Icebox Canyon Trail - Park at the Lee Pass Trailhead in the Kolob Canyons (Kolob Fingers) district of Zion National
Park. The closest city is Cedar City, Utah.
Route to the Slickrock Pass entry - This becomes the route to gain the ridge. Walk under the cliff on this bench, to the right, and soon you will find a short slab up climb to the steep slope above. Once on the slope, walk mainly easterly through the thick brush and soon you will gain a ridge that becomes prominent and easier travel than the slopes to the left. Following this ridge goes east-north-east, up and towards five very large ponderosa pine trees at the head of the Slickrock Pass entry to Icebox Canyon. This ridge is almost .75 miles, gaining 1000' from the wash bottom.
When arriving at the pass look for a steep slickrock chute. That is your descent route to the head of Icebox Canyon. While walking down the chute it will begin to open up to a large slickrock slab. Stay in the watercourse where bolt anchors appear as the angle gets stepper. You may choose to set up handline's or rappel from these single bolt anchors or bypass the first anchor (an old bolt with an old style sheet metal hanger) and continued down 100' to a newer single bolt anchor with screw-links attached.
First Rappel - At this point rappel approximately 140' to another single bolt anchor with a webbing sling and rap ring.
Second Rappel - You can rig another rappel off the single bolt and rap ring and descend 120' to a double bolt anchor with webbing and another rap ring.
The above rappels are in the natural watercourse.
Third Rappel - After rigging the fourth rappel, rappel and traverse to the right (if facing out) toward a lone pine tree with two webbing slings wrapped at the base, (approximately 120').
Forth Rappel - From the tree, rappel (quite steep now), down approximately 140' to a large ledge above the canyon floor.
Fifth Rappel - The next station is a 3 bolt anchor. Rappel the last 140' to arrive at terra firma and Icebox Canyon.
The total descent to the canyon floor is .2 miles and approximately 300 vertical feet. You can now store your rope and find your way down this lush, rocky wash.Icebox Canyon - The walls are steep and tall but as you look ahead the canyon seems as straight as an arrow. The contrast of vegetation and deep reds and shades of the rock mesmerize. The canyon will keep your attention as you travel to the south, always throwing a challenge to find the easiest path to follow. Not far into the hike - boulder hopping venture, water will begin to trickle down the watercourse, spurring even more lush vegetation. The seepage of water from the sheer cliff faces will dot the cliffs with hanging gardens and glowing mossy growth. Soon, maybe .5 miles into the hike the first canyon obstacle appears as the sheer cliff walls come together and form a slotted pool below.
Sixth Rappel - On the right side of the slot, on a sloping traverse, notice one bolt with webbing and just past that another bolt. Your choice as to which to use. The drop from these bolts would surely put you in the swimming mode 30' below if it were not for a sloping ledge below that can be traversed 50' downstream after an initial rappel 20' toward the water. Feet will get wet but that should be all.
Seventh Rappel and cold water swim - Continuing down canyon a very short distance finds another even more slotted rappel, once again with the anchor on the right side of the wall when approaching. This time, unless you are very good at chimney - stemming, you will swim. It is a narrow slot, but a short 30' swim to a chock-stone then another 30' swim out of the slot to the bank downstream.
Put away the rope now, the next obstacle is a ways down canyon.
Eighth Rappel - The next obstacle is a ledge, once again on the right, that travels some distance (75 meters) before a single bolt appears around the corner. The slickrock gets stepper as you travel to gain this single bolt anchor. Below is a "lake" and it will be a short drop from the bolt to the dirt slope below, then a quick downhill scramble to the "lake".
Ninth Rappel - Heading down canyon there is one more obstacle "boulder jam" that is difficult, but possible to downclimb. Anchor possibilities are present for a short 9' drop at the jam including the use of a jammed log.
Continuing downstream will yield larger boulders to negotiate and soon the bank on the left appears to be a viable option to bypass some of the larger boulders below. This is the path to follow to gain another steep rocky drainage against the left cliff face where soon it will be apparent that this drainage was necessary to descend and bypass the large slabby slickrock waterfalls to the right. Take time to look up and scramble up as far as possible and view the magnificent falls that you just bypassed! It is now a fairly easy and short hike down the wash, until arriving at "Kolob Arch".
Kolob Arch - When you see the arch, you will have traveled just over 5 miles. It is a short .5 miles now to the junction of the Kolob Arch Trail and Laverkin Creek - Lee Pass Trail. From this point walk 2 miles along La Verkin Creek, through sand and hard-packed dirt, until the ascent and final 4 miles up the ridge to Timber Creek, along the creek and finally the ridge to Lee Pass where the hike began.
GPS Coordinates WGS84 DatumTimber Creek Junction at Bottom of Lee Pass Trail:
Scramble Out Of Timber Creek:
Freestanding Arches in Zion National Park
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.
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Suggested Gear: A sturdy pair of shoes are recommend to hike the trails in Zion National Park. Many quality shoes will help grip the rocks and prevent injury.
Zion National Park, Utah
History of the Thunderbird
This is my new favorite quote:
"I don't know who Tanya Milligan is, but I mean www.zionnational-park.com
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