gully still continuing up to the northwest. Follow up the heavily cairned route northwest up the steep gully and some 4th class scrambling. Viewed from the bottom the scrambling looks more difficult than it is. After about 300 feet, the route levels off into a wide level vegetated area just below Indecision Peak.

In the wide open vegetated level area just below Indecision Peak (QD-13). Walk west through a wide semi flat vegetated area which slowly transforms into a ridge running down to the west. Follow the ridge west with a mix of scrambling and walking and the occasional cairn.

Note:
If you want to go to Indecision Peak for the views or to sign the register, it is an easy 3 minute scramble about 150 feet north up to the peak.

Almost 600 feet farther is a small cave like feature under a boulder (QD-14). Depending on your chosen route to walk this area you might not notice this cave. Continuing west along the ridge from here begins to have more scrambling and goes up onto a very minor peak about 300 feet away.

From the small minor peak (QD-15) scramble west down to a small saddle. Do not drop into the forming ravine on the right (north) as that is not the canyon you are aiming for.

Note / navigation aid:
As you drop down to the saddle look along the ridge about 300 feet beyond the saddle and note a redish rock and dirt area. The route past the saddle will follow just right (northish) of the ridge and go over to the red dirt and rock area.

A little over 300 feet farther is a large saddle (QD-16). Going northwest directly up the ridge is not possible due to vertical sections of rock. Follow northwest along but contouring just to the right (north) of the ridge and route find up to the reddish rock and dirt area. Do not drop down the large ravine to the northeast as that is not the canyon you want to be in.

About 300 feet farther the route traverses through the red dirt and rock zone (QD-17). Continue about 200 feet to the crest of the ridge where views of Questionable Decision Peak come into view.

Now on the other side of the red dirt and rock area ()QD-18 where you can now see Questionable Decision Peak about 0.25 miles northwest and can see the wide ravine of upper Questionable Decision Canyon forming and dropping down to the north. Turn right and route find northish down the ravine about 600 feet to the top of Questionable Decision Canyon (yQuestionTp).

Example Pic.

 The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
Top of a slickrock drainage (yQuestionTp) dropping down at the head of Questionable Decision Canyon. There are two options for rap 1. Scramble down the slot / chute to the top of rap 1 in the water course. Or walk the RDC (east) ledge about 100 feet over to a pile of rocks for an alternate rap 1 from the RDC rim.

Rap 1 (dQD-R1a) water course rappel, anchored LDC from a tree and drops about 130 feet down a mostly vertical wall.

Rap 1b (dQD-R1b) RDC rim rappel, anchored from a pile of rocks on the RDC rim and drops about 125 feet to the canyon floor.

Shortly down canyon is the next rap.

Rap 2 (dQD-R2) anchored from 2 bolted hangers LDC about head high and drops about 40 feet down a narrow slot to small ledge. This rap can be downclimbed but might be a little spicy at the top the top.

Starting from the ledge at the bottom of the rap starts a series of 5 elevator style downclimbs ranging from 20 to 35 feet each before getting to the next rap.

Note: Some of the downclimbs may have anchors depending on choices made by previous parties. If using anchors for these drops be very aware of pinch points that can prevent rope pull.  Having a confident down climber go last and provide meat anchor for others can help reduce the odds of getting ropes stuck.

Rap 3 (dQD-R3) anchored LDC from a single bolted hanger and drops about 50 feet over two stages down a slightly sloped slot. This rap can be downclimbed but the first few feet getting into the downclimb is a little awkward and the rest being a pretty easy stem style downclimb. An option to make rope pull easier is to rappel only the first stage, pull the ropes then downclimb the easier second stage.

Shortly down canyon is a large boulder (QD-19) with a scramble / downclimb on the RDC side to a pool that when full will be about waist deep with no way to bypass it. On the other side of the pool is a short downclimb over a smaller chokestone before getting to the next rappel.

Rap 4 (dQD-R4) anchored LDC from a single bolted hanger about head high and drops about 60 feet down an almost vertical narrow slot.

Continuing down canyon are three long but easy elevator / stem-style downclimbs in narrow slot with the longest being about 50 to 60 feet. The second downclimb has a chest deep pool at the bottom but with effort you can stem over it.

