Canyoneering in Zion National Park, Utah
Red Desert Adventure offers private trips from Zion to go canyoneering or rock climbing. Canyoneering is traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques like rock scrambling, climbing, jumping, rappelling, and swimming. Technically these trips are just outside Zion National Park in Pine Valley, since tours aren't permitted inside the park. The nice thing about this is they'll pick you up from your hotel and you don't have to deal with the crowds and traffic inside Zion.
Get your Guide has a Slot Canyon Exploration and UTV Tour that looks pretty fun too if you want to mix up your activities and go off-roading as well.
When To Go
The best weather for Zion are in the month’s of April, May, Oct and Nov. Avoid June - August it' gets too hot to hike.
We started with a few longer repels into the beautiful swirling rock formations, then continued scrambling through a dry canyon.
When we arrived at our first pool of water, we were pretty surprised at how murky the water was (even though our guide had warned us). This was opaque brown, stagnant water, with tadpoles and a few dead bugs floating around. Yuck! We avoided getting into the water as long as we could by chimneying through the canyons (like the image below). If this is a bit too much adventure for you, you can choose to do the dry canyon instead.
We continued down the trail, a beautiful walled in path of Sienna colored stone. At a few points we had to swim through the pools. When we arrived at the final pool of water, there was a baby snake right next it. This snake wasn't poisonous, but still... deciding to wade into opaque water that there might be snakes in is scary!!! But there was no other option so we basically ran through that last pool as quickly as possible! After exiting the canyon, we then hiked back up to the top.
As crazy as it sounds, this was my favorite day. It was full of action and adventure, and the canyon was truly beautiful. I'd highly recommend Red Desert Adventure, our guide and owner Eric was a great guy, and so knowledgable about the area. We really enjoyed his company! Once again, there are alternatives routes you can do without having to cross through the water. If you squeamish, I'd opt for those routes.
Tips: Wear water shoes and clothes you don't mind destroying. The rock is pretty rough and can snag your clothes. Also wear long sleeves if you want to avoid scraping your elbows.
Need a few more options for Adventure? Get your guide has some great experiences: