Zion’s Subway – An Unexpectedly Tough Hike


We felt fortunate to win a lottery to hike Zion’s “popular” Subway.  Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into…. most of what we read said the hike was 6 miles and would take 5-9 hours to complete.  Because we typically hike on the faster end of these ranges, we assumed we would be back for a late lunch, not knowing that the mileage was wrong, and what the “trail” entailed.  You see, the Subway starts with a quick and very steep descent down a crumbly cliff.  We thought we had surely completed the most difficult part of the hike (well, except for the trek up this tricky trail).

Once we reached the creek, we were surprised to see that there was no trail at all, just a creek that we would have to navigate back and forth to reach our destination.  We found lizards, fish, and frogs galore, so the kids were in animal heaven.

What we really didn’t expect were the difficult crossings and side trails.  There were many spots where the creek could not be navigated due to waterfalls, etc, so much of the hike is spent on the sides of the creek, navigating large boulders and trees until you can cross the creek once again.  Slow going is an understatement for this hike.


It is true that the many stops to check out a new critter slowed us down, but I can’t say we had a more tiring hike up to this point.  Lucky for us, the kids always seem to be unfazed.



By the time we reached the waterfalls, we had spent at least an hour thinking we had somehow missed the actual Subway!

The kids loved sliding down the slippery rocks here!


Finally, we reached the Subway!  While the actual structure was amazing, the kids had more fun jumping in the swimming holes than anything else.



We spent awhile playing at the Subway, knowing that the 5 mile trek in meant 5 out.  While it didn’t deter us from jumping in more swimming holes on the way out, we tried to move along.  Upon our return, yesterdays group of 14 would be increasing to a massive 28 people in Zion!


Travel date 6/19

Additional photo credit: Kim Hoff


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