Rap 5 (dQD-R5) anchored LDC from 2 bolted hangers and drops a total of about 90 feet down a tight slot. Only the first 50 feet needs to be rappelled and the last 40 feet is a moderately easy elevator / stem style downclimb.

Rap 6 (dQD-R6) anchored LDC from 2 bolted hangers and drops about 40 feet down a slot that widens creating some free hang on the rappel.

Continuing down canyon is a short stem style downclimb followed by a long sloped downclimb just before getting out to an open vegetated area.

Shortly down canyon is a short open and vegetated area (QD-20) after a couple downclimbs. Veer right route east about 125 feet to the top of a pour off dropping down to the north again.

At the top of a pour off (QD-21) dropping down to the north, downclimb / scramble down to the top of the next rap about 80 feet down canyon.

Rap 7 (dQD-R7-8) anchored from tree and drops about 40 feet with free hang on the bottom half.

Rap 8, at the bottom of rap 7, anchored from a boulders and drops about 130 feet over two stages. While on rappel you walk over / down an arch that may be easily overlooked because you may be walking on it. The last 30 feet of the rap can be downclimbed.

Continue down through a boulder debris area. Just before reaching the next rap you can downclimb through a hole under a huge boulder.

Rap 9 (dQD-R9-10) anchored from a small tree and drops about 60 feet over a huge boulder to the top of a crack where the next rap starts.

Rap 10, right at the bottom of rap 9, anchored from a boulder and drops about 140 feet through a chute / slot. The lower 50 feet of this rap can be downclimbed with moderate difficulty. 

Note: The anchor webbing needs to be extended about 35 feet to get to the top of the chute / slot to prevent the many choke stones from catching the rope during pull.

At the bottom of rap 10 is a large sandstone platform. From the platform downclimb a sloped slot about 30 feet down to a large level and very vegetated area with a lot of cairns leading various directions.

In this large, level, and heavily vegetated area (QD-22) you will see cairns leading in various directions. Do not be tempted to follow these cairns right or left (east or west). Instead stay in the dirt watercourse and continue north about 70 feet to the top of a 2 steep slots / chutes dropping down to the north.

Note / Navigation: In this area the many cairns are mostly put there by climbers to help find their routes. The cairns leading right and left (east and west) will be tempting as they follow more level terrain and appear to be well used. I have not explored where the cairns lead to the left (west) but have seen where the cairns to the right (east) lead. The cairns east lead to another route down that is notorious for having a rappel that is much longer, requires the rappeller to drop way off of the fall line and is notorious for sticking ropes. We call that the expensive route. To avoid this issue do not follow cairns right or left.

At this northern end of the vegetated dirt area (QD-23NavChute) are 2 chutes dropping down to the north.
DO go down the chute to the left (westish) which has bushes in it, is a little more effort to get over to, has a moderately difficult downclimb to get into the top of and the walls are semi featured.  DO NOT go down the chute on the right (eastish) which is devoid of vegetation, easier to get over to, easier to enter the top of and is a smooth-walled slot.

Example Pic.

The first 10 feet of downclimbing into the Correct chute is a little awkward where a handline from a tree at the top may be useful. Once in the chute the scrambling is sloped and easy downclimbing / scrambling for about 90 feet before reaching an 8 foot vertical downclimb.

The vertical downclimb of about 8 feet (QD-24) is exposed and very awkward. A partner assist is highly recommended here even though some people may not need one. The geometry of the downclimb bells out out a little and can be awkward and push you out to being uncomfortably exposed. Providing partner assist from above and or below can also be awkward as there is no flat area for good footing.

After this downclimb, continue with more easy sloped scrambling down to a brief level zone.

From the brief semi level spot with some vegetation (QD-25) and a more open feel. Contour left (west) and continue scrambling down pink and white striped sandstone. As you continue down follow the easiest for about 100 feet then slowly contour to the right (more eastish) down to the start of more slot.

From the thick vegetation at the start of more deep slot (QD-26). Dropping down this slot goes over some boulders with two easy downclimbs of about 6 to 8 feet.  Shortly down canyon is a 15 foot drop and is the next rap.

Rap 11 (dQD-R11) anchored from a choke stone and drops about 15 feet. Optionally this rappel can be downclimbed bit is a little wide and may be awkward for some. The Anchor for the drop is set a little bit down in the slot under your feet and some parties may downclimb this drop and not notice the anchor at all.

Continuing down canyon will be two more easier downclimbs of about 15 feet each before reaching the next rappel.

Rap 12 (dQD-R12-13) anchored from a pinch point between a choke stone and canyon wall and drops about 140 feet with the last 35 feet being downclimable from a ledge. Very near the bottom of the rap is the top of the next rap.

Note / warning: Just before reaching the top of the rap is a small tree at the top of a vertical slot where you may find climbers anchors. Pass the tree and downclimb the narrow slot down to a brief level spot with a chockstone which is the anchor for the rappel. Just past the choke stone anchor the slot starts down steeply and pinches down to about 1.5 inches wide. To keep from sticking your ropes, it is best to extand the anchor webbing down into this crack and use a traditional pull rigging. To start the rappel, while on rope, you will need to stem out past the crack then gently pendulum back under the crack to then rappel down mostly free hanging. When going back under the crack, be careful not to drag rope on the walls above to prevent cutting your rope. From the top this rappel looks very airy and a little daunting, but once over the skinny crack you can see to the bottom where the rappel ends down in a collection of boulders.

Rap 13 anchored from one of many boulders and drops about 75 feet to a huge shelf where the next rap is.

Note: At the top of this rap is a long sandstone rock wedged between the walls about head high and is remeniscent of a log jambed horizontally between the walls. This wedged rock is very interesting as I have never seen anything quite like it. The wedged rock is sometimes used by climbers for descents after climbing routes.

Rap 14 - (dQD-R14) anchored from a small tree near the far west of a big ledge and drops about 180 feet to a ledge a short distance above the canyon floor.  That ledge is the end of the technical canyon (yQuestionBt).

Note: There are also some bolted hangers on the far east of the ledge but I have not tried that route down yet.

The Exit:
From bottom of Questionable Decision (yQuestionBt) where the final rap drops you to a ledge just above the canyon floor. Walk the ledge to the right (east) over to slopes leading down toward First Creek.

After the slopes leading down toward First Creek become more gentle (QD-27) and allow travel to the east, route find your way east where you will find social trails forming leading to the well used trails following along the south bank of First Creek and back to the trailhead. Staying high and not going down into First Creek seems to work best as you contour around.  The First Creek TH (tFirstCreekTH) and your car is about 1.7 miles away.

GPS Waypoint Information

GPX Files Available for DOWNLOAD.
Downloadable GPX files for many of the canyons listed here are now available at the BG-Gear Store.  In addition to the waypoints, the GPX files also offer routes and tracks for the canyon.  Over time more GPX files will be added.

If you want to avoid manually adding waypoints into your GPS or mapping software, want the additional routes and tracks or simply want to support the efforts put into BluuGnome, head over to the BG-Gear Store and grab the files that interest you.

Elevations are approximate.  Waypoints with no elevation data will display NaN in place of the elevation.

For information about my waypoint naming convention and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Notes for GPS information:
BEFORE
entering coordinates from this website, please ensure your system (GPS or mapping software) is set to the same datum used here.  Waypoint coordinates are listed with WGS84 datum and in Lat/Lon hddd.ddddd° format.  Entering coordinate information with inconsistent datum's can result in the waypoints being off by hundreds of feet.  It is important to keep this in mind when entering waypoints from any source.

