Mclean Creek is considered a “Public Land Use Zone” (PLUZ) in Kananaskis Country just West of Calgary. It is a great spot for anyone wanting to get out of town and ride trails on dirt bikes/quads/side-by-sides.  McLean Creek is nice and close to Calgary and has a big parking lot/staging area to unload quads and bikes. There is a campground there that has 96 powered campsites, roughly 70 more unserviced campsites, plus random camping is allowed in the PLUZ. This PLUZ is 202 square km’s so there is a lot of area to explore!

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: As much as you want!

Location: 60km west of Calgary past Bragg Creek

Season: May to mid-October

Additional Requirements: Dirt bike/quad/side-by-side

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary:  Take AB-8 W for 25km, take your 3rd exit at the round-about, pass Bragg Creek and keep on AB-22 until you reach a T intersection. Take a right at the T onto AB-66 W and follow for 11.7km until you reach the McLean Creek Staging area.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: High ankle boots.
  • Water: Always important
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy as a light lunch.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Camping Gear: If you choose to camp, bring your hammock or tent! Also check the links below for booking a campsite.
  • Proper Riding Gear: Helmet, gloves, goggles.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike
  • Map: Use the link below to download the map from alberta.ca or, better yet, download the “Maclean Creek Map” from Azenza Maps. More details below.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

BIKING/CAMPING DIRECTIONS

Below are a few links:

For camping reservations:

https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/kananaskis/mclean-creek-pra/information-facilities/camping/mclean-creek/

Random Camping is allowed in the PLUZ (Note** As of 2021 a Public Lands Camping Pass is required). Download a map of the area and learn more about what you can and cannot do on the website below:

https://www.alberta.ca/mclean-creek-off-highway-vehicle.aspx

McLean Creek Camping - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Hammocking at McLean Creek
McLean Creek Camping - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Mattson camping at McLean Creek

 

Pro Tip – Get the Avenza Maps app on your phone and download “MacLean Creek Map” before you get out there. This will allow you use your phones GPS to know where you are even when you don’t have cell service.

 

McLean Creek Dirt Biking - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Dirt Biking at McLean Creek
McLean Creek Dirt Biking - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Dirt Biking at McLean Creek

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your McLean Creek adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Grey Owl’s Cabin is in the northern part of Prince Albert National Park, north of Waskesiu and Kingsmere Lakes. This is a beautiful, challenging hike that starts at the south end of Kingsmere Lake. The hike follows the east shoreline for 20km to another smaller lake called Ajawaan Lake where lies Grey Owl’s Cabin.

“Far enough away to gain seclusion, yet within reach of those whose genuine interest prompts them to make the trip, Beaver Lodge extends a welcome to you if your heart is right.”

– Grey Owl

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2 days minimum

Location: 3 hours north of Saskatoon

Distance: 40km round trip

Elevation Gain: minimal

Difficulty: 7/10 – Very long

Season: May to September

Additional Requirements: Camping Permit

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Prince Albert:  Take Hwy 2 North for 75km until you see signs for Hwy 264/Waskesiu. Turn left here and follow Hwy 264 for 46km until the road dead ends. It will be gravel for the last 18km and there will be a parking lot and boat launch at the end.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters.
  • Water: This hike is very long so it’s important to stay hydrated. If you have a small water filter, or purification tablets, they will come in handy as you won’t have to carry as much water.
  • Meals: This hike is a minimum 2-day hike, so you’ll have to plan some meals. Smokies, sandwiches, oatmeal, veggies, and fruit are easy to pack and full of nutrients.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. We would recommend a raincoat just in case…
  • Extra shoes and socks: Depending on the time of year, the trail can be wet and mucky. A warm pair of socks and shoes at the end of your hike will feel better than you think.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: This area has a ton of mosquitoes. Don’t forget to bring bug spray!
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike
  • Camping Equipment: Tent, Sleeping bag, hammock, pots, pans, plates, and utensils. Anything you think you’ll need for an overnight hike.
  • Camping permit: This can be purchased at the national park Visitor Center.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

Canoe: Reaching Grey Owl’s Cabin can be done by canoe. There is a boat launch at the trailhead, a rail cart that helps you portage into Kingsmere Lake, and big signs on the shore of Kingsmere Lake to use as landmarks for trails and campsites. This guide will stick to the hike instead of the canoe route, but paddling is an option.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The trail heads north from the parking lot along Kingsmere River then follows the east side of Kingsmere Lake for 20km passing different campsites along the way. From the north end of the lake, you will hike another 1.5km to Ajawaan Lake where you will find Grey Owl’s Cabin.

 

Grey Owl's Cabin Adventure Map - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Grey Owl’s Cabin Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

In the northwest corner of the parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map) and will see a big sign marking the trailhead. Follow the trail north for a few hundred meters and you will see the Kingsmere River down below. There is a rail cart portage track for canoers.

 

Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The trail to Grey Owl’s Cabin
Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Wet sections along the trail

 

Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Kingsmere River

 

Roughly 300 meters from the trailhead is a branch off to the left to reach the first campsite, Southend Campground. This campground is another 1.2km from the fork. To get to Grey Owl’s Cabin stick to the right and continue following the trail. 3km from that fork, you’ll arrive at Westwind Group Campground (Route marker #2 on the map).

At 6.7km there is another campsite called Chipewyan Portage Campground (Route marker #3 on the map). This is where we stopped for snacks and a break.

