100 Hikes in Utah
by Steve Mann & Rhett Olson (The Mountaineers Books)
© Steve Mann & Rhett Olson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
We did this hike from the bottom up. The descent was steep and led to the wash at the bottom. At first we had touble figuring if we should hike through the water or skirt around the water. It took about four hours to reach the waterfall that leads to the subway. It was spectacular. The water flow has formed a tunnel and there were small pools with extremely cold water. We sat in the pools to cool off before heading back. On the way back there are two large grey rocks with dinosaur tracks imbedded in the surface of the rocks on the right side of the wash. We made it back much quicker as we were able to keep to the trail and were more familiar with where we should be. The steep incline back to the car was brutal but was worth it with the scenery we had seen.
Eric and Karen
I hiked to the subway from the bottom. This is the easier, buy not easy, and most popular way. The North Creek’s level was low; for comparison, the USGS website recorded the Virgin River’s height (Virgin Station Gage) at about 8.25’ and flow at 110cfs, Leeds Creek height at about 2.5’ and 3.8cfs.
Unlike, the Zion Narrows that required substantial wading and occasion swimming I kept my feet dry all the way up to the Subway. Most obstacles are circumvented by climbing up the bank behind them rather then by wading. The last ¼ mile or so the creek bed is slick rock and lives up to its name especially with a covering of leaves. However by this point the creek was only a few inches deep.
I started shortly after sun break and after waiting out one other photographer, I had the Subway to myself for a good twenty minutes. The Subway was a beautiful and unique spot. Although, the NPS allows 50 permits a day I saw no more then 10-15 other hikers on a warm November day.
Kolob Terrace Road was a less-used road that started in town called Virgin. Virgin actually consists of a couple houses and a fort. Once at the trail head, pinon and cedar trees lined the parking lot. Last chance for porta-potty.
Trail slightly slopes downward for about 1/4 mile than a sudden drop down the rim and into the canyon. Trail was steep and narrow, but the scenery was spectacular. Once at the bottom, look back and up at the trail. You might miss it later. Trail follows creek up to the Subway. At least for the most part. Just follow the creek and you'll be fine. In the Subway, it was slippery. Water was in abundance. Waded through chest deep pools to the falls. The slot canyon walls were absolutely beautiful. An experience that won't be forgotten.
Return trip was just as beautiful. Take time to rest and eat. Bonus on the return trip was the fossilized dinosaur tracks just past The Guardian Angel. Tracks are in the pale gray mudstone. Remember what you saw when you looked back up the trail in the beginning? Chances are you might miss this faint fork and head downstream too much. Stay to right side of creek after the dinosaur tracks and you'll run into the small sign leading to the top! (I looked for all the "Carin's" or stacked rock piles for the trail.)
Sign in/up to upload photos.
Keep Me Informed
Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.
We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.