Questionable Decision (1) - Approach
  1. tFirstCreekTH          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.08138   W -115.44797        Elev: 3,650 Feet
    First creekTrail Head on Charleston.
  2. QD-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.08006   W -115.46407        Elev: NaN Feet
    To go to Questionable Decision or Indecision Canyons, you can leave the trail pretty much anywhere in this general area and start walking southwest across open desert. There is no one best spot to leave the trail. While walking the rolling desert you may find a intermittent use trails. Look southwest and note the approach ridge and notice the wide gently sloped hill coming down from the ridge toward the main trail. Leave the trail when you get near where the bottom of that gradually sloped hill gets closest to the main trail. Leave the trail wherever feels best and start hiking rolling desert toward the hill.
  3. QD-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07320   W -115.47028        Elev: NaN Feet
    Gently sloped hill meets steeper rocky red dirt layer. Start up with a short scramble then continue up following intermittent use trail. Route find up toward a large spire-like boulder / out cropping in the bouldery white rocks above about 250 feet away. Route find just to the left of the spire-like rock. As you start up into the bouldery white rock layer, the route becomes well cairned with some use trails forming. Note / Warning: There are use trails that will lead you where you do not want to go. Some use trails follow less steep terrain veering more south contouring around the hillside but lead to more difficult terrain around the other side. Since some of those use trails are well used and on more level terrain, it can be tempting to follow them. Resist the urge to contour around and continue going up where you will encounter a few easy scrambles. It is best to go up the steeper slope to the white rock spire like boulder.
  4. QD-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07256   W -115.47030        Elev: NaN Feet
    Just after getting above the red layer and starting into the white layer, use trails form leading off to the left (more southish) contouring around to the south side of the ridge following more gentle terrain. Resist the urge to follow these use trails as they will lead to amore difficult and onvoluted route. Continue up the steeper terrain going up more west then southwest.
  5. QD-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07241   W -115.47053        Elev: NaN Feet
    Shortly up into the whit rock layer is this short section to scramble up.
  6. QD-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07211   W -115.47061        Elev: NaN Feet
    Continuing up, the route begins to have more sustained scrambling as you go up through the white rock bouldery layer. The route is cairned well and involves a few spots of 4th class scrambles mixed with easy walking on short use trails.
  7. QD-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07164   W -115.47127        Elev: NaN Feet
    Route does a right-left jog as you get near the crest of the ridge. Follow through the right-left jog then scramble through a 30 foot long sloped crack to get up to wider more open terrain on the crest of the ridge. Continue southwest up the wider more open ridge.
  8. QD-07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.06940   W -115.47262        Elev: NaN Feet
    Base of a big, flat, smooth faced wall. Walk south along the base of the wall following a well cairned route as it wraps around to the right and starts contouring to the west toward a wide bouldery ridge.
  9. QD-08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.06942   W -115.47308        Elev: NaN Feet
    Heavily cairned route begins going north op the ridge line. After a short scramble follow up a forming brush filled gully with a prominent dead tree seen farther up the gully. Almost 300 feet farther the gully begins to top out on a ridge where you will need to turn left and start west up the ridge.
  10. QD-09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07001   W -115.47371        Elev: NaN Feet
    Shortly after turning west up the ridge is the base of vertical rock you can not go up. Continue west following the cairned route down through some boulder debris for about 200 feet to drop into a wide vegetated area near the base of another long gully going up to the northwest.
  11. QD-10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07014   W -115.47452        Elev: NaN Feet
    Base of a wide vegetated gully going up to the nothwest. Follow northwest up the gully for about 700 feet to where it tops out at the crest of a ridge line.
  12. QD-11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07123   W -115.47629        Elev: NaN Feet
    Gully tops out as it meets the crest of a ridge and a huge sheer drop off on the other side. There are sometimes cairns near the top of the gully lead to a scramble up to the left to get out of the gully up onto the ridge. Once on the ridge, continue northwest up the ridge line following a well cairned route.
  13. QD-12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07184   W -115.47714        Elev: NaN Feet
    Route drops off of ridge and into a steep gully still continuing up to the northwest. Follow up the heavily cairned route northwest up the steep gully and some 4th class scrambling. Viewed from the bottom the scrambling looks more difficult than it is. After about 300 feet, the route levels off into a wide level vegetated area just below Indecision Peak.
  14. QD-13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07235   W -115.47792        Elev: 6,330 Feet
