I’ve been wanting to hike to the Subway in Zion’s since I found out about it back in 06 while canyoneering down there with a friend. We weren’t able to get permits for the Subway but we did do two other amazing slot canyons, Pine Creek and Keyhole.
My Mom and I lucked out and were able to get two walk up permits for the Subway!!. We headed out to the Left Fork Trailhead in the morning after picking up some caffeine and pop tarts. Packed up our stuff and headed off on the 6 mile round trip hike.
Now I’m not sure if you know what the subway is, but it’s probably one of the most photographed places in Zion N.P. I have seen the pics more than I can remember and they always look soo damn cool. So I was pretty damn excited for this trip.
We had decided to do the Bottom up hike since for one we don’t have any of the gear for the upper technical sections of the canyon. Plus Mom isn’t too keen on heights so I was not sure about the rappels that it requires. So we left the trailhead and headed down to the creek bed. You follow the creek bed for about 2.6 miles up to the Subway itself. It was a gorgeous hike up the creek bed but takes some time since you have to do a considerable amount of boulder hopping, crossing the creek, and hiking up the hillside around boulders too big to climb. Along the way we encountered hundreds of little tiny frogs that would scatter every which way from the trail as you almost stepped on them (I’m sure we had to kill at least one or two of them even though we tried very hard not to)
After stopping to take quite a few pictures of beautiful waterfalls along the way, and playing leapfrog with a couple going up there to photograph as well we reached the Subway. The couple we were playing leapfrog with had 8×10 camera gear, a 35mm film camera, a digital camera, and a big heavy tripod that made me thankful for my Micro 4/3 camera but at the same time made me envious of the quality of photos they would get compared to mine.
On First Impression of the Subway I thought …. This is all? For some reason I was expecting it to be a long tunnel. But Most the pictures you see of the subway is all of the subway. It’s probably under a hundred feet long. It’s still pretty damn cool and quite the sight to see … but even cooler is the pools in there. I swam up the slot canyon as far as I could (To the waterfall) which wasn’t too far back.
We had to fight over space to photograph (not really any fighting …. more just waiting your turn) But I got the pictures I want. I learned a few things from this trip and hopefully I’ll make it back and not only get the photographs I want, but next time I want to do the top down so I can explore the slot canyons leading up to the subway.