I've shared some canyoneering pics here before, but mostly from dry desert slots. Zion National Park features a different style of canyoneering than much of the rest of Utah. Zion's canyons feature full-flowing streams, and require a lot more swimming and wading in addition to scrambling and rappelling. Some experienced canyoneers scoff at Zion's popular routes as being "kiddie rap-n-swim canyoneering," since most of the major canyons have bolts placed in the rock at all the rappel points, and require little in the way of anchor-setting skills. (In the rest of Utah, canyoneers hold to a "no bolt" ethic, to maintain the wilderness feel of the canyons.) But Zion's canyons are so beautiful, I don't see how anyone can possibly sneer at them. To prove it, here are some pics from a trip I did through one of Zion's most popular canyoneering routes: the Subway (a.k.a the Left Fork of North Creek).
|Swirling slickrock on the hike to the canyon
|Walking down the slickrock
|Fall colors in the canyon
|Preparing to negotiate a drop. (I'm the one in front, my husband Robert behind, followed by two other friends.)
|Ooo, the water is cold! (You need at least a thick wetsuit to prevent hypothermia. Specially-made canyoneering drysuits are preferable; you can rent them in the town outside Zion's gates for a reasonable daily fee.)
|Robert negotiating a narrow section
|Robert and I, enjoying the canyon
|Start of the famous "Subway" section
|Playing around in a pool. The fun part about drysuits is that they're really poofy and make floating a snap.
|Walking through the Subway
|Another Subway view
|Sliding down waterfalls in the lower canyon
|Towering canyon walls