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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

Ice Box Canyon

Zion Search and Rescue veteran, Bo Beck, on the final rappel dropping into Icebox Canyon

GPS Coordinates
WGS84 Datum

Icebox Canyon

Timber Creek Junction at Bottom of Lee Pass Trail:
37 26.3256N
113 11.4654W

Scramble Out Of Timber Creek:
37 26.6939N
113 10.3461W

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.

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

Suggested Gear : Ropes, webbing, harness and rappelling device. A sturdy pair of shoes are recommend for canyoneering in Zion . Quality shoes will help grip the rocks and prevent injury. Experienced Zion hikers and canyoneers like the Sportiva Exum Ridge. This shoe is great for hiking, bouldering and canyoneering.

To offer corrections, updates, etc... or for more information please visit the Zion National Park Forum

 

 

 

Icebox Canyon

Canyoneering: Never enter a technical canyon without the knowledge and skills needed to safely explore and return. Rappelling and downclimbing skills are required to navigate through Icebox Canyon. Do not jump. Jumping in Zion's canyons have resulting in many broken bones. Many technical canyons, such as Icebox Canyon, also require excellent map reading skills to navigate.

Icebox Canyon at a Glance
Photo Album:
Icebox Canyon Pictures
Trail Maps: Icebox Topo Map
Day Trip
: Yes, but from dawn to dusk
Distance: The entire hike: 12.25 miles
5.75 (10 hours min.) to the arch and 6.5 (4 hours min) back to the car from Kolob Arch.
Average Hiking Time: 16 hours
Equipment: Two 165' ropes, webbing, slings, harness, rappel device, map, dry bag and a helmet. Long pants for bushwhacking.
Technical: Longest rappel: 145'
ACA Canyon Rating: 3B IV
Difficulty: Strenuous hiking, river hiking and boulder hopping. Technical rappels. During the steep approach expect bushwhacking and hiking up 1100' in .5 miles.
Permits: Required. Check the weather report before hiking this trail. Do not hike if it looks like rain
Trailhead: Trailhead for Kolob Arch (Lee Pass) at the Kolob Canyons section of the park.
Trailend: Lee Pass via Kolob Arch
Total Elevation change: 2700'
Elevation:
Lee Pass: 6200'
Elevation:
Grueling hillside approach: 1000' in .75 miles
Off the Beaten Path
: Yes
Classic Zion Canyon: No
Best season: When the days are long and there is more daylight.
Hazards: Call the Zion Canyon Visitors Center for weather conditions prior to the hike: (435) 772-3256. Hiking in slot canyons presents 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. Icebox has a low flash flood danger.

Icebox Canyon

Rappelling skills are required to navigate through this slot canyon. Remember slot canyons can change dramatically in a short time due to flash floods and water levels in this canyon change. These directions are only a general reference. Be prepared for variations in the canyon.

Icebox Canyon is a beautiful, arrow straight canyon that runs north - south through a deep cut in the surrounding sandstone mountains of the northern section of Zion National Park. The hike is long and strenuous, and requires special equipment to descend. Starting early in the morning will help you beat the heat on the slow tedious ascent to North Pass entry of Icebox Canyon. Carrying plenty of water for the first 3 miles is very important. In the actual canyon of Icebox, water should be available to filter or purify. Long pants should be worn on the approach, as you will be walking through heavy scrub and lower leg protection is important. Carry emergency supplies and be prepared to spend a night if needed.

Icebox Canyon Trail Beta

Park at the Lee Pass Trailhead in the Kolob Fingers district of Zion National Park and begin the hike by walking 1 mile and descending 250' of elevation on the trail that goes to Kolob Arch and La Verkin Creek. You will be descending a ridge for most of the time, but at the 1 mile point you will come to a drainage that the trail crosses. At this drainage turn left and walk about 100 meters until it intersects another drainage; turn left at this drainage and hike up the drainage (north-easterly) for 1.5 miles. Notice a drainage coming in from the north, identified by a large slickrock alcove. Then look for a bench of vegetation at the base of the cliff, right of the alcove.

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 screwlinks 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 beginn 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 chockstone 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.

Zion Canyoneering

More Kolob Hiking

 


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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

-- Albert Einstein

 

Photo: Pine Creek Waterfall
©
Photography by Tanya

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Do not use photos or maps without permission © Photography by Tanya
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