 

 

Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Chipewyan Portage Campground
Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Anderson continuing along the trail

 

6km past Chipewyan Portage Campground is Sandy Beach Campground (Route marker #4 on the map). This is where we spent the night. There are no campsites at Grey Owl’s Cabin. We’d recommend camping at either Sandy Beach Campground or North End Campground and doing a day hike from there to the Cabin without heavy gear.

Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Sandy Beach Campground
Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Sandy Beach Campground

 

There are a couple sections of the hike where you walk along the beach. It’s a nice change of scenery and the views of the lake are beautiful.

 

Kingsmere Lake - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Kingsmere Lake
Kingsmere Lake - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Kingsmere Lake

 

The last campground before Grey Owl’s Cabin is Northend Campground (Route marker #5 on the map). It is 16.8km from the trailhead. It includes two double sites and two single sites. Here you will also find a large sheltered area with picnic tables and a wood stove. I wish we would have known about this shelter when we did the hike as we could have taken shelter from the rain.

The last leg of the journey is relatively easy, and most people do it without their packs and gear. 3km north of the Northend Campground the trail will jag to the left and take you along the west shore of Ajawaan Lake to the Cabins. The lower cabin was Grey Owl’s, and the upper cabin was built for his wife, daughter, and visitors. There is a lot of history in these cabins about Grey Owl’s journeys and his message about nature conservation. There are postcards, pictures and books telling stories about Grey Owl inside his cabin. Respect the cabin, respect the site, and have fun!

 

 

Grey Owl's Cabin - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: Grey Owl’s Cabin

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Grey Owl Cabin adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA







 

Fortress Mountain is located in Kananaskis Country and has the highest base elevation of any ski resort in Canada. This means it gets a ton of POW! We have no other Cat Ski experience to compare to, but KPOW treated us really well, provided us with morning snacks, lunch, cold beer, avalanche safety training and epic snow! We would absolutely go Cat Skiing with KPOW again!

 

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary: Take Hwy 1 West until you reach the Stoney Nakoda Casino and Hwy 40. Head South on Hwy 40 for 45km (18km past the Nakiska exit). At the Centrex Gas Station turn right and drive about 400m and park on the right side of the road. KPOW will meet you here in the morning.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Gear: Snowboard boots and board (move bindings to the back of board) or if you are skiing; skis, poles and boots (KPOW recommends a minimum of 100mm underfoot for skis.
  • Snacks: KPOW will provide some snacks and a lunch but if you want specific things you’ll have to bring them.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Wind/water proof outer layers. Jacket, pants, gloves, neck warmer, warm socks, toque.
  • Sunscreen: You can get a sunburn in the winter time. Ask Mattson
  • Helmet: Helmets are not required but very much recommended.
  • Hand and foot warmers: Having cold feet is the worst.
  • Camera: It is fun to be able to watch some footage after or at least review some pics.
Book at:   www.kpow.ca
Their website is easy to navigate and has more information on how to book a day of riding than this guide. So check it out.
Pricing is:

Single seats in the low season are $425.00 per person. (Dec. 1st to Feb 13th)

Single seats in the high season are $525.00 per person (Feb. 17th to April 17th)

 

 

KPOW Cat Skiing - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: KPOW Cat Skiing

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your KPOW Cat Skiing adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Hiking Black Rock Mountain in the winter was a gnarly adventure, but in the summer months the hike is straightforward and only moderately difficult. Getting to the trailhead of this hike is an adventure as you will need to 4×4 through a (mostly dried up) riverbed. The hike has some easy scrambling, but the most difficult part is the steep final push to the summit. At the top you are rewarded by unreal 360-degree views of the Rockies.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 4-5 Hours

Location: 45km west of Calgary

Distance: 10.9km round trip

Highest Elevation: 2440m

Elevation Gain: 980m

Difficulty: 7/10 – Consistent elevation gain

Season: May to October for summer conditions.

Additional Requirements: 4×4 vehicle to reach the trailhead.

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Cochrane: Head west on Bow Valley Trail/AB-1A for 14km and then turn right onto Forestry Trunk Rd/AB-40 North. Follow Hwy 40 for 38.2km and take a left at Ghost Airstrip Campground followed by another immediate left. Head south for 12.8km then turn right, follow this road for 6.2km and you will reach a steep hill going down to the riverbed. Once you hit the riverbed, follow the road in the riverbed heading north for about 2km. The trailhead will be on the (North) other side of the creek. NOTE: You will likely need a 4X4 vehicle to drive in the riverbed.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Boots if it’s winter.
  • Water: This hike is long with lots of elevation gain to reach the summit. Be sure to bring enough water for 4-5 hours of physical exertion.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the falls.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The trail up Black Rock Mountain is fairly straightforward and in the summer, is easy to follow. The trail gains elevation to an upper plateau and then there is a final steep push to the summit. In the winter if there is snow, we recommend using an app with GPS (AllTrails) to ensure your taking the correct route.

 

Black Rock Mountain Adventure Map - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Black Rock Mountain Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Finding the trailhead for this hike is potentially the most difficult part of the hike. You will need a 4×4 vehicle to drive the final 2km across the dry riverbed. A broken sign marks the Black Rock Viewpoint trail (Route marker #1 on the map). We used the AllTrails app to find the exact location of the trailhead and it worked great.

