The Subway Trail via Wildcat Canyon Trail

HARD 78 reviews
#18 of 94 trails in

The Subway Trail via Wildcat Canyon Trail is a 8.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Springdale, 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: 1,427 feet Route Type: Point to Point

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

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.

hiking
12 days ago

We did the top down with a group of 8. Had a great time with the 3 rappels, the multiple swims and much rock scrambling. Took a little under 9 hours- my GPS watch clocked it as a bit over 11 miles- were all cold intermittently during the middle 1/3 of the hike, but the first 1/3 and last 1/3 we were hot! Overall a Beautiful day and a great hike!

hiking
12 days ago

Did the top down route yesterday. Started at 8am and finished at 6pm. Group of 3 that didn’t rush. And we did not bring wetsuits. It got cold in a couple spots but not bad. We were glad we didn’t bring them. Great day to do it and we had a blast.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing. 6/15/19 We hiked the Subway from top to bottom. The water wasn't as high or cold as the ranger had reported. We were a little nervous until we came to the water. It was a little cold, but didnt need or want to carry wetsuits. We did have neoprene socks. We did have a rope and harness. We started at 8 and finished at 5. We took our time and enjoyed every minute of it.

1 month ago

Took us almost 6 hours to get there... Extremely hard!

hiking
1 month ago

8 1/2 Hour Hike. Did it without a wetsuit, but recommend one. Defiantly doing this one again.

hiking
off trail
scramble
snow
4 months ago

We just did the subway, we snowed shoed in from where the road is closed from too much snow. We hit the trail around 9. We got a little lost trying to find the right trail on snow shoes. We all made it safe and sound but ran out of day light in the canyon. We all were on head lamps for the last 4 hours or so. We started at 9 and and ended right around midnight. Most challenging hike we have ever done.!

8 months ago

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!

9 months ago

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

rock climbing
10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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

hiking
11 months ago

Lived up to its billing! There used to be a log over one of the chasms in the final approach to the Subway, but that's gone now. The party just after us tried to leap it and someone broke a leg and needed rescue. Rappelling gear and knowledge is the way to go, even if you can self-rappel down the other obstacles (as seen in popular YouTube videos about the hike). Be safe!

hiking
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

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!

hiking
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

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.

hiking
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

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!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Difficult but spectacular!

hiking
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Must do at some time in your life.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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.

hiking
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

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!

hiking
Friday, January 05, 2018

Simple an amazing hike

Monday, January 01, 2018

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

Saturday, November 18, 2017

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.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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.

hiking
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

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

hiking
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

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.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

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
Saturday, July 08, 2017

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

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