Canyoneering in Utah

The best way to experience the diverse landscapes of Utah is by hiking through them. Utah has some very remote areas that are accessible only to serious canyoneers that often require a guide.

Zion National Park is home to some of the world's best canyoneering routes. Canyoneering is the sport of hiking/rappelling/swimming through narrow canyons filled with obstacles. Some of the most popular canyoneering routes include:

The Subway

One of the most beautiful slots in Zion. It is a strenuous 9.5 mile hike requiring short rappels or down climbs. The route also requires swimming through several deep pools of very cold debris filled water. The normal route begins at the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead and ends at the Left Fork Trailhead.

Orderville Canyon

Another popular and beautiful canyon. It is a winding slot that is a tributary to the famous Zion Narrows. It also requires short rappels and extensive swimming.

Mystery Canyon

A lesser-known but it a favorite of many technical canyoneers. Only 12 hikers are allowed into the canyon per day. Technical climbing gear including two 140' ropes, harness descending equipment, emergency ascending equipment, emergency overnight gear and plenty of water are all necessary to do this hike.

Pine Creek

A technical slot canyon with rappels and wading/swimming through cold pools. The longest rappel is nearly 100 ft. and requires a 60 meter rope. This slot takes about 4 hours to complete.

Jacob Canyon

A long and lovely route with some big rappels — you’ll want to start early. As this is also a difficult route, you’ll want to be an experienced canyoneer with anchor-finding skills, good downclimbing skills (especially on loose rock) and long-rappel skills.

Observation Point Canyon

This lesser-known slot canyon for advanced canyoneers can be accessed from the Weeping Rock trailhead. It features several long rappels, the longest being 300 feet. This canyon requires a permit.

Sandthrax

Ok, it's not in Zion but we had to mention it because it's in a class of its own. This route is for the advanced-advanced canyoneers with uber-technical canyoneering skills to navigate it. If you aren’t familiar with difficult off-width and stem large silos, or high stemming in general, this is not the slot canyon for you.

 

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