Deer Creek Canyon

The following beta was provided by Jeff Baird.

Deer Creek is a mountain canyoneering route, with swift running water. It's about an hour away from Cody, just East of Yellowstone.

To get to Deer Creek from Cody, drive Southwest on WY 291 (aka: South Fork Rd). It'll go by the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Drive for about 40 miles to a bridge at the bottom of Deer Creek (44.1619°N, 109.6249°W). Here's the topo: www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=12&n=4890790.00013901&e=610640.000001651&datum=nad83

We have hiked part way up from this point. From the bottom, the canyon starts pretty wide, and uninteresting. However, after awhile, you'll come to a cleft on the right (LUC), with a waterfall coming down into the canyon. There's also a large overhanging alcove on the left side. This is where the canyon gets more fun. You get to pass under a cool arch, immediately followed by a large bend in the river, as it follows an oxbow. Not far from the end of the oxbow, you arrive at a short waterfall. This is as far as we went. The waterfall can be bypassed, if the water is low enough. I'll estimate on the map where this falls is, to give you an idea how far up the canyon we got to. We spent 2-3 hours round trip from the bottom, at a leisurely pace. But as you can tell from the map, there's a lot left unexplored. More pictures of this are here: http://community.webshots.com/album/164701240Zubznk

We've also hiked partway along the rim of the canyon. To do this, drive back up the road the way you came to a trailhead to Ishawooa (44.1621°N, 109.6159°W). This trail climbs 900 vertical feet up switchbacks. It then turns into the main canyon, and more or less parallels the canyon. After 2 miles you'll come to a drainage that flows down into the canyon (44.1656°N, 109.6402°W). I don't know how many pitches it would take to rappel into the canyon from here. I'd like to try this entrance some time, after I've done a bit more looking into it. However, if you keep hiking along the rim about another mile or so, you’ll come to the actual head of the canyon (44.1606°N, 109.6602°W). I didn't hike this far, because it looked like the upper section of the canyon wasn't as narrow or interesting. But it may offer easier access to the canyon bottom. Pictures from the rim: http://community.webshots.com/album/152643962ovVOWY/1