Gorge Walking, Canyoneering, or Canyoning

  • David Huddart


Gorge walking, canyoneering, and canyoning use similar techniques and are undertaken by a relatively small number of participants. The impacts and management approaches from three case studies are illustrated. In the UK there is preserved a rare, specialised but diverse flora where the ecology can suffer types of impact and floral loss. Controlling impacts are suggested, like sacrificial gorges, gorge rotation, Adopt-a-Gorge schemes, and educational methods.

In the Blue Mountains (Australia), the assumption by managers was that canyons were fragile, at risk from degradation, leading to unsustainable biological impact. It has been shown that the participants were lower than thought, concentrated in a few locations, and that the impacts on stream macro-invertebrates and water quality negligible.

In the classic canyons of the USA, impacts by bolting, rock damage by ropes, and tree damage from anchors and slings have been documented. Management plans for the Arches and the Grand Canyon National Parks include booking systems and group-size regulations. General management issues include banning, restoration, and clean-up projects and conduct codes and ethics and education through skills and leadership training.


Canyoning impacts on vegetation and water quality Bolting Rope damage Management plans for canyoning Booking systems, conduct codes 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Huddart
    • 1
  1. 1.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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