Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Warning: Long post with lots of pictures.

5 dollar......5 dollar footloooooooong.................whoops, sorry, wrong Subway. This post is about the Subway located in Zion National Park. While on our mini St. George vacation we ventured over to the Subway, a hike in Zion canyon backcountry, with Brandon and Meredith. Back country means there are no rangers, fewer tourists and very few signs telling you where to go. Speaking of which.....in some of our other posts we can given travel tips.......well, let me give you this hiking tip: do NOT hike the Subway unless you have clear, specific directions.

The Subway is a slot canyon with freezing water, even in the middle of summer. We rented wetsuits to combat the cold and headed out into oblivion around noon. We ended up finishing at 9 p.m. (yes, 9 hours later) with about 5 minutes to spare before it was too dark to see. Another 20 minutes and we would have had to stay the night in the canyon. Let's just say that as the "leader", it would have been a LONG drive back the next morning had we been forced to stay the night.

In our adventures we got lost for a bit, scaled down the face of a cliff, and later back up another, repelled without any experience, swam through freezing water, Lesley's feet almost fell off due to her wearing water socks (another hiking tip: don't wear water socks....we didn't realize how much of the hike is not in the water), and almost ended up with a "we spent the night on a cliff, but the Lord protected us" story for the Ensign . Despite all that, it was a great, great hike that I would recommend to someone who wants a serious hiking experience. It is hard and long, but you will see some of the coolest terrain you've seen in your life.

You start out walking over this slickrock which is cool in its own right

This is us hiking down to the bottom of this picture on the left. We scrambled down rocks and tree roots and found a way down. It was a lot steeper than the pictures on the right depict.

We look pretty dang good in our wetsuits.

So even with a wetsuit, the water was freezing. Here's a part where you had to get all the way in and swim. Check out Meredeith's video too to get an idea of how shockingly cold it was.

Entering the parts that give the hike its name......Subway

The longest repel of the day. Much longer and scarier than any of us were prepared for. But thanks to Eagle Scout Brandon we were able to make it through.

More parts of the Subway section. These little pools were so cool. Again, one of the most unique places I have ever seen.

One our way out of the Subway section as the canyon opens up. From here to scenery changed as did our attitudes. And then about 4 hours later we finally finished the hike.

So if you're ever down in that neck of the woods and want an amazing hike, check this one out. Just learn from our mistakes and make sure you get yourself some directions.


Meredith said...

Wow these pictures bring back a lot of memories. There were some rough times but these pics remind me how cool and beautiful that place was. We truly are outdoor adventurers.

Evan said...

Wow. that was a great post. Though I must admit a little too much text for me, the video of PEARL was PRICELESS. I feel like everyone got to know Mere a little better by that video. I was laughing out loud. Mere you are such a dream, and Les glad to see you are still representing the vain!

Ali Snow said...

Very cool. I did that hike a few years ago and it is intense. Luckily I wasn't the "leader" and didn't have to worry about where we were going. Cool pictures :)

Jeris and Suzanna Hobbs said...

I'm glad that you guys made it. The pictures and the experience (although it was a near death experience) seems to be worth the trouble. Now you really need to come on the Pine Creek hike. Now there is a crazy hike. Oh and if you ever need a "leader" Justin is always game.

Adrienne said...

Great photos. I'm not sure I could have handled that one. The video clip of Mere is oh-so-classic.

Adam Wilson said...

I am soo jealous!

The Winns said...

Thank you for the amazing pictures. That's probably the closets I will come to this hike. Can't wait to see you guys in August!

The Smith Family said...

Wow. Look at you go getters! That looks amazing! I am not thrilled about cold or freezing water, so I feel for Mere in that video!

Rock said...

I envy you and all the other people I know that are doing these "Southern Utah" hikes.