Tag Archives: canyoneering Subway

Trip Report: Russell Gulch and Subway, 9/9/2011

With beautiful weather and the upcoming ACA Rendezvous, many people may be planning a visit the Subway soon. The following trip report details the conditions I found on last Friday, September 9th. Springdale Forecast: Partly Cloudy, High of 90, 30% chance of Scattered afternoon thunderstorms. Group Size: Two 10:30: Started hiking at Wildcat (would have liked to start earlier to avoid afternoon rain) 1:30 Arrived top of Subway Slot (where Russell Gulch meets Left Fork) 2:30 Arrived Red Cascades at the end of the “technical section” 5:05 Finished Hiking at Left Fork We started with the Russell Gulch Variation at the beginning. There were 5-10 wades and one short swim in that section, before the “Subway Proper.” In the Subway itself, we encountered 5-6 swims. The swims were not that long (some as short as 3-5 feet long). We waded up to the waist at least 8 more times. The water was significantly colder for the first half of the hike, up until near Rappel 2 where the black bowling ball chockstone is. This is also where the water begins flowing in the canyon (no flowing water, only still pools up to that point). The water was a bit warmer after that … Continue reading

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The Subway: A Classic Canyoneering Route in Zion National Park

I came across some wonderful images of Zion’s Subway route the other day, and the photographer, Daniel Peckham, graciously granted me permission to display them here. Above is the climactic “subway tunnel” after which The Subway takes its name. The colors in this section are dazzling; it looks like someone dumped a truckload of gasoline in the water, creating the shimmering, iridescent colors typically seen in oil or fuel. I asked a local botanist about this once, thinking the colors might be from a bacteria in the water. Turns out the colors come from chemical leached by a few different plants in the area. Either way, it’s nice to know these sorts of visual effects are completely natural (and nicely captured by Mr. Peckham). A little ways past the classic subway section, this micro slot creates a gorgeous whitewater flume and showcases the fault-induced nature of The Subway. The canyon, properly called the Left Fork of North Creek, runs directly above a minor fault line, creating the weaknesses that the water follows downcanyon. Over millions of years, water followed the narrow fault cracks through the harder Navajo sandstone and reached the softer Kayenta layer, below. Since the Kayenta layer erodes … Continue reading

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