 

Black Rock Mountain Trailhead - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The Trailhead
Black Rock Mountain Trail - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Following the trail

 

The trail is easy to follow and reasonably flat for the first few kms of the hike. A forest fire blew through the area a few months before we did the hike, so the trees were charred black and the smell of smoke was still in the air. There was some snow coverage so the trail was difficult to find at times but in the summer the trail would be easy to follow.

We lost the trail and ended up too far right on a steep scree hill. The challenging slippery climb up the scree slope made the hike much harder than it should have been. On the way down we managed to stay on the correct trail and the descent was a lot easier. The trail will eventually reach the upper plateau (Route marker #2 on the map) where it follows the ridge to the false peak.  From here you can see the steep final climb to the true summit.

 

Black Rock Mountain Trail - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Scrambling up the scree
Black Rock Mountain - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The false peak with the summit in the background

 

Even though the false peak has good views don’t stop there! The steep final section to the summit is tiring but well worth it. If Finn can do it, you can too!

At the summit (Route marker #3 on the map), there is an old fire lookout that was built in 1889. People used to take horses all the way to the top to keep lookout for wildfires. Leave your mark by carving your name into the fire lookout at the top, enjoy some 360 views of the Rockies and then make your way back down the same way you came up! Enjoy!

 

 

Black Rock Mountain Summit - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Anderson and Finn at the summit

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Black Rock Mountain adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Hidden Canyon is located on the east side of Zion about 1000 feet above the floor of the main canyon. They call it a “hanging canyon” because of how high it rests. This hike has a challenging amount of elevation gain to overcome before you reach the entrance to the canyon, but once you get there some fun exploring and scrambling awaits.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2-3 Hours

Trailhead: Weeping Rock Trailhead

Distance: 5km (3 miles)  round trip

Elevation Gain: 300m (1000ft)

Difficulty: 6/10 – Well trafficked, lots of scrambling

Season: Year-round. Spring and fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and winter can be icy and dangerous.

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 32km (20 miles) until you come into Springdale. Follow that same road until you pull up to the Zion park entrance.

From Arizona: Travel US-89A North through Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 West to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

From the North: Travel the I-15 South past Beaver, UT and exit on Hwy 20. Head east until you reach US-89, then head south to the Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 west to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with runners but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike is long and can be very hot. Be sure to bring enough water for 3-5 hours of physical exertion in the hot sun.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike. Some of our favorites snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible to encounter snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are tons of photo opportunities along the way you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Heat and Dehydration:  In Zion National Park, the days can be very hot. Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake. Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day.  Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water.

 

Steep Cliffs:  Falls from cliffs along the trail could resulted in death. Stay on the trail, stay back from cliff edges and be careful of sand or loose rocks that can make for a slippery surface.  Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are trying to capture the perfect photo. During the winter months, the trail can be snow and ice covered so be extra careful and wear traction devices on your shoes for extra grip.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ZION SHUTTLE SYSTEM

 

Zion Shuttle System: During the busy months (March to November), Zion National Park has a free shuttle system to help move large numbers of visitors around the park. When the shuttle is in operation Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to private vehicles so visitors must rely on the shuttle service. The shuttle departs from the Zion Visitor Center and stops at nine locations in the park. The shuttles run very frequently between 7am and 6:15pm and you should never have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. Although you can park at the Visitor Center, the lot fills up quickly so it is best to park in the town of Springdale and take the Springdale Shuttle to the park gate.
The Springdale Shuttle leaves from the Majestic View Lodge and stops at the Zion Canyon Theatre. From the Zion Canyon Theatre, cross through the National Park Pedestrian Entrance to pay the entry fee, then catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle from the Visitor Center.
There are many Springdale Shuttle stops between the Majestic View Lodge, and Zion Canyon Theater. Walk to the nearest stop from your accommodation or drive and park in a marked “Shuttle Parking” area.

 

Zion Shuttle - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Zion Canyon Line Shuttle Stops

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Starting at the Weeping Rock Trailhead the hike begins with steep switchbacks that take you up to the wall of the canyon. At that point there is a chain to assist you crossing a narrow ledge hundreds of feet above the canyon floor. After some more climbing and a bit of scrambling you will arrive at the Hidden Canyon Rock Arch.  For many hikers this is the turnaround point, but the canyon continues and you can hike further if you are up for more scrambling.

 

Hidden Canyon Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Hiking Hidden Canyon Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

This hike starts at the Weeping Rock Trailhead (Route marker #1 on the map). There is an easy to follow trail that will begin to take you up the canyon and then fork to the left to Weeping Rock (Route Marker #2 on the map). Weeping rock is a short detour worth checking out before heading up to Hidden Canyon.

 

Weeping Rock - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Mattson under the Weeping Rock
Weeping Rock - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The view from Weeping Rock

 

After checking out weeping rock return to the main trail. From here there are some steep switchbacks that take you up to a fork in the trail. If you go left, you will be on the East Rim Trail headed towards Observation Point, so take a right to Hidden Canyon.

 

Hidden Canyon Trail - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The trail fork to Hidden Canyon

 

 

The trail continues to climb up more switchbacks until eventually it narrows to a small ledge on the side of the canyon. There are chains bolted into the cliff walls to hang onto as you cross these narrow sections. After crossing the ledge there is a stone staircase to climb and shortly after you will find yourself in Hidden Canyon.

 

Hidden Canyon Trail - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Crossing the narrow ledge
Hidden Canyon Trail - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The stone staircase

 

The canyon is narrow and tall, so it is tough to get lost. There is only one way to go but there are some obstacles along the way. This part of the hike requires some rock hopping and scrambling over larger boulders.

