– Z I O N   N A T I O N A L   P A R K –

16Zion National Park is a place of immensity; huge sandstone walls tower far above the valley floor, the sheer magnitude is unreal.  Alas tourists and buses are the most common life form here, though there are places void of this distraction.  Hidden within the cracks and corners of the great pinnacles are some of the most awe inspiring canyoneering routes in the world, where the fury of water has delicately sculpted eccentric patterns and passageways into the rock.  It is here where some of the true wonders of the world exist; hidden hallways, massive alcoves and soaring walls create a dark and surreal world that few ever see.  It is a place where beauty faults to logic, and I swear some of the walls shift and flow with the warm desert light, as if in a dream.  The routes present below are some of the most popular and well traveled canyoneering routes in the world, yet should not be underestimated.  Cold water temperatures exist year round.  Flash floods are an extremely serious consequence in these canyons and in many of the routes would yield no escape.  Anchors are typically set but do come prepared to place your own. These slot canyons are popular in Zion for a reason; they are outstanding, and nearly all of them cut extremely deep into the ancient sandstone.  Enjoy and respect.

Das Boot

Das Boot is the common name for the upper portion of the Subway, which is also known on maps as the Left Fork of North Creek located within Zion National Park.  Under certain conditions this route can be a cold and tiring canyon.  The photos listed here are from when the water level was low

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Englestead Hollow

A classic Zion route, Englestead Hollow is well known for its headwall drop which weighs in at 270 feet from the anchor point we used.  Below this, the canyon enters quite the nice section of narrows that are typically dry and are a little different than typical Zion slot canyons and the short section of

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Heaps Canyon

Well known to be one of the most difficult and challenging canyons in Zion National Park, if not the Colorado Plateau, Heaps Canyon indeed comes with a level of commitment that is higher than many of the routes listed on this site.  When you add the final sequence of rappels, which total nearly 570 feet,

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Keyhole Canyon

Regarded as one of the easiest technical canyon routes in Zion National Park, Keyhole Canyon is a highly underrated canyon as far as beauty goes.  It is short but has a great section of narrows similar to just about any other canyon in the area but with a huge ease of access.  Approach takes about

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Misery Canyon

Commonly, the full name of this one is Fat Man’s Misery though it doesn’t really ever get super narrow.  This is a great Zion slot canyon that is technically not within the National Park, thus permits are not required.  It has 1-3 rappels, though with some decent downclimbing you can get it down to one

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Mystery Canyon

This is a rough and tough route that drops you down Mystery Falls into the Narrows of the Virgin River.  Mystery Canyon would probably be a much more traveled route if the approach wasn’t so brutal;  this first obstacle is to hike your gear up to Observation Point, which has outstanding views of the valley

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Orderville Canyon

This is one of the deepest slot canyons I have ever seen and defines the very ideal.  Surprisingly, a descent of Orderville Canyon is not very technical; there are a few minor drops but nothing big considering how much elevation it loses as it carves its way to the Virgin River.  Zion remains a very

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Spry Canyon

This is a classic and unique Zion route for a number of reasons.  In my opinion, many slot canyons start to look the same after a while, but the character of Spry is an exception.  With a fairly easy access route and a ~180 foot drop in rappel, Spry Canyon is a very popular canyon

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The Subway

Also known as the Left Fork of North Creek, the Subway is a semi-technical route down one of the most famous sections of slot canyon in the world.  Commonly, many tourists hike up from the bottom to the famed ‘subway’ section, but fail to miss the portion above the final drop.  It is much more

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