March 23, 2022

Zion National Park Rappelling and Canyoneering Places

by Jullie

Ever visited a place so wonderful, you never felt like living? If not, you should visit Zion National Park. Zion translates to “Heavenly City,” and this place lives up to its name.

A trip through Zion National Park is an excellent way to try out your Zion National Park rappelling and canyoneering skills. It is also an exceptional way to discover this park’s magnificence and fascination. 


Table of Contents

Where is Zion National Park Situated?

Zion National Park is situated close to Springdale city, in Southern Utah, near St. George, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas. Zion National Park is listed as one of the six places to go rappelling in St. George, Utah.

What are Some of the Most Interesting Activities in Zion National Park?

The Zion National Park does not disappoint when it comes to adventure, beauty, and uniqueness. It’s best explored on a bike or foot, and here are is a list of the fascinating activities to do in Zion National Park.

  • Rappelling
  • Scrambling
  • Hiking
  • Canyoneering
  • Ziplining

Rappelling 

Zion National Park has slowly turned into one of the best places in the US to go rappelling. The best places for cliff rappel include; the sub-way route, Orderville Canyon, and Keyhole Canyon

Scrambling 

With impressive pink and red sandstone cliffs, excellent hiking options, and narrow slot canyons, you will certainly have a good time scrambling in this park. 

Hiking 

Zion National Park does not facilitate commercial guiding, so you have to sharpen your skills. That said, the best routes to go hiking include the lower part of the Zion Narrows, Angels Landing, Emerald Pool Trail, and Observation Point

Canyoneering

If you’re headed for the Zion National Park, there is no way you don’t intend to go canyoneering. You get multiple opportunities to do what you love most as you soak in the beauty this picturesque and pleasant space offers. 

Some other places to go canyoneering and waterfall rappelling are Maui, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Kauai, Hocking Hills, and San Diego rappelling.

Related: What’s the Common between Rappelling and Canyoneering?

Ziplining 

The most suitable place to go zip lining is Kanab Zipline. It provides a memorable multi-zipline tour throughout Zion National Park’s backyard.  

Zion National Park Rappelling and Canyoneering

Which are the Best Locations for Rappelling in Zion National Park?

As mentioned above, Zion National Park is filled with scenic spots to do different activities. However, when it comes to rappelling, the best spots are Orderville Canyon and Keyhole Canyon.

Orderville Canyon

If you’ve heard of the Zion Narrows, then the Ordeville Canyon is its mind-blogging small sister and is an excellent all-day adventure for new canyoneers.

You can explore the bottom parts as a side adventure from the Zion Narrows, though the best way is to try out this semi-technical canyoneering terrain. 

You’ll do a few short swims and use two rappels for the scope of climbs over rocks and boulders before you begin hiking.

This Canyon is lengthy, dark, and surprisingly enigmatic, and it is worth all the effort to explore. 

Keyhole Canyon

Also known as starfish canyon, this rappelling haven is a somewhat technical canyoneering terrain ideal for beginner canyoneers.

All the same, this Canyon cannot be seen clearly on a topo map. It is a magnificent sizeable subterranean location that provides some incredible views. 

It will take you approximately 2 hours to complete it. Again, it calls for three short rappels; thus, it is most suitable for beginner canyoneers.

Plus, this route has multiple down-climb obstructions and a handful of swims and wades in cold water. So, while it is short, rappelling down this route could be hard. What’s more, you need to go with full rappelling technical equipment and a wetsuit. 

What Do You Wear for Canyoneering and Waterfall Rappelling in Zion?

When canyoneering and waterfall rappelling, it would be best to wear a quick-dry shirt, shorts, pants, and a pair of high-quality hiking sandals covering the toes. 

However, if you don’t have hiking sandals, you can go for tennis shoes.

Besides, some touring firms offer you canyoneering-specific shoes. It would help if you also had a helmet specifically designed for waterfall rappelling. 

This is a list of the canyoneering and waterfall rappelling equipment you can carry with you.

Last update on 2022-10-01 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Important Points Before You Go Rappelling in Zion National Park

It would help if you had a canyoneering permit to explore terrain that calls for utilization of lowering ropes or gear.