    Wide open vegetated level area just below Indecision Peak. Walk west through a wide semi flat vegetated area which slowly transforms into a ridge running down to the west. Follow the ridge west with a mix of scrambling and walking and the occasional cairn. Note: If you want to go to Indecision Peak for the views or to sign the register, it is an easy 3 minute scramble about 150 feet north up to the peak.
  15. QD-14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07279   W -115.47983        Elev: NaN Feet
    Small cave like feature under a boulder. Depending on your chosen route to walk this area you might not notice this cave. Continuing west along the ridge from here begins to have more scrambling and goes up onto a very minor peak about 300 feet away.
  16. QD-15          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07275   W -115.48089        Elev: NaN Feet
    Small minor peak. Scramble west down to a small saddle. Do not drop into the forming ravine on the right (north) as that is not the canyon you are aiming for. Note / navigation aid: As you drop down to the saddle look along the ridge about 300 feet beyond the saddle and note a redish rock and dirt area. The route past the saddle will follow just right (northish) of the ridge and go over to the red dirt and rock area.
  17. QD-16          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07295   W -115.48204        Elev: 6,290 Feet
    Large saddle. Going northwest directly up the ridge is not possible due to vertical sections of rock. Follow northwest along but contouring just to the right (north) of the ridge and route find up to the reddish rock and dirt area. Do not drop down the large ravine to the northeast as that is not the canyon you want to be in.
  18. QD-17          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07359   W -115.48264        Elev: 6,349 Feet
    Route traverses through the red dirt and rock zone. Continue about 200 feet to the crest of the ridge where views of Questionable Decision Peak come into view.
  19. QD-18          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07398   W -115.48293        Elev: 6,380 Feet
    Other side of the red dirt and rock area where you can now see Questionable Decision Peak about 0.25 miles northwest and can see the wide ravine of upper Questionable Decision Canyon forming and dropping down to the north. Turn right and route find northish down the ravine about 600 feet to the top of Questionable Decision Canyon.
  20. yQuestionTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07549   W -115.48193        Elev: 6,080 Feet
    Top of a slickrock drainage dropping down at the head of Questionable Decision Canyon. There are two options for rap 1. Scramble down the slot / chute to the top of rap 1 in the water course. Or walk the RDC (east) ledge about 100 feet over to a pile of rocks for an alternate rap 1 from the RDC rim.
Questionable Decision (2) - The Canyon
  1. yQuestionTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07549   W -115.48193        Elev: 6,080 Feet
    Top of a slickrock drainage dropping down at the head of Questionable Decision Canyon. There are two options for rap 1. Scramble down the slot / chute to the top of rap 1 in the water course. Or walk the RDC (east) ledge about 100 feet over to a pile of rocks for an alternate rap 1 from the RDC rim.
  2. dQD-R1a          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07555   W -115.48187        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 - Questionable Decision. Anchored LDC from a tree and drops about 130 feet down a mostly vertical wall.
  3. dQD-R2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07572   W -115.48172        Elev: 6,040 Feet
    Rap 2 - Questionable Decision. Anchored from 2 bolted hangers LDC about head high and drops about 40 feet down a narrow slot to small ledge. This rap can be downclimbed but might be a little spicy at the top the top. Starting from the ledge at the bottom of the rap starts a series of 5 elevator style downclimbs ranging from 20 to 35 feet each before getting to the next rap. Note: Some of the downclimbs may have anchors depending on choices made by previous parties. If using anchors for these drops be very aware of pinch points that can prevent rope pull. Having a confident down climber go last and provide meat anchor for others can help reduce the odds of getting ropes stuck.
  4. dQD-R1b          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07563   W -115.48163        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1b - Questionable Decision. This alternate rap 1 is anchored from a pile of rocks on the RDC rim and drops about 125 feet to the canyon floor.
  5. dQD-R3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07581   W -115.48108        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 3 - Questionable Decision. Anchored LDC from a single bolted hanger and drops about 50 feet over two stages down a slightly sloped slot. This rap can be downclimbed but the first few feet getting into the downclimb is a little awkward and the rest being a pretty easy stem style downclimb. An option to make rope pull easier is to rappel only the first stage, pull the ropes then downclimb the easier second stage.
  6. QD-19          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07582   W -115.48091        Elev: NaN Feet
    Large boulder with a scramble / downclimb on the RDC side to a pool that when full will be about waist deep with no way to bypass it. On the other side of the pool is a short downclimb over a smaller chokestone before getting to the next rappel.