 

Hidden Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Headed into Hidden Canyon
Hidden Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Scrambling over boulders

 

About half a mile into the canyon is a large natural rock arch that can’t be missed (Route Marker #3 on the map). This is the point where a lot of hikers turn around but you can continue past the rock arch if you want to keep adventuring.

 

Hidden Canyon Rock Arch - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Hidden Canyon Rock Arch

 

We kept going further into the canyon for about another kilometer (Route Marker #4 on the map). The scrambling did get tougher after the arch but it was a lot of fun! When scrambling keep in mind it is always easier going up then coming down. Know your limits and when its time to turn around. When you are ready to start the return trip, follow the same route in reverse back to Weeping Rock Trailhead.

 

Hidden Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 11: Mattson trying to keep his feet dry
Hidden Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: Scrambling up a steep section of rock

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Hidden Canyon adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

If you’re spending time in Zion National Park and want to get one of the best views in the park, Observation Point should be on your list! It is one of the highest points in the main canyon and offers a 360-degree view of its surroundings. The hike is challenging, has interest points along the way such as weeping rock and echo canyon, and the reward at the top is a view that’ll make you want to stay there… FOREVER!

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 4-6 Hours

Trailhead: Weeping Rock Trailhead

Distance: 13km (8 miles)  round trip

Highest Elevation: 1980m (6500ft)

Elevation Gain: 1463m (4800ft)

Difficulty: 7/10 – Long hike with consistent elevation gain

Season: Year-round. Spring and fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and winter can be icy and dangerous.

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 32km (20 miles) until you come into Springdale. Follow that same road until you pull up to the Zion park entrance.

From Arizona: Travel US-89A North through Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 West to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

From the North: Travel the I-15 South past Beaver, UT and exit on Hwy 20. Head east until you reach US-89, then head south to the Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 west to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with runners but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike is long with lots of elevation gain to reach the summit. Be sure to bring enough water for 4-6 hours of physical exertion in the hot sun.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible to encounter snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are tons of photo opportunities along the way you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Heat and Dehydration: In Zion National Park, the days can be very hot. Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake. Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day.  Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water.

 

Steep Cliffs: Stay on the trail, stay back from cliff edges and be careful of sand or loose rocks that can make for a slippery surface.  Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are trying to capture the perfect photo. During the winter months, the trail can be snow and ice covered so be extra careful and wear traction devices on your shoes for extra grip.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ZION SHUTTLE SYSTEM

 

Zion Shuttle System: During the busy months (March to November), Zion National Park has a free shuttle system to help move large numbers of visitors around the park. When the shuttle is in operation Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to private vehicles so visitors must rely on the shuttle service. The shuttle departs from the Zion Visitor Center and stops at nine locations in the park. The shuttles run very frequently between 7am and 6:15pm and you should never have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. Although you can park at the Visitor Center, the lot fills up quickly so it is best to park in the town of Springdale and take the Springdale Shuttle to the park gate.
The Springdale Shuttle leaves from the Majestic View Lodge and stops at the Zion Canyon Theatre. From the Zion Canyon Theatre, cross through the National Park Pedestrian Entrance to pay the entry fee, then catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle from the Visitor Center.
There are many Springdale Shuttle stops between the Majestic View Lodge, and Zion Canyon Theater. Walk to the nearest stop from your accommodation or drive and park in a marked “Shuttle Parking” area.

 

Zion Shuttle - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Zion Canyon Line Shuttle Stops

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Observation Point is a challenging hike due to its elevation but it is straightforward as far as directions go. From the trailhead we recommend making a quick detour to check out Weeping Rock and then ascending the well-marked trail up multiple sets of switchbacks to Observation Point.

 

Observation Point Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Hiking Observation Point Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

This hike starts at the Weeping Rock Trailhead (Route marker #1 on the map). There is an easy to follow trail that will begin to take you up the canyon and then fork to the left to Weeping Rock (Route Marker #2 on the map). Weeping rock is a short detour worth checking out before heading up to Observation Point.

 

Weeping Rock - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Mattson under the Weeping Rock
Weeping Rock - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The view from Weeping Rock

 

From Weeping Rock backtrack to the main trail and then head up the series of switchbacks with consistent and exhausting elevation gain. You can try to distract yourself from the physical challenge by enjoying the already amazing views of Zion.

 

Observation Point - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson climbing the switchbacks

 

 

Eventually the trail will level out and you will enter Echo Canyon Passage (Route marker #3 on the map). Echo Canyon is a slot canyon, 1000ft above the valley floor. The hiking trail takes you through the slot canyon making for some great photo opportunities.

 

Echo Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Echo Canyon Passage
Echo Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Anderson following the trail in Echo Canyon

 

After Echo Canyon you will come to the East Rim Trail Junction. Take a left and make your way up the final round of switchbacks and elevation gain. Once you’ve reached the end of these switchbacks the terrain levels out for the last mile. This is part of the East Rim Trail that will lead to Observation Point.

 

Observation Point - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Mattson ascending more switchbacks

 

Once you make it to Observation Point (Route marker #4 on the map) you will be treated to incredible views of Zion. This is a tough hike but being atop Observation Point on a nice day is totally worth it! After taking in the views you can return to Weeping Rock trailhead by backtracking the same way you came up.

