Zion National Park

 

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The Ultimate Southwest Vacation includes Zion National Park, Utah!

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

Zion Park 12 miles
Grand Staircase 9 miles
Sand Dunes 11 miles
Dixie Forest 22 miles
Cedar Breaks 45 miles
Red Canyon 47 miles
Coyote Butte 57 miles
Bryce Canyon 60 miles
North Rim 85 miles
Toroweap 90 miles

Plan your Zion National Park Vacation with our Utah Maps and Information

In these pages you will find insiders information on Zion National Park lodging, adventures and hikes. This detailed guide includes road maps, park maps, pictures, trail beta, backpacking, history, fees, geology, flora, fauna, campgrounds, things for kids to do and even information on Zion's hidden treasures.

Making summer memories in the Utah National Parks and National Monuments.

Utah!

 

Zion National Park Map

Zion National Park Map

Directions to Zion National Park
From Salt Lake City: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. Exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take U-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel 89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to to Mount Carmel Junction. Take U-9 to the east park entrance.
From Las Vegas: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane. Make a right on U-9 at the second traffic light in LaVerkin. Continue on U-9 to the south entrance of the park. U-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway.

Oversized Vehicle Information
Zion Canyon Shuttle Information

Left Fork Right Creek

Twelve year old Nikki Milligan is cooling off and enjoying a swimming hole along the Left Fork of North Fork.

GPS Coordinates
WGS84 Datum

Trailhead - Trailend
37°17.084 N
113°05.741 W
Elevation at Trailhead - Trailend 5100'

Exit from Left Fork:
Elevation at Bottom 4700'
37°17.378 N
113°05.084 W

GPS coordinates are only references and may or may not be accurate. Do not rely on GPS coordinates as the sole method of navigation. Always have an accurate, detailed map at hand and have the proper map reading and navigation skills before setting out on any hike. Many of the hikes listed in this guide travel into canyons where a GPS has limited capabilities. Always check your position with a detailed map before dropping into a canyon.

Backcountry Permit - A permit is needed to hike this trail. Obtain permits at the Zion Canyon Visitors Center or by calling:
1.435.771.0172

Beta: Coordinates and other trail and canyoneering information by Zion Park search and rescue veteran team member Bo Beck and www.zionnational-park.com author Tanya Milligan.

To post trip reports, offer corrections, updates, or for more information please visit the Zion National Park Forum

Suggested Equipment: Bring a sturdy pair of shoes to hike the Left Fork of North Creek. Some hikers prefer hiking boots due to the support they give to the ankles and the cushion that helps to prevent bruising from hitting the rocks at the bottom of the river. 5-10 Canyoneers give the boot effect and work great in river conditions. Those that like low tops will enjoy a good quality rubber shoe like the La Sportiva Exum River shoes. Many like to use a sturdy hiking stick when river hiking.

 

 

 

Left Fork of North Creek

The Subway from the Bottom

This is an option for those hikers that don't want to swim and down climb difficult obstacles, yet want to be able see some of the amazing treasures found in the infamous "Subway" hike. A permit is still required to hike bottom-up and can be acquired via the online permit system or by visiting the permit office at the visitor center in the main canyon. Information 1-435-772-0170

Left Fork of North Creek at a Glance
Photo Album:
Subway Highlights
Day Hike
: Yes
Distance: 10 miles round trip
Average Hiking Time:
Equipment: Neoprene socks, sturdy sticky rubber hiking shoes, hiking poles, 3 liters of water per person or purification method, energy food, first aid kit and a headlamp
Difficulty: The entrance and exit is a steep hike.
The cascades can be slippery due to moss and other factors.
Permits: Required.  Check the weather report before doing this hike.  Do not hike if it looks like rain..
Trailhead: The Left Fork Trailhead which is located on the Kolob Reservoir Road, 8 miles north of the town of Virgin.
Trailend: Same as trailhead
Trail Access: Kolob Reservoir Road
Off the Beaten Path: Yes
Classic Zion Hike: Yes
Best Season: Summer
Starting Elevation: 5100'
Subway Elevation: 5350'
The descent and Ascent to and from the Left Fork Entry and Exit Point is 450' (Very Steep)
Hazards: Call the Zion Canyon Visitors Center for weather conditions prior to the hike: (435) 772-3256. The Left Fork of North Creek is a slot canyon and like any slot canyon there is a very real danger from flash flooding. Do not hike this trail if it is raining. Remember a storm far off can trigger a flash flood. Flash flood danger is high.

See our vacation planning section for classic Zion National Park trails or glance at our favorite Zion National Park trails list or choose from a complete Zion National Park hiking guide.

Left Fork of North Creek

The hike begins at the Subway trailend located 8 miles north of Route 9 and the town of Virgin on the Kolob Terrace Road. The parking area is located on the right side of the road and has a sign indicating "Left Fork" and there is also a kiosk with a map and hiking information, and also a toilet facility.

Begin by hiking for .5 miles thru the juniper and pinon forest and then descending the very steep trail for another .4 miles to arrive at the usually flowing Left Fork of North Creek. Follow the trail upstream as it skirts and crosses the creek numerous times.

Dinosaur Tracks

After about 1 mile of hiking along the creek be sure to keep an eye out for 2 very large slabs of white rock sloping toward the creek just above the bank on the left. The rocks are about 50' wide and 15' tall and contain many dinosaur imprints imbedded in them.

Cascades

Hiking along the creek will offer several small waterfall cascades that might be a great opportunity to refresh under if the day is hot. After 3 miles of creek hiking, wide slabs of stair stepped sandstone in the creek bed display gorgeous and glistening cascades of water. Be very careful traveling on these slabs as they are very often slippery.

The Subway

After several scrambles through and around these pristine cascades, the trail arrives at one of the most beautiful sections of the hike. Potholes filled with emerald waters, delicate ferns and desert shrubbery cling to the moist, tubular shaped sandstone walls surrounding this desert paradise. Travel beyond this point becomes extremely difficult, however be sure to wade and swim through the narrow corridor and visit the waterfall room at trails end! Total distance to this point has been close to 5 miles. (Some travelers may wish to attempt up climbing beyond this point, but this can be extremely difficult and dangerous; not recommended.) Relax, take many pictures, have some lunch and prepare for the return trip.

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Zion National Park waterfall


perhaps our grandsons, having never seen a wild river, will never miss the chance to set a canoe in singing watersglad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.

-- Aldo Leopold

Photo: Pine Creek Waterfall
©
Photography by Tanya

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