  7. dQD-R4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07581   W -115.48075        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 4 - Questionable Decision. Anchored LDC from a single bolted hanger about head high and drops about 60 feet down an almost vertical narrow slot. Continuing down canyon are three long but easy elevator / stem-style downclimbs in narrow slot with the longest being about 50 to 60 feet. The second downclimb has a chest deep pool at the bottom but with effort you can stem over it.
  8. dQD-R5          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07584   W -115.48031        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 5 - Questionable Decision. Anchored LDC from 2 bolted hangers and drops a total of about 90 feet down a tight slot. Only the first 50 feet needs to be rappelled and the last 40 feet is a moderately easy elevator / stem style downclimb. Note, in Oct, 2012 then May 2016 there was a nut stuck down in the crack that we could not retrieve.
  9. dQD-R6          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07585   W -115.48001        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 6 - Questionable Decision. Anchored LDC from 2 bolted hangers and drops about 40 feet down a slot that widens creating some free hang on the rappel. Continuing down canyon is a short stem style downclimb followed by a long sloped downclimb just before getting out to an open vegetated area.
  10. QD-20          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07597   W -115.47966        Elev: NaN Feet
    Short open and vegetated area after a couple downclimbs. Veer right route east about 125 feet to the top of a pour off dropping down to the north again.
  11. QD-21          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07592   W -115.47933        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of a pour off dropping down to the north. Downclimb / scramble down to the top of the next rap about 80 feet down canyon.
  12. dQD-R7-8          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07601   W -115.47926        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 7 and 8 - Questionable Decision Rap 7 anchored from tree and drops about 40 feet with free hang on the bottom half. Rap 8, at the bottom of rap 7, anchored from a boulders and drops about 130 feet over two stages. While on rappel you walk over / down an arch that may be easily overlooked because you may be walking on it. The last 30 feet of the rap can be downclimbed. Continue down through a boulder debris area. Just before reaching the next rap you can downclimb through a hole under a huge boulder.
  13. dQD-R9-10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07665   W -115.47933        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 9 and 10 - Questionable Decision in a boulder debris area. Rap 9 anchored from a small tree and drops about 60 feet over a huge boulder to the top of a crack where the next rap starts. Rap 10, right at the bottom of rap 9, anchored from a boulder and drops about 140 feet through a chute / slot. The lower 50 feet of this rap can be downclimbed with moderate difficulty. Note: The anchor webbing needs to be extended about 35 feet to get to the top of the chute / slot to prevent the many choke stones from catching the rope during pull. At the bottom of rap 10 is a large sandstone platform. From the platform downclimb a sloped slot about 30 feet down to a large level and very vegetated area with a lot of cairns leading various directions.
  14. QD-22          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07691   W -115.47925        Elev: NaN Feet
    In this large, level, and heavily vegetated area you will see cairns leading in various directions. Do not be tempted to follow these cairns right or left (east or west). Instead stay in the dirt watercourse and continue north about 70 feet to the top of a 2 steep slots / chutes dropping down to the north. Note: In this area the many cairns are mostly put there by climbers to help find their routes. The cairns leading right and left (east and west) will be tempting as they follow more level terrain and appear to be well used. I have not explored where the cairns lead to the left (west) but have seen where the cairns to the right (east) lead. The cairns east lead to another route down that is notorious for having a rappel that is much longer, requires the rappeller to drop way off of the fall line and is notorious for sticking ropes. We call that the expensive route. To avoid this issue do not follow cairns right or left.
  15. QD-23NavChute          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07712   W -115.47940        Elev: NaN Feet
    At this northern end of the vegetated dirt area are 2 chutes dropping down to the north. DO go down the chute to the left (westish) which has bushes in it, is a little more effort to get over to, has a moderately difficult downclimb to get into the top of and the walls are semi featured. DO NOT go down the chute on the right (eastish) which is devoid of vegetation, easier to get over to, easier to enter the top of and is a smooth-walled slot. The first 10 feet of downclimbing into the Correct chute is a little awkward where a handline from a tree at the top may be useful. Once in the chute the scrambling is sloped and easy downclimbing / scrambling for about 90 feet before reaching an 8 foot vertical downclimb.
  16. QD-24          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07734   W -115.47925        Elev: NaN Feet
    While scrambling down sloped slickrock is a vertical downclimb of about 8 feet that is exposed and very awkward. A partner assist is highly recommended here even though some people may not need one. The geometry of the downclimb bells out out a little and can be awkward and push you out to being uncomfortably exposed. Providing partner assist from above and or below can also be awkward as there is no flat area for good footing. After this downclimb, continue with more easy sloped scrambling down to a brief level zone.
