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Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

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Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby sad2 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:46 pm

http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-national-park-subway.htm

My friend recently received a permit for the above hike.

A few questions for those who have experience with slot canyons in Utah and/or have done this hike.

1. Which option would you recommend?

a. Subway Round Trip from Left Fork(bottom) Trailhead

b. Subway Through Hike from Wildcat to Left Fork Trailhead

2. It appears option B requires rope/harness and prior experience with this equipment. Are their guides available in the Park for this?

3. Does Option A require any special equipment? I've never done this type of hike (i.e. swimming, exploring slot canyons, etc.). What clothing/equipment will I need? What does one wear when exploring these types of places? Will I need a special waterproof bag to carry things in? Similar to what whitewater rafters/kayakers use?

I'm sure there are others on this site with prior experience in this area. Any insight is appreciated! I'm continuing to do research as well.

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Re: Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby bob863 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:14 pm

Don't know what your "canyoneering" experience level is, so can't comment on your A vs B options...

our group was not very technical and decided to do an out & back trip from the bottom...if you go from the top, it's pretty technical requiring wet suits, negotiating several swimming obstacles, and a "rap" in....

here's some more info...

http://climb-utah.com/Zion/subway.htm

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Re: Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby sad2 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:41 pm

bob863 wrote:Don't know what your "canyoneering" experience level is, so can't comment on your A vs B options...

our group was not very technical and decided to do an out & back trip from the bottom...if you go from the top, it's pretty technical requiring wet suits, negotiating several swimming obstacles, and a "rap" in....

here's some more info...

http://climb-utah.com/Zion/subway.htm



Thanks! I do not have any canyoneering experience. Unless we find a guide that has the necessary equipment, we will likely do the out and back trip that was mentioned in my earlier post. Was route-finding a problem? How long did it take your group?

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Re: Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby bob863 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:02 pm

there is a trail, but there is also a little bit of trail-finding....our group was out for 6-7 hours round-trip

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Re: Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby roether » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:42 am

Let us know how it works out. We're going there in about 10 days. My son is planning the hike, says I'll like it but I haven't researched it myself.

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Re: Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby sad2 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:58 am

My permit is for Sept. 15. Perhaps you are willing to give me an update?

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Re: Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby zoriloco » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:14 am

Post up a report

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Re: Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby pseudoghost » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:55 am

We did the bottom up option last November (it was unseasonably warm still), and it was a great hike. The colors were changing, truly something special. It's not very technical, but there was some scrambling that deterred some visitors from continuing on to the actual subway portion. During peak time (Sept - Oct) you'll want to leave early, as it gets pretty hot and there will be a ton of people down there.

Don't go if you don't have a permit. Rangers actively patrol those areas and do write tickets.

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Re: Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby 2giqs » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:09 pm

Another useful route description here:

http://www.citrusmilo.com/zionguide/lowersubway.cfm

Bogley.com offers forum discussion and trip reports on the subway as well.

The out and back hike doesn't require canyoneering gear, although you might find hiking poles and sticky shoe soles helpful in
staying upright on the potentially slippery portions of the hike. Keep an eye out for the dino tracks on a tilted slab streamside on your
way to the subway.

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Re: Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby Scott P » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:49 am

The Subway is one of the best hikes in the world and one I have done many times between 1987 and most recently June 2013. It is one of my kids' favorites as well and my wife's favorite.

Coming in from the top is by far the best option and gets you through all the good stuff (much more so than from the bottom), but you should have basic rappelling skills to do this.

Guiding the Subway is not allowed, but an option will be to take a course in the area before hand.

Because the drops are pretty easy, basic skills should be enough for this one, but do pay attention in class and make sure you do it correctly.

The Subway is one of the easiest slot canyons in Zion, but it is also the one with perhaps the most rescues.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby Knockneed Man » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:34 pm

From top to bottom is fantastic, but dont underestimate it, in particular the need for a wetsuit (unless you like being hypothermic you need one even on the hottest days). The raps are small and bolted, but that said you need to know how to do it and feel comfortable doing so, as one of these drops you into a very cold deep pool thats extremely narrow, where you need to get off rappel while treading water and immediately followed by a swim through log jam thats about three feet wide and five feet long. Great place but a lot of unprepared people make they're way in only to get escorted out.

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Re: Zion National Park - - Subway Hike

Postby Scott P » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:42 pm

The raps are small and bolted, but that said you need to know how to do it and feel comfortable doing so, as one of these drops you into a very cold deep pool thats extremely narrow, where you need to get off rappel while treading water and immediately followed by a swim through log jam thats about three feet wide and five feet long.


Unless things change between now and then, no, not anymore.

The pool below that drop was only waist deep a couple weeks ago and the log jam is gone, except for one log to swim around.

Of course flash floods can change things between now and then, but as of a couple of weeks ago, there was only one long swim (the one after that short rap) and one very short one.

No log jams and no floating disconnects unless a big flood rearranges everything (which is possible).

Do not underestimate the hike though, as this is probably the #1 place for rescues in the park.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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