A Good 'un. Englestead is a deep canyon with a dramatic start. After an initial 700 feet of rappelling, the canyon continues through marvelous narrows with some downclimbing and a few short rappels to intersect with Orderville Canyon just inside the Park boundary. One can turn left and enjoy the best parts of Orderville, exiting out The Narrows, or turn right and climb up Orderville Canyon.
Other than a few bolts at the beginning, Englestead is bolt-free. Please respect this and DO NOT PLACE BOLTS in this canyon. The drops lower in the canyon can be easily rigged using natural anchors.
Englestead is approached using an old logging road off the North Fork Road. Drive north on the North Fork Road 5.4 miles to the entrance of the Zion Ponderosa Resort. Continue on the North Fork Road 2.8 miles to a small dirt road on the left (west), between two fenced ranches. Park here (2WD) or drive the small dirt road ¼ mile to a small parking area at the top of a hill. The road from this point is an ATV trail, not suitable for even 4X4 vehicles.
Follow the old road down through the scrub. After 15 minutes, an ATV trail branches right toward Birch Hollow. A couple minutes further down, a campsite is seen to the right. Twenty-five minutes from the car, a log staging area is reached, with an interesting log-loader rusting back into the environment. Continue following the road off the end of the ridge and down into the wash below. Follow the wash 15 minutes further to the BIG DROP at the head of Englestead. Approach time is about 45 minutes.
Alternatively, Englestead can be approached from a trailhead near the East Rim Trailhead.
From the East Rim (Mystery Canyon) Trailhead, drive back 1/10 mile to the last intersection – turn left. At 2/10 mile, turn right on an ATV trail. At 4/10 miles, another trail comes in from the right – go straight. At 7/10 miles, park at the end of the road.
From the carpark, find a small trail heading down and right. Follow the trail right a couple hundred yards (200m) to a fork left, and follow this down to a piney wood. Head left through the wood and find an old road. Follow this about 200 yards (200m), then head right and down to a second overgrown old road. Follow this past several gullies and ribs to the head of the canyon, then descend easily a dirt rib 100 meters to the canyon floor. Follow the canyon 10 minutes to the big drop. Approach time is about 45 minutes.
There are several ways to rappel the first drop, and there are often a lot of trees rigged with webbing. Consider your choices carefully.
Walk about 50 feet (15 m) along the left edge to a tree standing proud above a steep wall. Rig the tree up high for an easier start and a cleaner pull. (The tree above the corner is often rigged, but the rope pulls into the crack and gets stuck). Rappel from this tree to a 1st pothole ledge, then further to a 2nd, larger pothole. Total length is 300 feet (91 m).
(Var-1: Rappel 90 feet (28 m) from tree to a small stance w/ 2 bolts under a block to the rappeller's right. Rappel from bolts 200 feet (60 m) to the upper pothole ledge. Rappel from a single, suspect bolt (or cairn) 50 feet (15 m) to the larger pothole ledge).
Several rappels follow, one after the other. The last is the longest (120 feet, 40 m), off a long sling tied to a tree wedged above the canyon floor. Though difficult, inspect the entire length of the sling. The rappel drops 10 feet into a pothole, then across the pothole and 100 feet down beautiful flutes to the ground. Carefully rig this rappel, because the pull is often difficult.
Follow the canyon to Orderville. Several short rappels off logs and other natural anchors present the only obstacles. There's a really nice natural bridge that some people miss. At the last drop (intersection with Orderville), climb up left and downclimb a crack (5.2, exposed) to the ground.
Two options exist; hiking up (RIGHT) Orderville to the Orderville trailhead, or continuing downstream (LEFT) to the Narrows confluence and ending up at the Temple of Sinawava.
Hiking down Orderville gets the best parts of Orderville (check out the Orderville Canyon description), but involves splashing through quite a bit of water, and usually at least one swim. Exiting UP Orderville makes for a shorter and dryer day, and requires climbing one short chimney (5.2) that can be muddy (5.5 M1?).
A printable canyon descriptionand map you can take with you.
Have all Zion's classic canyonsin one convenient book.
Zion: Main Canyon & East Side
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Orderville, Birch Hollow, Englestead
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Zion: Central Canyons and Trails
I first did Englestead soon after Kip "found it" for our group, in August 2001. I have done Englestead about once a year since then.
Dead Englishman Canyon, 8/28/01 - Tom and friends decide to check out the rumors of a bolt free canyon in the heart of Zion.Englestead, August 2003 - In this Latest Rave, Tom discusses natural anchors in Englestead.
Englestead, 7/24/10 - Nelson, Brian and Jason descend Englestead.
Englestead, 06/16/09 - Eric Schriever has a rappelling accident in Englestead.
Accident Report, 6/18/09 - A man survives a fall in Englestead Canyon and his fall is video recorded.
Englestead Hollow, Todd MartinChris Brennen, Englestead Hollow