Sublime. The Subway is the most popular backcountry hike in Zion, and for good reason! In a park of exemplary beauty, The Subway is one of the most diverse and beautiful canyons -- NOT to be missed. A few short rappels and a couple of short, mandatory swims add spice to the adventure.
The Subway is a short, spectacular section of the Left Fork of North Creek. The canyon system is called the Great West Canyon, including both the Left and Right Forks. The Subway section is not marked on maps, but is where the Left Fork tightens up and twists sharply, between North Guardian Angel and Guardian Angel Pass. The hike is also known as "The Left Fork".
The route starts at the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead and descends to the Left Fork via a cross-country route that crosses Russell Gulch, walks out a ridge and descends a steep gully. The Left Fork is followed through The Subway, then downcanyon a few miles. A short, steep trail is then climbed to the road, ending at the Left Fork Trailhead.
Due to its popularity, The Subway is managed under a quota system. Reservations are distributed by lottery several months in advance and are highly recommended. Surf over to the Wilderness Desk Website for the latest information and to enter the lottery. After lottery assignments are made, the remaining reservation spots can be booked over the Internet until the week before. After that, a new "Last Minute Drawing" allocates remaining spots via the Internet.
Last minute drawing applications are taken between 2 days (until noon) and 7 days in advance of the trip date for Slot Canyon Day Trips that have filled the reservable allocations. The last minute drawing runs 2 days prior to the requested trip date at 1pm MDT.
AFTER the last minute drawing, there may also be walk-up permits available one day in advance of, or the day of, your hike. Be flexible and plan ahead to avoid being denied.