  17. QD-25          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07746   W -115.47921        Elev: NaN Feet
    Brief semi level spot with some vegetation and a more open feel. Contour left (west) and continue scrambling down pink and white striped sandstone. As you continue down follow the easiest for about 100 feet then slowly contour to the right (more eastish) down to the start of more slot.
  18. QD-26          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07787   W -115.47885        Elev: NaN Feet
    Thick vegetation at the start of more deep slot. Dropping down this slot goes over some boulders with two easy downclimbs of about 6 to 8 feet.
  19. dQD-R11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07783   W -115.47854        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 11 - Questionalbe Decision. Anchored from a choke stone and drops about 15 feet. Optionally this rappel can be downclimbed bit is a little wide and may be awkward for some. The Anchor for the drop is set a little bit down in the slot under your feet and some parties may downclimb this drop and not notice the anchor at all. Continuing down canyon will be two more easier downclimbs of about 15 feet each before reaching the next rappel.
  20. dQD-R12-13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07791   W -115.47835        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 12 and 13 - Questionable Decision. Rap 12 anchored from a pinch point between a choke stone and canyon wall and drops about 140 feet with the last 35 feet being downclimable from a ledge. Very near the bottom of the rap is the top of the next rap. Note / warning: ust before reaching the top of the rap is a small tree at the top of a vertical slot where you may find climbers anchors. Pass the tree and downclimb the narrow slot down to a brief level spot with a chockstone which is the anchor for the rappel. Just past the choke stone anchor the slot starts down steeply and pinches down to about 1.5 inches wide. To keep from sticking your ropes, it is best to extand the anchor webbing down into this crack and use a traditional pull rigging. To start the rappel, while on rope, you will need to stem out past the crack then gently pendulum back under the crack to then rappel down mostly free hanging. When going back under the crack, be careful not to drag rope on the walls above to prevent cutting your rope. From the top this rappel looks very airy and a little daunting, but once over the skinny crack you can see to the bottom where the rappel ends down in a collection of boulders. Rap 13 anchored from one of many boulders and drops about 75 feet to a huge shelf where the next rap is. Note: At the top of this rap is a long sandstone rock wedged between the walls about head high and is remeniscent of a log jambed horizontally between the walls. This wedged rock is very interesting as I have never seen anything quite like it. The wedged rock is sometimes used by climbers for descents after climbing routes.
  21. dQD-R14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07820   W -115.47810        Elev: 4,380 Feet
    Rap 14 - Questionable Decision. Anchored from a small tree near the far west of a big ledge and drops about 180 feet to a ledge a short distance above the canyon floor. Note: There are also some bolted hangers on the far east of the ledge but I have not tried that route down yet.
  22. yQuestionBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07835   W -115.47797        Elev: 4,280 Feet
    Bottom of Questionable Decision where the final rap drops you to a ledge just above the canyon floor. Walk the ledge to the right (east) over to slopes leading down toward First Creek.
Questionable Decision (3) - Exit
  1. yQuestionBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07835   W -115.47797        Elev: 4,280 Feet
    Bottom of Questionable Decision where the final rap drops you to a ledge just above the canyon floor. Walk the ledge to the right (east) over to slopes leading down toward First Creek.
  2. QD-27          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07841   W -115.47771        Elev: NaN Feet
    After the slopes leading down toward First Creek become more gentle and allow travel to the east, route find your way east where you will find social trails forming leading to the well used trails following along the south bank of First Creek and back to the trailhead. Staying high and not going down into First Creek seems to work best as you contour around.
  3. QuestionD24          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.07890   W -115.47451        Elev: NaN Feet
    Approximate spot you will start seeing well used trails as you are route finding your way out from the bottom of Questionable Decision.
  4. QD-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.08006   W -115.46407        Elev: NaN Feet
    To go to Questionable Decision or Indecision Canyons, you can leave the trail pretty much anywhere in this general area and start walking southwest across open desert. There is no one best spot to leave the trail. While walking the rolling desert you may find a intermittent use trails. Look southwest and note the approach ridge and notice the wide gently sloped hill coming down from the ridge toward the main trail. Leave the trail when you get near where the bottom of that gradually sloped hill gets closest to the main trail. Leave the trail wherever feels best and start hiking rolling desert toward the hill.
  5. tFirstCreekTH          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 36.08138   W -115.44797        Elev: 3,650 Feet
    First creekTrail Head on Charleston.