Summer 2017 | Zion NP "The Subway" | 6.5m | 1,000'
This was easily one of the toughest AND most spectaular hikes I've ever done... and yet, the photos don't do it justice. This place... pure magic.
First, you descend 400 feet into the canyon via a series of rough-cut switchbacks and boulder scrambles. Then, you slog for miles through the creek of the slot canyon. We attempted to keep our feet dry for a while by taking to the canyon walls, but this proved time-consuming and pointless. The running water was cool (not freezing!) and felt amazing in the heat of the day. Hiking among fish was definitely new! I simply wore sneakers for this, as waterproof hiking boots would have been worthless (and HEAVY). This view of The Subway is actually looking back toward the entrance (that glow of light). Wandering around in here was wildly slippery (I do have a photo of Leif mid-fall with both legs off the ground…heh). The pools were incredibly cold, and the wind whipped through and chilled you to the bone. It was a strange sensation being in the middle of the desert and freezing! At the back of a series of pools that you had to swim through, there was a thundering waterfall that echoed off the slot walls.
What a sight to behold – if you ever get lucky enough to draw a permit for this hike. How did I get mine? While y’all were outside staring at the sun with your special glasses last year, I was inside, glued to my computer, snapping up two permits that came available through that morning’s return.