Tag Archives: Subway canyon

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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Recent Subway Trouble Highlights Dangerous Spring Conditions

While there are LOTS of fantastic ways to enjoy Zion right now, hiking The Subway is not one of them. Due to dangerous high water conditions and a flurry of “lost hiker” reports in the last two weeks, the Park Service has closed The Subway until further notice. While nobody has been seriously injured or harmed, this story from KSL Salt Lake City features video from the crew that helped out hikers who spent four days stranded in the Subway last week. While The Subway has a reputation as a moderate, beautiful hike which is appropriate for families and kids, risks involved in The Subway are VERY contextual. In mid-June, when rain is rare, temperatures high, and days long, The Subway can be exceptionally hospitable. Even then, however, you still need to have proper equipment and knowledge to manage short rappels, downclimbs, and cold water. During periods of heavy rain or snow melt, however, The Subway quickly becomes an intimidating and life-threatening place. Though some canyoneers do have proper equipment, experience, and training to descend The Subway in high-water conditions, most use good judgment by going elsewhere to better conditions, and returning on a better day or season.

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Trip Report: Winter Conditions in The Subway

For all those hardy folk interested in the Bottom-Up Subway hike in January, we had two customers try it yesterday. They mentioned a LOT of rockfall out there and they had to climb over boulders to get down to the river. They reported about 10″ of snow along the river banks, as well as ice, some of which is “black ice”. They also mentioned plentiful pine trees in the drainage, which looked like they had come down recently. It is slow-going out there; they said in order to have any time at the pools, they suggest an 8 am start time. Jesse

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Injured Hiker Short-Hauled Out Of Subway Route

From the NPS Morning Report on 9/21/10: On Saturday, September 19th, a 20-year-old hiker from Boise sustained an unstable ankle injury when she jumped eight to ten feet off an obstacle along the Subway Route. Ranger/medic Ray O’Neil and Dan Hovanec hiked in six miles, stabilized her injury, and spent the night with the injured hiker. Rangers Kelsey Taylor and Derrick Fassbender hiked in additional equipment and escorted the rest of the hiking group out in the dark that evening. On Sunday, Grand Canyon’s helicopter and flight crew short-hauled the woman out of the Subway Route to a waiting ambulance. In the area where the incident occurred, a bolted anchor is available to rappel or hand-line down. Despite discouraging the practice, jumping to negotiate obstacles continues to be a frequent cause of injury while canyoneering in Zion. Contact Information Name: Brandon Torres, Canyon District Ranger I am absolutely certain the hiker in question here did not intend to interrupt everyone’s life so much on this day. My question always is, “Why did she think she didn’t need a rope?” Two possibilities: a) she simply didn’t know there would be vertical obstacles, and b) somebody suggested she would not need one. … Continue reading

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