The Subway 2004
In September 2004 I joined one of my colleagues from work and several of his friends on a hike to the Subway in Zion National Park. This is a place I had been wanting to go to for several years. This was a great opportunity to go with people who had been there many times before. The Subway is a section of the Left Fork of Great West Canyon that has been hollowed out by erosion and looks like a subway tube with an opening at the top. Here's some info on the Subway from Tom's Utah Canyoneering site. We started at the top and followed a bit different route down Russell Gulch that involved climbing up and down around several sheer drops that we were not equipped to rappel down. Once down in the Left Fork creek bed itself the passage is often quite narrow and at least two areas require swimming. This part of the canyon receives almost no sun so the water is cooold!. It also requires some way to keep your camera gear dry. I used the LowePro Dryzone 100. Here's a review on this bag by Steve Kossack. It worked very well for me. I carried my Canon 1Ds with 24-70mm, 16-35mm, and 100-400mm lenses. Never used the last one. I also carried my Gitzo 1227 tripod. I used the tripod carrier on the bag, as I needed both hands for climbing much of the time. The bag was completely watertight. Its a bit harder to get into than a normal bag, but that's the price of keeping the water out. I also carried my food and water in the bag. The only thing I would like to see different is a way to carry the tripod a bit lower on the bag. The tripod kept getting caught on the many low branches you have to get under. Thanks to all who repeatedly helped me get unstuck. Also, thanks to the group for putting up with me stopping to take many pictures throughout the day. Here's a link to a group photo. The Subway itself is amazing. There are also many small falls that are very nice. The worst part of the hike is the 4-500 feet climb out of the canyon to the road at the lower end.
Click on the images below to see an enlarged version.
This is the Left Fork of Great West Canyon. It's amazing how it can change in just a short distance.
The colorful canyon walls contrast with the water and greenery.
From upstream you approach the Subway in a nice slot canyon that suddenly makes a right turn. Then it opens up into this beautiful area. I don't know how long this tree has been here, but at least several years.
A closer view of the subway. The water here has warmed up enough that it's not painful to stand in.
This is the subway looking upstream from a moss covered rock.
These small falls are just downstream from the upper section of the Subway.
A second, more open, section of the Subway is just downstream. This area has a number of small pools and falls.
Many small steps form a red rock staircase covered with a silvery carpet of water.
Content and Images
Copyright 1998-2011 Jeffrey W. Johnson. No use without permission.
Content and Images Copyright 1998-2011 Jeffrey W. Johnson. No use without permission.
Content and Images Copyright 1998-2012 Jeffrey W. Johnson. No use without permission.