Towering canyon walls. Sandstone cliffs. Backcountry trails. Otherworldly passageways beneath massive rock.
Hiking, camping, birdwatching, bicycling, rock climbing, horseback riding, canyoneering, ranger programs, ranger shuttle tours
One for the Bucket List
Hike the Subway (aka the Left Fork of North Creek) through an amazing narrow slot canyon (pictured), one of the most hidden wonders of the entire National Park System. The hike is highly popular -- definitely a conquest -- but the adventure isn't for amateur enthusiasts. Each of the two Subway routes requires outdoorsy commitment, skill and proper equipment.
Bottom-and-Back Hike: "A strenuous 9-mile round-trip hike requiring route finding, stream crossings and scrambling over boulders. The route is often slippery. The hike begins and ends at the Left Fork Trailhead off of the Kolob Terrace Road."
Top-Down Hike: "A strenuous 9-1/2 mile hike requiring rappel skills and 60 feet of rope or webbing. The route also requires swimming through several deep pools of very cold debris-filled water. The route begins at the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead and ends at the Left Fork Trailhead." Please note that unusually heavy snowmelt might cause temporary closures.
Permits: Hiking the Subway requires a permit, which can be obtained one of two ways. One: Enter the monthly lottery that runs from January through July -- each month's lottery is for permits three months in advance (i.e., enter the January lottery for a permit for an April hike). No lotteries are held for permits for November to March. Two: Obtain a walk-in permit when the Backcountry Desk opens the day before your hike. Walk-in permits are first-come, first-served.
Seasons and Hours
The Zion Lodge, Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Kolob Canyons Visitor Center, Zion Human History Museum and the park's Backcountry Desk are open year round, with hours that vary slightly by season. The Zion Nature Center is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.
The South Campground (126 campsites) is closed November to early March, but the Watchman Campground (185 campsites) is open year round.
Take State Route 9 to the main Zion Canyon entrance, where the Zion Canyon Visitor Center is located. To enter via the Kolob Canyon entrance on the northwestern edge of the park, take Interstate 15. See map.
Special Note for RVs/Campers: "Any vehicle that is 7 feet 10 inches (2.4 meters) in width and/or 11 feet 4 inches (3.4 meters) in height or larger is required to have a tunnel escort through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. Have your vehicle measured at the entrance station when you arrive at the park."
Average Temps (ºF) High/LowTemps in the canyon can vary, or be much cooler.
January - 52/29
April - 72/43
July - 99/69
October - 78/49