Be Ready to Get Wet in Saklikent Canyon

Unexpectedly, Saklikent Canyon turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip to Turkey. Not only does it provide a cool escape from the...

Unexpectedly, Saklikent Canyon turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip to Turkey. Not only does it provide a cool escape from the cruel Turkish summer sun, but also it brings a sense of adventure should you decide to hike its 2 km / 1.2 m foot trail.

Saklikent Canyon is the biggest gorge in Turkey. Its height of 300 m / 985 ft and its length of 18 km / 11 m make the canyon one of the biggest in the region (Europe / Middle East). Canyon is located less than an hour drive from Fethiye, so it's a perfect day trip for those like me who can't lie on a beach for more than 30 minutes.
I didn't do much research on this canyon and only had it as a backup plan in case we spare some time. It looked just ok from the start - a nice-looking narrow gorge and a wooden boardwalk bound to the rock wall. 
A cage with a bunch of yellow helmets and a rubber shoe rental made me wonder - what's going on here. One of the guys in a green t-shirt with "Saklikent" on his back approached us, and after taking a quick look at our footwear, suggested that one of us rent a pair of rubber shoes as wearing flip-flops was a very bad idea. 
The same guy made a sign to follow him and helped us pass this white-water stream. There is a rope which you should hold as the water level is quite high reaching up your hips and the stream is very strong. Combine it with a very cold water, and you'll get an idea how we felt right from the start.
I wanted to give a guy in the green t-shirt a couple of dollars, but he refused and said "Don't worry, there will be more crossings". He'd already known that he was going to be our guide for the rest of our trip in Saklikent Canyon. 
I never thought I would say so, but ensure you hire a guide at this park. With the admission fee being only a fraction what we would pay in any other park or museum in Turkey, the guide costed us around 30 US dollars for five people for almost 3 hours. He almost didn't talk to us (which was much appreciated, because that's the main reason I avoid guides), but he was damn good in knowing every hole and every bump, especially in the water.
I have to admit - this canyon is not for everyone. It's narrow, wet and slippery. And sometimes it's dark, too. You'll get wet for sure if you want to make it to the waterfall, which marks the end of the 2 km / 1.2 m hike. There are some deep areas where you'll be literally swimming, so having a good guide was a key for us to ensure we make it back happy and safe. 
The canyon itself is beautiful! The water has carved it for thousands of years so it's very smooth.
The water in the canyon was much warmer comparing to the water in the first stream we crossed with the rope.
A deep area like this one would be very difficult to pass if we didn't have a guide. He told us exactly where we were supposed to put our feet. At one moment we even slid down the rock. It was terrifying but fun! Again, without a guide, we would never do that.
He would also take my camera in deep areas where I was supposed to swim. And, thankfully, my camera made it back whole and dry.
I really liked how the light penetrated through the gaps in the canyon's top.
The small yet charming waterfall at the end of the 2 km / 1.2 m hike. You can't make beyond this point unless you have ropes and a good harness. 

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