To make reservations for such canyons, you can go online and apply for a permit, which you will collect at the Wilderness office on the day of your tour or before embarking on your trip.

There is a lottery mechanism for Mystery and Subway canyon permits because of their popularity. For more information on permits, visit the NPS webpage

You require a canyoneering rope that you can use on the longest rappel. The most recommended option is static rappelling rope as opposed to dynamic rope.

Powerful UIAA Static Rock Climbing Rope - High Strength Static Climbing Rope - Rock Mountaineering Climbing Gear - 10.5mm Rescue Rope - Heavy Duty Rope (Black, 64)
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Powerful UIAA Static Rock Climbing Rope - High Strength Static Climbing Rope - Rock Mountaineering Climbing Gear - 10.5mm Rescue Rope - Heavy Duty Rope (Black, 64)
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Last update on 2022-10-02 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

You can carry along one in case you need it. However, you should not use any rope you find at your local hardware; not all ropes are suitable for rappelling. 

Carry a climbing rappel gadget and harness. The most suitable rappelling device is an ATC-type, and you should know how to utilize it properly. 

Black Diamond Equipment - ATC-XP - Blue
  • High-friction mode offers 3 times greater hold and stopping power than regular friction mode
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KAILAS Airo Safety Climbing Harness Men Women Professional Mountaineering Lightweight Rock Climbing Gear Safety Belt
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KAILAS Airo Safety Climbing Harness Men Women Professional Mountaineering Lightweight Rock Climbing Gear Safety Belt
  • UIAA Certified "Airo" high-performance Climbing Harness made with Cordura fabric; it is light, comfortable, adjustable, and durable.
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Last update on 2022-10-02 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Be ready to get cold and wet. Most Zion National Park’s areas have water, frequently in dark spaces that don’t access natural light.

For instance, canyons like the Pine Creek and Keyhole Canyons call for swimming in very cold water; thus, it should help if you have a wetsuit, even if the weather is hot.

Again, if you are carrying delicate staff like cameras and phones, you should have a drybag to shield them from the water and anything that requires staying dry. 

Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag - Roll Top Dry Compression Sack Keeps Gear Dry for Kayaking, Beach, Rafting, Boating, Hiking, Camping and Fishing with Waterproof Phone Case
24,571 Reviews
Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag - Roll Top Dry Compression Sack Keeps Gear Dry for Kayaking, Beach, Rafting, Boating, Hiking, Camping and Fishing with Waterproof Phone Case
  • RELIABLE PROTECTION: We believe our earth pak dry bags are the best out there--bar none. These dry bags are meant to last for years and provide waterproof protection for even the most rugged users.
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Last update on 2022-10-02 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Double-check all anchors before rappelling. Even though rappel stations are normally reliable, they’re aren’t maintained by the NPS.

Fellow climbers replace the webbing and bolts. For this reason, ensure to carry several random links and webbing and research how to fix an anchor that’s not properly fitted. 

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GM CLIMBING One Unit 16mm Nylon Sling Runner 60cm / 24inch (Fluorescent Orange)
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Last update on 2022-10-02 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Check the weather before heading out. If it looks like it will rain, don’t go canyoneering. Flash floods are extremely risky and have killed many people. 

Be ready to maneuver random obstacles. Most canyons have short descends that call for cautious lowering, stemming, or chimneying.

It would be best to have climbing experience and upper-body strength. Besides, you will be met by random debris and logs, so you have to be careful.

Do not attempt to explore a canyon that you’re not permitted to. Rangers will request your permit, particularly in popular sections like the subway. 

Commercial guiding is not allowed in technical canyons, so you can’t hire someone to guide you through it.

There are canyoneering classes provided by outfitters who also lead canyoneering ventures in different places outside NPS.

Most outfitters will rent you canyoneering equipment like drybags, footwear, wetsuits, and harnesses, but not rope. 

Take several days off work, visit Zion National Park, and see its magnificence and elegance!

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About the author 

Jullie

Jullie is a professional indoor climber. She loves speed climbing competitions. This style makes her feel like she's flying. Maybe because her other passion is flying airplanes. Obviously, high speeds are her thing.

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