Zion Subway

We had planned for a 6 hour hike.  It took us 12 hours.

There was no marked trail for the subway, no official map provided by the National Park Service.  All we had were some instructions we downloaded from the internet.

Location: Zion Subway, Left Fork, UT
Sensor: Sony A7R
Lens: Zeiss 21mm Distagon

We wasted an hour trying to find the right trail.  Peering over the ledge, the trail just ended with no way down to the valley floor.  We looked at the map all which way.  We cursed out loud, our journey couldn’t end this soon.  We back tracked and found a small trail that finally led us to a switchback trail that we could make our way to the valley floor.

Location: Zion Subway, Left Fork, UT
Sensor: Sony A7R
Lens: Zeiss 21mm Distagon

It took us an hour to make our way down the steep slope to the bottom.  We made our way up the stream in the water for a good two hours, even stopping for a bite to eat around noon.   Running into a fellow hiker coming the other way, we asked him if we were nearing the end of the trail.  He just laughed at us and said we were just beginning.  We didn’t believe him.  We thought we had covered a lot of ground, but in reality we had wasted the entire morning wading in the stream.   With a renewed sense of urgency we stopped all our site seeing and strolling and sped up our pace.  However there countless boulders we had to climb over and numerous stream crossings to navigate.

Location: Zion Subway, Left Fork, UT
Sensor: Sony A7R
Lens: Zeiss 21mm Distagon

Hiking for another two hours, we still had not arrived a the end of the hike.  We were already really tired.  But the arrival of the red falls gave us a renewed sense of hope.  We knew we were close the to the end, and suddenly we had tapped into an energy reserve that we didn’t know we had.

Arriving at the subway, we stripped down into our skinnies and waded into the clear pools of water in which we found a small gave with a water fall at the end.  The beating of the water against me seemed to beat all the weariness out of me and prepared me for the equally long hike back out of the valley.

Location: Zion Subway, Left Fork, UT
Sensor: Sony A7R
Lens: Zeiss 21mm Distagon

I don’t know how we had the energy to make it back.  We were constantly worried that we wouldn’t make it back before sunset.  Complicating matters, Emily had injured her foot as we our way back up from the valley floor.   We finally made it back to our car at 8PM that day.  I’ve done some grueling hikes up countless mountains, but this by far was the toughest one to date that I’ve done.  Needless to say, my plan to do another hike the next day was promptly cancelled.  48 hour later, my knee swelled up to the size of a grapefruit.

 

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