Even More Sublime. For seasoned canyoneers, the famous "Subway" is an easy and scenic canyoneering venture. Hidden upstream from the usual start is a wonderful, tight, dark, cold and wet narrows that makes a more adventurous start, and a more sublime experience, than the classic Subway. Das Boot offers easy access to the kind of tight, dark, wet stuff found in more "extreme" canyons like Heaps or Imlay. Due to its unrelenting nature, this is a journey only for prepared and experienced canyoneers.
What's it like? A long, underground narrows with only the occasional view of the sun. Wading and swimming for 2 hours straight. Numerous logjams to climb over or rappel from. A few short drops requiring skilled downclimbing or short rappels. A fun, underground-ish adventure.
Das Boot is a variation on the Subway from the Top, and most parties will descend Das Boot and continue down The Subway. The Park manages the two areas separately, so different rules apply in the two sections. Some Das Boot parties will find a permit for The Subway unavailable, in which case you can hike out The Subway approach, but it is steeply uphill and very hot in summer.
Hiking From the Wildcat Canyon trailhead, follow the trail 30 minutes past the first trail junction (The Hop Valley Connector), then right (South) at the second trail toward Northgate Peaks. Follow this a short way (about 2 minutes) before leaving the trail to the left and dropping into a slickrock bowl. There is a prominent, unmaintained, but well-cairned trail along this entire "backcountry" route. IF you are not following a prominent trail, you are getting lost. Hike down slickrock into a beautiful forest. Follow the trail through the forest and out onto a ridge that then heads left, dropping into Russell Gulch.
This is where the Das Boot variation heads off from the usual Subway path. Pay attention! Careful navigation is essential. Looking down from the ridge, note a slickrock pass above the usual slickrock pass. Descend and cross Russell Gulch, then climb to the higher slickrock pass. From there, climb straight up and slightly right to gain a bench. Cross the corner of the bench and descend shallow gullies heading southeast toward a complex of gullies and ridges toward the Left Fork visible ahead. Make sure there is a substantial ridge on your right. Work your way down trying to avoid difficulties (3rd class) to a canyon bottom. Follow the canyon past some brushy sections, some sandy sections and some slickrock sections to where it drops into the Left Fork. Avoid rappelling in by traversing upcanyon on an easy, narrow ledge about 40 feet above the canyon floor, to where a steep brushy slope descends 40 feet to the bottom of the canyon.
If continuing through The Subway, use the canyon description for The Subway.
A printable canyon descriptionand map you can take with you.
Have all Zion's classic canyonsin one convenient book.
Subway Area Driving Map
Click on any map to browse a larger view, then right-click to save and print.
Upper Subway Map
Deluxe maps are available in two formats:
• 1 Mb files in the Map Download Center, designed for printing on 11" x 17" paper • Canyoneering Maps for Purchase in the Canyoneering USA Store. Printed maps are 13" x 19", nicely presented on 24 lb. white paper.
Left and Right Forks
I first visited Das Boot in 2001 using beta supplied by Steve Ramras, and has visited it every year or every-other year since then.
Das Boot and The Subway, 7/14/05 - A cool respite during Bake Fest '05, with Denise Manweiler, Eric Godfrey, and Jim Schnepel.Das Boot and The Subway, 4/25/08 - Tom, Sarah Stratton and Karen from Chicago barely avoid catastrophe.
Das Boot, 8/4/07 - Dan Ransom and a group of characters from uutah.com (aka Bogley) descend Das Boot and The Subway.
Das Boot, November 1998 - This Dave Pitney adventure is one of the best Canyon Tales -- a must-read for every canyoneer preparing to descend Das Boot.
The Subway, Chris BrennenDas Boot, BluuGnomeThe Subway, Joe Braun