ACA Canyon Rating System American Canyon Association

NOTE: Ratings refer to descents in normal conditions, during what is considered the normal season for the canyon. Adverse conditions, such as higher than normal water volume or colder temperatures, will increase the difficulty of the descent.

Zion National Park Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Grand Canyon North Rim Map Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Technical Canyoneering

Zion Book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park Never enter a semi-technical or technical canyon without the knowledge and skills needed to safely explore and return. Many technical canyons, such as Das Boot, also require gps skills or excellent map reading skills. Remember slot canyons of any difficulty can change dramatically in a short time. Do take classes and travel with those who have gained experience. Use quality equipment in the canyons because you life can depend on it. Always wear a helmet, keep hair up and away from rapel devices! A ponytail won't do because the whole ponytail can get caught and then you are in danger.

Directions to Zion National Park

From the North: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel US-89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to the east park entrance.
From the South: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane to LaVerkin. Continue on SR-9 to the south entrance of the park. SR-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. See restrictions for RV's

Zion National Park Maps
ACA Canyoneering

Zion Photo: Bo Beck, Zion's Veteran High Angle Search and Rescue Team Member and avid Zion Canyoneer doing what he loves most - hanging on a rope in Zion National Park.


Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging Zion National ParkLodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.



1 Canyon Hiking - Non-technical hiking where no rope is required. There might be some scrambling requiring the use of hands.

2 Basic Canyoneering - Rope recommended for belays, rappels and possible lowering packs and possible emergency use. Basic canyon scrambling, easy vertical or near vertical climbing and down climbing requiring frequent use of hands.

3 Intermediate Canyoneering - Exposed technical climbing. Down climbing could be difficult and dangerous where most people rappel instead. Rope required for single-pitch rappels and belays. Anchors are usually existing. Retreat up canyon will require ascending fixed ropes. Basic pothole escaping.

4 Advanced Canyoneering - Includes difficult and exposed climbing, down climbing, multi-pitch rappels, complex rope work, anchor problems, advanced problem solving.

Normal Water Volume and Currentzion National Park Canyoneering

A - Normally the canyon is dry or holds little water.

B - Normally the canyon holds water but the current is light or there are still pools. There might be a trickle on the falls, water deep enough that needs to be waded or swam. Wetsuit or drysuit may be required depending on temperatures.

C - Normally the canyon contains water with strong current and even waterfalls. Swimming deep pools required. Wetsuit or drysuit may be required depending on temperatures.

Time Required

I Requires only a couple of hours.

II Requires a half day.

III Requires most of a day.

IV Dawn to dark and longer if problem arise. Bring a head lamp and plan for possible bivy.

V Expected to take an average 1.5 days.

VI Expected to take two or more days.


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Stay in the heart of the parks, Mount Carmel Junction, and visit the treasures of the Southwest and Utah.

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This is my new favorite quote:
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It's a better site than the NPS's anyway."
Written by the authors of the book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park

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