 

Observation Point - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: The view from Observation Point

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Observation Point adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

The Narrows in Zion National Park is a unique hike that takes you on a journey through the water up the Virgin River. The walls of the canyon stand roughly a thousand feet tall and are only twenty to thirty feet wide at some of the narrowest points. This is one of Zion’s most popular hikes.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 3-5 Hours

Trailhead: Temple of Sinawava

Distance: 16km (10 miles)  round trip

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Difficulty: 4/10 – Hiking through water

Season: Year-round. Spring and fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and busy. Winter can be cold

Additional Requirements: If attempting in winter, dry suits are highly recommended.

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 32km (20 miles) until you come into Springdale. Follow that same road until you pull up to the Zion park entrance.

From Arizona: Travel US-89A North through Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 West to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

From the North: Travel the I-15 South past Beaver, UT and exit on Hwy 20. Head east until you reach US-89, then head south to the Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 west to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Footwear: Bring shoes that can get wet! In the summer water shoes are a good idea. In the winter we recommend the boots and neoprene socks that come with a dry suit rental from Zion Adventure Guides. The water will be cold!
  • Water: This hike is long and tiring. Be sure to bring enough water for 8-10 hours of physical exertion.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the turnaround point.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Depending on the time of year you do this hike it could be very hot, or quite cold. Check the water temperature as well as you will be walking through water that can be waist deep.
  • Swimsuit: If you do this hike in the summer it is advisable to bring a swimsuit as you will get wet!
  • Dry Suit: If you are doing this hike in the wintertime, bring a dry suit. You will need it to walk through the cold water. You can rent them from the Zion Adventure Company in Springdale.
  • A walking stick: A walking stick will come in handy to keep your balance on the rocky terrain underneath the water. Sometimes walking sticks can be found at the trailhead, they can also be rented from Zion Adventure Company
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Flash Floods: It’s important when hiking through water flow areas (The Subway and The Narrows), to check the local forecast for rain and always be on high alert for noticeable changes in the weather. The Zion Visitor Center posts river flow rates for these hikes and can advise when they are safe to do. If flow rates are too high the National Park will close The Narrows. Flash floods are a real danger and can sneak up on you when you least expect it. If you do find yourself in a flash flood situation, get to high ground on the side of the canyon as quick as you can to stay safe.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ZION SHUTTLE SYSTEM

 

Zion Shuttle System: During the busy months (March to November), Zion National Park has a free shuttle system to help move large numbers of visitors around the park. When the shuttle is in operation Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to private vehicles so visitors must rely on the shuttle service. The shuttle departs from the Zion Visitor Center and stops at nine locations in the park. The shuttles run very frequently between 7am and 6:15pm and you should never have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. Although you can park at the Visitor Center, the lot fills up quickly so it is best to park in the town of Springdale and take the Springdale Shuttle to the park gate.
The Springdale Shuttle leaves from the Majestic View Lodge and stops at the Zion Canyon Theatre. From the Zion Canyon Theatre, cross through the National Park Pedestrian Entrance to pay the entry fee, then catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle from the Visitor Center.
There are many Springdale Shuttle stops between the Majestic View Lodge, and Zion Canyon Theater. Walk to the nearest stop from your accommodation or drive and park in a marked “Shuttle Parking” area.

 

Zion Shuttle - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Zion Canyon Line Shuttle Stops

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Hiking the Narrows from the bottom up is a very straight forward hike. From the Temple of Sinawava you follow the Virgin River upstream till you want to turn around, and then you follow it back to the temple.

 

The Narrows Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The Narrows Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

There is an option to do this hike from the top down (which requires a permit). It is a 16 mile full day adventure but we will focus on the bottom up route. The bottom up route does not require a permit and is nice because you can go as far up the river as you’d like (up to 5 miles) before turning back and making your way out. This hike starts at the Temple of Sinawava, the last stop of the shuttle service (Route marker #1 on the map).  From the temple there is a paved trail to follow that will take you to the Virgin River. From there you follow the river upstream into the canyon. In some places the water is only ankle deep but there are other sections when the water can be up to your waste. Be careful of your footing, take your time and enjoy the scenery.

 

The Narrows Hike - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Entering the canyon
The Narrows Hike - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Following the river upstream

 

The most spectacular section of The Narrows is known as Wall Street (Route marker #2 on the map).  This is the narrowest section of the canyon where the walls extend thousands of feet above you. The high canyon walls block out most of the daylight giving this section of the hike an eerie feeling.

 

 

The Narrows Wall Street - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Wall Street
The Narrows Wall Street - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Mattson at Wall Street

 

From the temple, you can walk up the river for 5 miles before it is required that you have a permit to go any farther. That leaves a 10 mile round trip, and plenty of canyon to explore. The turnaround point is a place called Big Springs (Route marker #3 on the map).

 

The Narrows Big Springs - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Big Springs

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your The Narrows adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

If you’re looking for an easy stroll in the outdoors with incredible views and an abundance of lush vegetation, Emerald Pools is the hike for you. The trail is well paved and the minimal elevation gain can be accomplished by anyone. Hiking Emerald Pools is a great chance to get outside and enjoy a taste of what Zion has to offer.

 

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 1-2 Hours

Trailhead: Zion Lodge

Distance: 3.5km (2 miles) round trip

Highest Elevation: 1834m (6113ft)

Elevation Gain: 60m (200ft) to the Middle Emerald Pool and another 60m (200ft) to the Upper Emerald Pool

Difficulty: 4/10 – Minimal elevation gain on a well maintained trail.

