The Subway Trail via Wildcat Canyon Trail

HARD 32 reviews
#16 of 84 trails in

The Subway Trail via Wildcat Canyon Trail is a 8.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Virgin, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
8.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1427 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

no dogs

NOTE: Backcountry permit is needed from Zion National Park in order to do this hike and you will need to be guided unless you have the equipment and experience to do the rappelling. This trail takes hikers through one of the most beautiful sections of slot canyon in Zion National Park. The Subway is a strenuous day-long hike with some beginner technical canyoneering aspects. The route involves several short rappels, some down-climbing, and a few cold swims. This route starts at the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead and ends at the Left Fork Trailhead. Much of the hike involves walking through shallow water.

5 days ago

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.

9 days ago

You should be there before dyeing.

13 days ago

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 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.

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXvUPa-QBNE

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

my wife and I had never done any canyoneering, and we definitely had our work cut out for us. be careful to watch for the trail, it gets very unclear because there's no visible trail. be ready to get wet, we brought wet suits and were the envy of the trail, that water is COLD! come ready to repel, don't think you can neglect certain gear like harnesses and rope. we still can't get over how awesome that trip was, we would definitely do it again!

hiking
1 month ago

This is a beautiful place to hike-rappel-swim but very difficult if you are not in a good shape.
(First time been there) My wife and i completed this hike but it took us about 12 hours since we got lost and we had to walk back and find the right way.
If is your first time you MUST start the earliest possible in case you get lost you'll have plenty of time to catch up.
FYI it says 8.9 miles but, it feels like double than that. We've done 10 miles hikes in 3-4 hrs but for this one you'll need to spend the whole day to enjoy it.
The views are stunning the water is clear and very cold. We enjoyed it from the beginning to the end. We also got to see dozens of deers running in front of us on our way to the canyon.
THUMBS UP!!!
...and we will do it again.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

If you start this hike from the trailhead that's located about 6 miles into Kolob Terrace Rd (coming from Springdale) this is absolutely a difficult hike - shocked AllTrails has it listed as moderate considering some of the other trails I've completed that the app lists as hard.

For starters, this trail is almost 17-miles roundtrip so do not think it's 8.9 miles as the app listed - I didn't pack enough water and food for 17 and as a result it became awfully grueling towards the trip back. Finished the hike in about 6 hrs and it was the adventure of a lifetime! You really have to trust your instincts on this one and figure out the trail path. It helps having the river as a guide but otherwise it's your own adventure. I would also advise to bring a first-aid kit as I got pretty banged up hiking through the river currents, and this hike does require a permit. The scenes are beautiful and the Subway waterfall at the end makes it all the more worth the grueling adventure. Amazing experience!!!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Make sure you have rope, waterproof backpack, swimsuit and enough water, around 4 liter or more I finished it about 7.5 hrs. IT'S HARD

4 months ago