A Nice Little Slot. High on the West Rim, the technical part of Telephone makes a great canyon by itself, or can be combined with Behunin (often called Telephunin) for a longer day. The long approach hike, many rappels and substantial downclimbing make it a good outing for experienced canyoneers in small groups.
Telephone Canyon starts out as a drainage atop the West Rim, then drops steeply to the bench level 1000 feet lower, wanders across the bench with some slotting, then drops suddenly into the Narrows in a dramatic, 900 foot drop. This technical route is the 1000 feet from the West Rim to the bench.
Telephone is named for the telephone line that used to run from Cabin Spring (West Rim Spring) to the Temple of Sinawava through this canyon.
Winter and Early Spring - Ice and snow hinder the hike up and descent of the canyon. Be ready for winter canyoneering conditions.
Summer - HOT! Hike up the West Rim is in full sun, get an early start to avoid the heat.
Fall - Excellent time for this canyon.
Chug up the Angels Landing Trail to the top of Scout Lookout. Continue chugging all the way to West Rim Spring. A small spring provided filterable water. Take the "Telephone Canyon" branch of the West Rim Trail and hike about 1/2 mile north. Cut down through a burned-over ghost forest to the bottom of the drainage. Follow the rim left to the canyon, or the stream right to the head of the drop.
On the right side of the drainage, rappel 30 feet (10 m) to a shelf with a few trees on it. Rappel from the lowest tree, 100 feet (30 m) free-hanging, then continue the rappel down past a few potholes to a ledge with a bolt anchor, then down another short drop to another bolt anchor. The rope pull from here is surprisingly good. Rap a short steep drop, then down an awkward, low-angle v-slot, about 200 feet (60 m) to a ledge.
The canyon continues with about 10 rappels from a mix of natural and bolted anchors. Some downclimbing is required, made spicier by the fine coating of limey dust coating much of the canyon.
Toward the bottom, after a steep rappel in an area of recent rockfall, follow a game trail right across a steep wooded slope to exit onto the slickrock to the side of the canyon. Traverse slickrock to regain the West Rim Trail.
A printable canyon descriptionand map you can take with you.
Have all Zion's classic canyonsin one convenient book.
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
Brian Cabe and I did the probable first descent of Upper Telephone on September 30th, 2000, installing bolts for several of the drops. Since, I have descended Telephone about once every-other year.
Zion Summer Camp, September 2004 - Tom returns to Telephone Canyon. The first picture of the Backcountry desk window is priceless.Telephone Canyon, 5/28/06 - Tom and Hank take a look at the BIG DROP in Telephone Canyon.Telephone Canyon, 5/21/08 - Tom, Ram, Nat and Matt get rained out of their project, so they settle for Telephone Canyon. Tom has included some incredible photographs of local flowers in bloom for his ever-unfinished Zion wildflower catalog.
Telephone and Behunin in a Day, June 2006 - Bogley user nelsonccc and two friends get an early start to Telephone Canyon and have time to complete Behunin Canyon all in one day. They narrowly missed a huge rockslide that occurred just ahead of them in Behunin Canyon.Telephone Canyon, 5/4/08 - Bogley users Tanya, Bo and Bushwacker descend a wet and cold Telephone Canyon.Telephone Canyon, 5/8/10 - Bogley user bretoyce escapes all the stress of completing school finals and heads to Zion to relax in the canyons.
Todd MartinBluu Gnome