Season: Year round. Spring and Fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and the waterfalls generally aren’t flowing as strongly.

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 32km (20 miles) until you come into Springdale. Follow that same road until you pull up to the Zion park entrance.

From Arizona: Travel US-89A North through Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 West to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

From the North: Travel the I-15 South past Beaver, UT and exit on Hwy 20. Head east until you reach US-89, then head south to the Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 west to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: A good pair of comfortable sneakers is all that this hike requires.
  • Water: One bottle of water per hiker should be sufficient as this hike is short and not too strenuous.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike. Some of our favorites snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible to encounter snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Heat and Dehydration: In Zion National Park, the days can be very hot. Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake. Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water.

 

Steep Cliffs: Falls from cliffs along the trail have resulted in death. Stay on the trail, stay back from cliff edges and be careful of sand or loose rocks that can make for a slippery surface. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are trying to capture the perfect photo. During the winter months, the trail can be snow and ice covered so be extra careful and wear traction devices on your shoes for extra grip.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ZION SHUTTLE SYSTEM

 

Zion Shuttle System: Emerald Pools is perfect for hikers and adventurers of all levels and abilities. The trail starts at the Zion Lodge and immediately crosses over the Virgin River. The first stop along Emerald Pools Trail in the Lower Pool. From the Lower Pool the trail gains elevation to the Middle Pool and then finally climbs to the Upper Pool.

 

Zion Shuttle - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Zion Canyon Line Shuttle Stops

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Emerald Pools is perfect for hikers and adventurers of all levels and abilities. The trail starts at the Zion Lodge and immediately crosses over the Virgin River. The first stop along Emerald Pools Trail in the Lower Pool. From the Lower Pool the trail gains elevation to the Middle Pool and then finally climbs to the Upper Pool.

 

Emerald Pools Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Emerald Pools Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

There are three different possible routes for this hike. Our recommended route, and the route we will describe in this guide begins at the Zion Lodge (Route marker #1 on the map). If the Zion Shuttle service is in operation, this is the fifth stop. If the shuttle is not running, park at the Emerald Pools Parking Lot. Alternatively you can begin this hike at shuttle stop #6 the Grotto Picnic Area (Route marker #2 on the map), and take the Kayenta Trail to the Emerald Pools. This makes the hike around 3-4 hours. The third option is taking the Southwestern Spur Trail from the Zion Lodge straight to Middle Emerald Pools. We do not recommend this route as it bypasses the Lower Emerald Pool, which is our favorite of the three pools. Also the Southwestern Spur Trail is also often closed due to rainfall and flooding. If you wish to take this trail, check in at the Visitors Center first to check if its open. Please respect all trail closure signs as they are there for your safety.

The route description below is from Zion Lodge (Route marker #1 on the map) taking Emerald Pools Trail.

From the trailhead at Zion Lodge follow the trail over the Virgin River and take a right to head northeast on Emerald Pools Trail along the river.

Emerald Pools - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Emerald Pools Trailhead
Emerald Pools - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Emerald Pools Trail

 

Emerald Pools Trail is paved and has a very gradual incline. The trail follows the Virgin River with some shade provided by small collonwood trees. After following the trail for about one kilometer, you will reach Lower Emerald Pool (Route marker #3 on the map). The Lower Pool is home to lots of lush, green vegetation growing from the moisture filled rocks. The mist caused from the waterfalls creates a microclimate where plants thrive. In the winter months, the mist freezes, forming icicle branches on the trees, which creates a unique photo opportunity. The trail follows the canyon wall behind the two waterfalls that drain from the Middle Pool and fill the Lower Pool. Be careful in the winter, if the temperature is below freezing, the trail may be slippery with ice.

 

Lower Emerald Pool - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson walking behind the falls at Lower Pool

 

After wrapping around the Lower Pool the hike starts to get a little bit more challenging. The trail becomes less paved and you begin to gain elevation more rapidly. A rocky staircase along the way helps to ease the sudden elevation increase. The trail loops around to the Middle Pool (Route marker #4 on the map) at the top of the cliff that you just walked under. The Middle Pool supplies the water to the falls viewed previously from Lower Pool. It is small and the least scenic of the three pools but there are good photo opportunities looking back into the main Zion Canyon from this vantage point.

 

Middle Emerald Pool - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Mattson at Middle Pool

 

The last leg to the Upper Pool (Route marker #5 on the map) is only 450m (0.3 miles) but can be difficult as you have 60m (200ft) in elevation to gain. Whe you arrive at the Upper Pool, you’ll realize that every step was worth it! The Upper Pool sits at the base of a monsterous 300-foot cliff with a waterfall cascading into the pool below. The Spring and Fall are the best times of the year to view the waterfall because it has the highest volume of water. Upper Pool is a great place to find some shade, relax, and have some lunch.

 

Upper Emerald Pool - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Upper Emerald Pool Waterfall

 

On the return trip you can either follow Emerald Pools Trail back the way you came, or take the Southwestern Spur Trail (if its open) south from Middle Pool to complete a loop and see some different scenery.

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Emerald Pools adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

The Subway is one of the highlights of Zion National Park and is located outside the main canyon. The Subway can be done from the top down or from the bottom up. To do the top down route you will need climbing equipment and rope for rappelling. We did the nontechnical bottom up route which takes you out and back to the Subway. In this guide we will describe the bottom up route to the Subway.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 5-7 Hours

Trailhead: Left Fork Trailhead

Distance: 12.5km (8 miles)  round trip

Elevation Gain: 180m (600ft)

Difficulty: 7/10 – Elevation gain, distance

Season: Year-round. Spring and fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and busy. Winter can be cold

Additional Requirements: If attempting in winter, dry suits are highly recommended.

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 9.6km (6 miles) until you come into Virgin. Take a left on Pocketville Rd, then another left onto Kolob Terrace Rd. Continue on Kolob Terrace Rd for 12.5km (7.8 miles), and the trailhead/parking lot will be on your right.

 

Note: The trailhead for The Subway is not in the main Zion canyon. The Zion Canyon Shuttle Service doesn’t go to the trailhead for The Subway.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Footwear: Bring shoes that can get wet! In the summer water shoes are a good idea. In the winter we recommend the boots and neoprene socks that come with a dry suit rental from Zion Adventure Guides. The water will be cold!
  • Water: This hike is long and tiring. Be sure to bring enough water for 5-7 hours of physical exertion.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the turnaround point.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Depending on the time of year you do this hike it could be very hot, or quite cold. Check the water temperature as well as you will be walking through water.
  • Swimsuit: If you do this hike in the summer it is advisable to bring a swimsuit as you will get wet!
  • Dry Suit: If you are doing this hike in the wintertime, bring a dry suit. You will need it to walk through the cold water. You can rent them from the Zion Adventure Company in Springdale.
  • A walking stick: A walking stick will come in handy to keep your balance on the rocky terrain underneath the water. They can also be rented from Zion Adventure Company
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Flash Floods: It’s important when hiking through water flow areas (The Subway and The Narrows), to check the local forecast for rain and always be on high alert for noticeable changes in the weather. The Zion Visitor Center posts river flow rates for these hikes and can advise when they are safe to do. Flash floods are a real danger and can sneak up on you when you least expect it. If you do find yourself in a flash flood situation, get to high ground on the side of the canyon as quick as you can to stay safe.

 

Wilderness Permits: A Zion wilderness permit is required before doing The Subway. This hike has gained popularity over the years and park authorities are trying to regulate traffic and damage done to the hike. A wilderness permit can be purchased on their website. If you are planning a trip to Zion in the busy summer months there is a lottery for permits where you must submit 2 months in advance. There are also walk in permits that can be acquired first come first serve the day prior to doing the hike.

https://zionpermits.nps.gov/

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The bottom up route to the Subway is a relatively straightforward hike. From the trailhead a well-marked trail will take you down switchbacks to the bottom of the canyon. From that point there is a creek that you will follow upstream all the way to the Subway. Along the creek there isn’t a well-defined trail, it is up to you to find the best way around boulders, through pools of water and up small waterfalls.

 

The Subway Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: The Subway Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

The hike starts at the Left Fork Trailhead (Route marker #1 on the map) at the top of the canyon. To start the hike, follow the trail from the parking lot northeast for about 800 meters as it zig zags into the canyon below.

 

Left Fork Trailhead - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Left Fork Trailhead
The Subway Hike - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Mattson descending into the canyon

 

When you get to the bottom of the canyon the trail runs into a creek (Route marker #2 on the map). There is a small sign marking the trail you just came down. Make a note of it so that you don’t miss the turn off on your return trip! There’s nothing worse than missing your exit and hiking extra miles you don’t have to.

 

 

Image 4: The sign marking the trail back to the trailhead
The Subway Hike - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson following the creek upstream

 

From here on out the hike is straightforward. Keep following the main creek upstream and eventually you will reach the Subway. Along the way there isn’t a defined trail to follow so how you navigate the route is up to you. There are massive boulders to climb over, little ponds to walk around, waterfalls to climb and rock hopping to help keep your mind occupied as you hike along the creek.

Image 6: Continuing upstream
Image 7: A waterfall along the hike

 

From the trailhead it’s about 4 miles to The Subway. As you get closer to The Subway the canyon walls narrow and there are more waterfalls that you’ll have to walk over. After walking through the final sections of waterfalls and pool you will reach the tube of the Subway (Route marker #3 on the map). It’s a long, round, curved tube eroded into the canyon from hundreds of years of waterflow and you can walk right through it.

 

Image 8: The Subway
The Subway - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Anderson entering The Subway

 

Inside the subway you will notice “potholes” filled with water, and if you keep going deeper water leading further into the canyon.  This usually marks the turnaround point for the hike but if you want to wade through the water for the few minutes you can reach what is known as the waterfall room (Route marker #4 on the map). If you’ve got a dry suit on, or the water is warm, it is worth checking out before turning around and making your way back out to the trailhead.

The Subway - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: The potholes filled with water
The Subway - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 11: Anderson continuing into the deeper water

 

The Subway - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: The Waterfall Room

 

 

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Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your The Subway adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Angels Landing is the top attraction in Zion National Park and one of the most famous hikes in any US National Park. The first three quarters of this hike follow a paved trail to a scenic lookout point. The final portion of this daring hike traverses a narrow trail, with steep drop-offs on either side, to a lofty perch that provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of Zion Canyon.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 3-4 Hours

Trailhead: Grotto Picnic Area

Distance: 8km (5 miles)  round trip

Highest Elevation: 1767m (5797ft)

Elevation Gain: 463m (1519ft)

Difficulty: 8/10 – Strenuous switchbacks, exposure to steep drop-offs

Season: Year round. Spring and fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and winter can be icy and dangerous.

