Zion: Subway Hike

When Jeb and I went to Zion national park back in May we had tried to win a permit through the lottery to hike to the Zion subway. Unfortunately we didn’t get one. So I decided that I would just try again every month until we won one. I put in for Sunday dates instead this time because it would greatly increase our chances of winning. We were successful this time!

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Only 60 people are given permits each day to hike here. We were very excited to be back in Zion! It definitely made for a long day. We did a 9 mile hike (that took 7 hours) and then had a 9 hour drive back home. We didn’t get back until just before midnight on a Sunday night, and then we both had to work the next day!

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We also had really bad luck with sleep that weekend. Friday night we stayed in a hotel and planned to sleep in, but people near us were super load. We were woken up at 5:30am and never did get back to sleep. Eventually we just gave up and got up early and headed out for the rest of the drive.

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We had even worse luck Saturday night. It was INSANELY windy and we were camping. It was the windiest night either of us have ever experienced camping! And we have done a lot of camping. It was so noisy in the tent with it being blown around, and it kept like almost collapsing on us. So friday night we got 5 hours of sleep in the hotel, Saturday night Jeb got 3 hours of sleep in the tent (and I only got one…), and finally Sunday night we got home at midnight and Jeb only got 5 more hours of sleep before heading back to work (I cheated and slept in a little before work and got almost 7 hours). We were exhausted after this weekend!

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This hike was similar to the Narrows in that you are basically walking up a creek. Sometimes you are walking in the water, sometimes there is a little bit of sand on the edge you can walk on, and other times you are scrambling over rocks and boulders. This makes for a really slow going hike.

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We saw some these really pretty red flowers along the way.

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The “purpose” of this hike is to see the subway area, but it is really pretty along the way. We love the colors of the canyons at Zion. The creek also had tons of rainbow trout in it. Jeb was excited about seeing so many fish lol.

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Once we got to the area with all of the waterfalls we really enjoyed the hike. There was so much slickrock and sometimes the trail was to just walk along it up the cascading waterfalls.

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The canyon walls are starting to get closer here.

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This may sound like a stupid statement, but the slickrock is SUPER slippery to hike on haha. Especially coming back down, we came pretty close to wiping out a few times.

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Look at this little mini waterflow flowing through the crack here!

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Putting perspective on the size of the crack here.

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Finally, we see the subway!

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About to head into the really pretty area. 18b

Jeb had brought a warmer jacket but I was colder than he was, so we traded. I wore his and he wore my purple one. That’s why he it is a little tight on him here!

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Jeb is in the pot hole!

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So we got to this point and we didn’t realize that we were almost at the end of the hike. We thought there was a lot more to go so we got in the freezing water. This definitely made wearing our wetsuits worthwhile as the water was freezing!

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It turned out that it was a dead end like 20 feet further. So basically we got all wet and cold for no reason… Oh well we just seem to love wading in freezing water in canyons!

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I’m surprised I got him to stop for long enough to take a picture!

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So I took a ton of pictures of the “subway” area. They are all very similar but slightly different. I couldn’t decide which ones I liked better. Some are brighter, others are more colorful, and I think it is really a matter of personal preference. But here are a collection of some of my favorites:

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We were really glad to have finally been able to hike to the iconic Zion Subway! We ended up deciding that we preferred the Narrows, as the pretty areas were for miles and miles in the Narrows, instead of just one spot. But it was still a very beautiful and fun hike!

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