Utah Vacation: Zion National Park - The Subway

Back in October Christian and I ran away for two weeks of adventure in the gorgeous state of Utah. I'd like to share some highlights from that trip because it really is a beautiful place.

I had mentioned before that canyoneering was something on my bucket list. The actual wording on my bucket list is to "Canyoneer the Subway." The Subway is a unique technical slot canyon in Zion National Park. We went canyoneering on this trip, just not to the Subway. And that's okay! But, when we decided not to go to the Grand Canyon after hiking the Narrows and found out we could get permits to hike into the bottom of the Subway I knew what I wanted to do on my birthday. 

The rainy day started with a drive down a rough dirt road to the Left Fork Trailhead. First we had to descend a 400' cliff down to the Left Fork River. 

Looking up-canyon from atop the headwall.

Once at the river, we spent the next few hours scrambling over rocks and zigzagging back and forth across the water to make our way up-canyon to the Subway. The going was very rough and really not much fun.

I knew we were getting close when the cliff walls started "bowling" in.

We rounded a corner and there it was!

Can you see why this canyon is called the Subway? The cliffs form an awesome tube! The river flows right through the middle and there's a series of potholes that you had to keep your eyes out for. Luckily, we came prepared wearing our dry pants and canyoneering shoes.

The wind was really howling through the canyon and it was so cold! Upstream a little ways the pools get a lot deeper and that's where most people have to turn around. Thanks to the dry pants, I was able to pick my way through the pools to explore a little farther.

Christian followed me in once he knew we could make it without getting wet. Eventually we were stopped by a waterfall. 

Time to pick our way back out! Some of the rocks were really slippery.

What a cool place! We ran into some other people when we first arrived but we soon had the whole canyon to ourselves. Not a bad way to spend my birthday. Not a bad way at all!

That night we stayed at the Red Rock Inn B&B in Springdale. (We also stayed there 2 other nights - after canyoneering and hiking the Narrows.) Karen, the owner, read in the room journal that my birthday was coming up so she surprised us with a bottle of champagne and by upgrading our room to the suite. The best part? The suite had a private outdoor hot tub! That was so perfect after a long, cold day of hiking. We will stay there again in a heartbeat.

Up next on our trip (last day): Buckskin Gulch


Amazing pictures! Looks like a great hike, I am quite jealous! Thanks for checking my blog!

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