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 32km (20 miles) until you come into Springdale. Follow that same road until you pull up to the Zion park entrance.

From Arizona: Travel US-89A North through Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 West to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

From the North: Travel the I-15 South past Beaver, UT and exit on Hwy 20. Head east until you reach US-89, then head south to the Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 west to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with runners but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike is long with lots of elevation gain to reach the summit. Be sure to bring enough water for 4-6 hours of physical exertion in the hot sun.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike. Some of our favorites snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible to encounter snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Heat and Dehydration: In Zion National Park, the days can be very hot. Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake. Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water.

 

Steep Cliffs: Falls from cliffs along the trail have resulted in death. Stay on the trail, stay back from cliff edges and be careful of sand or loose rocks that can make for a slippery surface. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are trying to capture the perfect photo. During the winter months, the trail can be snow and ice covered so be extra careful and wear traction devices on your shoes for extra grip.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ZION SHUTTLE SYSTEM

 

Zion Shuttle System: During the busy months (March to November), Zion National Park has a free shuttle system to help move large numbers of visitors around the park. When the shuttle is in operation Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to private vehicles so visitors must rely on the shuttle service. The shuttle departs from the Zion Visitor Center and stops at nine locations in the park. The shuttles run very frequently between 7am and 6:15pm and you should never have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. Although you can park at the Visitor Center, the lot fills up quickly so it is best to park in the town of Springdale and take the Springdale Shuttle to the park gate.
The Springdale Shuttle leaves from the Majestic View Lodge and stops at the Zion Canyon Theatre. From the Zion Canyon Theatre, cross through the National Park Pedestrian Entrance to pay the entry fee, then catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle from the Visitor Center.
There are many Springdale Shuttle stops between the Majestic View Lodge, and Zion Canyon Theater. Walk to the nearest stop from your accommodation or drive and park in a marked “Shuttle Parking” area.

 

Zion Shuttle - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Zion Canyon Line Shuttle Stops

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Starting at the Grotto Picnic Area you’ll follow the West Rim Trail along the Virgin River and then up long steep switchbacks into Refrigerator Canyon. You’ll then enjoy a nice cool walk through Refrigerator Canyon before a strenuous climb up the Walter’s Wiggles Switchbacks to Scout’s Lookout. At Scout’s Lookout, the real adventure begins. To reach Angels Landing, you must scramble along a very exposed narrow ridge that feeds into the middle of Zion National Park. The summit offers an amazing view of the Canyon, and is aptly described by Frederick Fisher who discovered it: “Only an angel could land on it”.

 

Angels Landing Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Angels Landing Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Depending on if the shuttles are running, either take the shuttle to, or park at the Grotto Picnic Area (Route marker #1 on the map). This is the sixth stop from the Visitors Center on the Zion Canyon Shuttle. From the parking lot, head west and cross the bridge over the Virgin River. Just past the bridge the trail veers right. This is the West Rim Trail.

 

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Crossing the Virgin River on West Rim Trail

 

Follow the West Rim Trail along the canyon wall as it gains elevation. This path is quite steep but is paved and well maintained. As you climb along the trail, you are given a taste of the spectacular views of the canyon to come.

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Anderson following the West Rim Trail
Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Gaining elevation on the West Rim Trail

 

After following the West Rim Trail for about a mile, you’ll take a left into Refrigerator Canyon (Route marker #2 on the map). This is a great spot for a break to take some pictures looking back at the canyon. The path through Refrigerator Canyon is cool and shaded with cliff walls rising hundreds of feet on your left and right. The incline lets up for this leg of the hike and on a warm day, the walk through Refrigerator Canyon can be exceptionally refreshing.

At the end of the canyon, you’ll turn around and begin climbing the Walter’s Wiggles Switchbacks (Route marker #3 on the map). These are a series of 21 steep and compact switchbacks that lead to the top of Refrigerator Canyon and out to Scout’s Lookout (Route marker #4 on the map).

 

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Anderson climbing the Walter’s Wiggles Switchbacks

 

At Scout’s Lookout, the West Rim Trail heads north through Cabin Spring and on to Lava Point while the trail to Angels Landing heads south. At this point you are only about a half-mile from the summit, but the trail gets much more challenging and adventurous. If you don’t have much scrambling experience or are afraid of heights, do not travel further than Scout’s lookout.

 

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The view from Scout’s Lookout

 

The trail from Scout’s Lookout to Angels Landing will get your adrenaline pumping. You have another 150m (500ft) of elevation to gain and the terrain gets more difficult. You will be walking along a narrow, rocky ridge to the summit. At some points you can look hundreds of feet to the canyon floor below on either side of the trail. If at any moment you start to panic or feel uncomfortable, turn back because it doesn’t get any easier. There are chains and guard rails bolted into the rock to help provide some extra stability and security. There are also natural steps formed into the rock that assist with the climb. Follow the chains to the summit.

 

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Following the trail towards the summit
Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Chains assist you along the narrow trail

 

Follow the ridge until you reach the final viewpoint. From here you have one of the most incredible 360-degree views right from the center of Zion National Park. Although it isn’t as high in elevation as some of the rim trails, the view from Angels Landing is like no other. Take a break, have a snack, beware of chipmunks and enjoy the views!

 

Angels Landing - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: We made it!

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Angels Landing adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA