Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in Zion National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Awesome intro to canyoneering. My watch said about 13 miles when we reached the shuttle stop near the Narrows. The lake was dry, but swam 4 times starting with Mystery Springs after the first 120’ rappel. Wear a wetsuit! We did this not as an out an back, but as a point to point from the East Mesa trailhead and ended with a rappel into the Narrows. Several gear shops in town offer shuttle services to get you to the trailhead

This is a canyoneering route that requires a permit from the Zion National Park Service. If the park service finds you in there without a permit you will be fined. The complete route also requires technical rappelling gear.

Awesome scramble with an amazing view at the top. We followed a route description that roughly followed the GPS route mapped here. No technical climbing gear is required if you follow this route. The scrambling was rowdy at times (class 3-4) but never felt overly dangerous. Some of the climbing was up sturdy boulders and some was up steep slopes of sand and small rocks that were crumbling below us. After climbing the final "chimney" of the rock face, you reach a lovely flat plateau with petroglyphs before scrambling up the final few hundred feet to the summit itself. The view is incredible, with West Temple so close you could practically touch it. With a lengthy break at the summit and a relatively leisurely pace, the whole day took about 9 hours from the Chinle trailhead.

Definitely one of the best hikes I've ever been on! this is the only way to do the subway, folks. Coming from the other direction causes you to miss out on the whole experience. Ropes for obstacles & harnesses for repelling are necessary. tricky to find the trail in places but that is part of the adventure!! wetsuits also necessary in the late season. I love this hike!

Amazing hike. Make sure you descend the correct trail in the beginning. Truly an incredible experience!!

This is a canyoneering route... thanks for saying so Alltrails....

2 months ago

Off trail, back-country hike. I’d give this 5 stars, but I didn’t get to summit because of the slow goings to get to the foot of the mountain. I talked to a guy after the hike that said it’s best to bring climbing gear - there are bolts.

Can’t wait to go back and climb it.

Incredible technical canyon that has a little bit of everything. Rock scrambling, stemming, waterfalls and fun repels. Difficult permit to obtain, but well worth the effort. The second to last repel (~120') can be tricky to get back a single rope/pull cord. The final repel into the narrows is a breathtaking experience, the tourists below all stopped to watch. Absolutely no need for a wetsuit in the fall. Gorgeous!

The best hike I’ve ever done in my life!

One of the greatest outdoor experiences of my life. If you have the technical skills/knowledge and physical ability to complete this, it is a "must do". I don't agree about the wetsuit at all if youre going in the summer or early fall. Need an 80m rope or two 40+m. Finding the canyon entrance is the "crux" of this route.

I've been to almost every national park in the lower 48 and this is definitely the most variety and most fun of them all. We're two females who brought climing rope and harnesses (well worth the extra weight carry, plus its mandatory to get out of upper Subway). The first portion climbing/skidding/sliding down an intensely HUGE rock mesa is breathtaking. We said over and over that we'd happily just do that hike anytime! Then you get into the deep canyons and just when you're tired of walking, you rappel, then you swim (ALL your gear will be in water and there are many places you can't touch), then you emerge in one of countless amazing tunnel and slot canyons, then you do it all over again. Swimming through the narrowest slot canyon after rappelling down the entrance was my favorite. There's a wide, soft sand beach in the sun where you can dry out a bit before exploring the open-ceiling tunnel housing the famous log that everyone takes pics of. This is truly a bucket list experience and I'm thrilled to have done it. NOTE: the last 2 hours are GRUELING...bring some electrolyte chews for this and just keep going.

Great trail, look forward to doing it again next month.

Great hike! There are several side canyons to hike as well. We saw Petroglyphs and a lot of wildlife! Thunderstorms hit in the middle of our hike, flooded all the slot canyons that had been dry only an hour before. Absolutely beautiful!

4 months ago

Parked at first pull off, traveling west to east. Walked the road portion of the trail, then ascended sandstone on west end of the trail. Once at the top, you have a very steep class 2 descent to the opening of the slot canyon. I brought 3 kids up (14, 11, 5), but wife and 5 yr old daughter turned back at summit, since class 2 scramble down would be too much. Saw some anchors for repealing down if trained/equipped. Boys and I started into the slot canyon, then faced a 8-10 foot long section full of gray water, 4.5-5 feet deep. After trying to attempt a crossing (removed my hiking boots, started to probe depth with poles), I decided it too dangerous for the boys and we turned back (to much displeasure from the kids). Scramble back up, then easy walk down sandstone. Going to come back and try reversing (clockwise vs counterclockwise as I first tried), to see if slot access easier from west end (looks like might not be any ascent/descent from that side). I’ll review again if we try. Spent about 45-60 mins going to that halfway point and then backtracking.

Very challenging hike with a bunch of variety! So many different terrains and geologic features throughout the hike. The last few miles feel like they take forever and the final push up out of the canyon tests your limits. So rewarding to finish!

Coolest hike I’ve ever done. Took about 7 hours all the way through. This is a one way trail so you need to leave your car at the bottom and have a ride to the top to be dropped off. $15 permit required. The views are incredible, staying on the trail in the beginning is tricky. You have to look for the rock stack markers. But once you’re in the water you’re there. Very different than any hike I’ve ever done. Very remote and they only allow 80 ppl a day to go in. We didn’t see many people on the way.

Super hard but so worth every step! Go prepared and bring lots of water and food.
Take note of the trail when you start hiking along the water, you'll need to find it when you make your way back and its likely going to look way different in the late afternoon!

Difficult but spectacular!

Spectacular!! I had done this hike over ten years ago, and wanted to bring three of my favorite ladies to experience it. This time I used a downloaded map on this app, which was of fantastic help, as the hike is very subtly marked with cairns, and it is easy to miss a trail entry. The rappels were just as I remember them, if maybe in slightly different places, and the swims were just as fun (and challenging in some cases). It is definitely a challenging hike, and the ladies were pretty trashed by the time we had to start the hike up and out; I had to buy the first round of drinks that night... Definitely prepare physically for this trip, and it wouldn’t hurt to get your brain ready for this one as well, as it is not a gimme. But you just cannot beat the adventure and beauty of this hike.

6 months ago

A nice easy walk through the dry creek bed. One decent slot canyon and a second very short one. Good walk for families with children.

Must do at some time in your life.

One of the most amazing hikes/adventures I’ve done. The top down is the way to go! We YouTubed how to rappel (had done it in the past but it had been a while) and it went totally fine/was such a blast! (Don’t recommend to others but we did it with no problems!) We rented wetsuits which were maybe not necessary (especially having to carry them out completely wet) but there were definitely a lot of areas where we were completely submerged in water. There are small cairns at the top on the slick rock so just follow those and you should be fine/not get lost! The subway is cool, but honestly the whole hike is beautiful and such an experience that the subway was a little underwhelming. Also the hike out at the end is NO JOKE. Everyone says it and it’s true! Some say it’s not marked but it is very clearly marked. Definitely the most strenuous part of the hike, especially after a long day.

One of the most extraordinary experiences of my lifetime. Must get a permit and know how to repel. Intense hike. Will take at least 5-6 hours to complete. Wetsuit highly recommended. Views will definitely not disappoint. Very rewarding.

What a blast! My wife and i did this hike together, and we were smiling and laughing the entire time! It's a beautiful experience, I would recommend everybody do this one at least once! Be prepared to repel, there's really no way around it, so don't show up hoping you can get away without it. The water's cold, we brought wet suits, but plenty of other people didn't and they survived. We did it towards the end of the season, and the water was low, some of the other pictures I've seen looked like there was a lot more water earlier in the year. make this trip a must on your bucket list, it was a fantastic experience. One thing to watch for is the trail diverts north at the first gorge where you think you're supposed to follow it down. The national forest people say to knock down the cairns, so there are none where you're supposed to go, but follow the gorge to the east side because you can't get down on the south west side of the gorge when you first run into it. there were five of us hiking together, and it looked like the right place to drop down into the ravine, but after realizing there was no way to do it safely, we ended up going back up and around. keep your eyes open and watch your footing, but most importantly take pictures and enjoy the experience!

Simple an amazing hike

Honestly the best all day hike I have done so far. Couldn't get enough and I didn't want the day to end!

This is an awesome experience! If you have someone who’s done this hike before and are willing to go again, TAKE THEM! Bring wet suits and repelling gear. This was a difficult hike but well worth it. Absolutely beautiful and hardly any people considering you must get a permit.

You should be there before dyeing.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The hike is great from the Wildcat Canyon trailhead to the lower end of the namesake Subway formation. Read the note at the waypoint for Obstacle 3. It's accurate. The lower Left Fork below the Subway formation is drudgery. The hike out is particularly arduous.

If I ever did this hike again, I would pack without rappelling gear, start at the Wildcat Canyon trailhead and turn around at the 30 foot rappel at the lower end of the Subway formation. There's really only one obstacle that requires technical gear and that's it. That hike is just over 10 miles round trip. The first mile of the trail (and therefore last on return) is a breeze though. The rest is moderately strenuous, including a steep down-climb at the transition from Wildcat into the Left Fork.

Not sure why anyone would do the lower Left Fork/Subway (aka, bottom up route) once, much less twice for out and back. I guess you would get to see dinosaur tracks in a large boulder and a nice terrace in the river. Those just are not worth it to me. My preferred route includes views, a slot canyon, slickrock walking, no parking hassles, and some fun obstacles rather than simply being a slog through a river that may require two cars or some hitchhiking if done point to point.

If you feel slogging through a river is a must-do part of the Zion experience (and it is), the Narrows is far better and 1/10th the effort. The return hike to the shuttle stop is actually quite spectacular. Even not getting your feet wet is an option.

The drive out to the trailhead is not to be missed. Looks especially nice in fall during low light. I'd use this trail as an excuse to visit this area of the park. Definitely makes for a complete day and classic Zion experience.


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