Zion National Park is probably my favorite place in the world to visit. There is nothing comparable, to the pristine beauty and wonder that lives here. Last weekend we had the opportunity to hike up Left Fork Creek (the Subway) in Zion’s. There are two ways you can do this hike, both requiring a permit, bottom-up or top-down. Bottom-up doesn’t have much technicality to it, it is a in and out hike. You hike in as far into the Subway that you can and then hike back on the same trail that you hiked to get there. Top-down is a lot more technical, there are several rappels and swimming. You start on a different trail and rappel down into the canyon and finish the hike on the same trail as bottom-up. Blake’s sister, Alison, bought permits for bottom-up early and reserved the day for us to explore the Subway. Unfortunately, Alison and Eric weren’t feeling well as the hike got closer so they couldn’t make it. We missed them.
The night before, Blake and I camped at Zion Ponderosa. We had such a blast camping here, there is a mini golf course so we spent our evening playing mini golf with headlamps. We loved it and will be staying here again. We got up early the next morning and drove into Zion’s to pick up our permits. Coming into Zion’s from the east entrance was incredible, tall ponderosa pines growing out of sheer cliff faces as you pass through Checkerboard Mesa. We also had to stop and let the big horn sheep cross the road.
One of Blake’s mission companions, Matt, was already in St. George so we invited him and his girlfriend, Holli. We got the the trailhead around 9:30 and began our journey to the Subway. The beginning of the hike was a steep descent into Left Fork Creek. When we reached the bottom, the trail started to disappear and you simply follow the creek about four miles. There is a lot of scrambling over rocks and wading through ankle deep water.
About three miles into the hike, there are quite a few cascading waterfalls. These waterfalls were beautiful and fun to play in.
When walking through the cascading waterfalls, we found the crack in the rock floor. So cool.
Just around the corner, we finally reached the opening of the Subway. This is the most iconic view of the perfectly shaped slot canyon.
As you walk into the formation, you see breathtaking pools. The sun shining on these pools, made the water so blue and clear.
The further you walk in, the canyon becomes more narrow. Eventually you have to walk through waist deep water, until you reach a dead end at Key Hole Falls. The water was freezing cold but definitely worth walking through to see the falls. We spent quite a bit of time just sitting in the sun outside the opening, just talking about the beauty of this place is.
On the hike back out, we were already wet so Blake, Matt, and Holli decided they wanted to jump into one of the pools. I was actually dry so I chose to take photos instead.
Overall, this hike took us about 8-9 hours and it is about 9 miles roundtrip. This is one of my new favorite hikes. I absolutely loved seeing the Subway! We put in for a top-down permit for June so hopefully we will be returning shortly.