The Subway - Left Fork of North Creek

Zion National Park, Utah

Upper Clear Creek

This is the view half-way across the pool of water from the down climb point into the upper part of the Left Fork of North  Creek.  The water on this day was over crotch deep and a good introduction to the joy of getting wet constantly as you traverse this drainage.


Upper Clear Creek

This is the kind of dry streambed we encountered between the drop-in point and the first obstacle.


Upper Clear Creek

As you approach the first obstacle the boulders in the streambed get larger and more difficult to get around or over. 


First Obstacle

This is the approach view to the first obstacle - a maybe 20 foot drop to a pool of water.  The streambed is completely choked with car and larger sized boulders.  It takes some effort to climb over these boulders - there is no easy route.  Scale figure was preparing to rappel into the pool below.


First Obstacle

View looking down to the bottom of the first drop.  There are four routes down.  To the right against the side of the canyon wall - very awkward and you need a rope.  All the way to the left through a hole and similar gap that descends to the pool bottom.  Rappel from the anchor location in the previous image or just edge out as far as possible on this rock and jump into the pool.   We jumped off this rock - probably seven foot drop into waist deep water.
(Not a recommendation but that is what we did.) The hole to the left is the best route.


First Obstacle

View from the top of the rock.  Eric edging out and down.  If you go through the hole to the left you can simply crawl down to the edge of the pool and as long as you hug the canyon walls you will only need to wade waist deep around the circumference of the pool.


First Obstacle

From the bottom looking back at the first obstacle.  The drop never looks as bad when you are looking up from below.


Upper Clear Creek

First view of undercut canyon walls.  Not far downstream from the first obstacle.


Upper Clear Creek

Another view with good color in the rock of the canyon walls as you continue downstream. 


Upper Clear Creek

The stream bed narrows at this point and from now on there are multiple pools of water that must be crossed.

Some of the water is ankle deep and other pools are over your head or too far to jump - you just have to get wet. 



Upper Clear Creek

Good example of a waist deep pool of water along the route in the upper section of the Left Fork of North Creek.


Upper Clear Creek

Typically the streambed is this wide or slightly wider.  It's a great adventure to go through this drainage.    



Upper Clear Creek

Another view downstream.  You could probably traverse the streambed on the shelf to the right in this section but once you are wet what difference does it make if you get more wet.   



Upper Clear Creek

Example of a very deep pool of water.  The rock is kind of slippery so sometimes it's hard to climb out of these holes until you can grab something solid.



Amazing rock colored frogs.  Did not even see them right away because they are very well camouflaged by their color.  Ravens patrol this drainage by flying downstream about ten feet above ground level.


Upper Clear Creek

Continuing downstream.


Upper Clear Creek

Tree limbs lodged into the narrow deep passage at this point.


Upper Clear Creek

Two hikers passed us at this spot.  This pool was about chest deep.


Upper Clear Creek

Absolutely beautiful passage.


Upper Clear Creek

Good color in the streambed.


The ledge

From this point on the canyon walls are higher on either side.  There is a ledge visible on the left side of the canyon wall that allows a very sketchy passage to a high trail around the next three water obstacles.  We continued from this point through two of the water  obstacles.  We did not pass the third or bowling ball obstacle because two logs were jammed underneath and we could not see how to get around.  We backed up to this point and traversed the ledge.


The Ledge

This image shows the extent of the very exposed ledge that we crossed to access the high trail that passes the bowling ball.  If you slide off the ledge you can clearly see from this image what you are going to drop into.  The ledge is sloping, sandy and with alternating wet patches every three feet over its entire length.  The overhang is constantly snagging your backpack as you crawl jamming your knees into the rock for dear life.  You probably could not rig a rope but if you could it would be a good thing.  Not a passage I care to do again.  Certainly memorable.


Top of this Page