The Grotto is Nice. The Grotto is a wonderful, drippy overhanging grotto type alcove, back away from the road at the Grotto shuttle stop. The Grotto itself is a very nice place to hang out on a hot Zion afternoon. The canyon leading to the Grotto - not so much.
Grotto Canyon descends between the Great White Throne and Red Arch Mountain ending at The Grotto. It is not a very appealing canyon. Since it gets very little water flow, it is more like a fault-following gully than a canyon. I did it, so you don't have to.
The road used to end at The Grotto, and is the site of the first ranger cabin and the first park campground. If you are camping in South Campground and wonder where the North Campground might be, think The Grotto.
Follow the Deertrap Mountain Trail to near the head of the canyon. You
can access the trail from a number of places. If you have two cars, or
a shuttle service, you can take the East Rim trail to Deertrap,
without too much elevation gain. You could also hike up from Weeping
Rock Trailhead to the East Rim trail and the Deertrap Mountain Trail.
Cross the mesa top, then downclimb into the canyon near its head. Downclimb until forced to rappel. A handful of rappels lead to a big drop. Follow ledges out right, then rappel 260 feet (80m) to the canyon bottom. Eventually, rappel about 100 feet (30m) over the dripping overhang of The Grotto. Walk out the little stream to the bus stop.
Follow the small stream to the bus stop at the Grotto Trailhead.
A printable canyon descriptionand map you can take with you.
Have all Zion's classic canyonsin one convenient book.
Map for Grotto Canyon
Click on any map to browse a larger view,then right-click to save and print.
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.
Zion: Central Canyons and Trails
I descended this canyon with Scott Holley in about 2003. It was really bad.
I did not write up a trip report about this canyon. I doubt anyone else ever has either.