Elevation Loss: 1,900'
Trail type: Through hike
Trailhead: Google Maps
If you're willing to get a little wet, Orderville Canyon is a great day hike to see beautiful slot canyons, short rappels, some rock scrambling, short swims, lush greenery, and the Virgin River Narrows all in one. This hike is quite strenuous, and it is important that you have the proper footwear and water gear. We had 2 cars, so we were able to leave a car at the trailhead, but others might have to hire a shuttle.
Even though we were disappointed we couldn't snag a permit for the Subway, the top requested canyoneering permit in Zion National Park, we settled for the next hike that we could do with our 60' rope - the 11 mile Orderville Canyon. Kyle rented what we dubbed 'moonboots' since he didn't have close-toed shoes. The rest of us just wore old running shoes, but since mine were pretty old, 11 miles of rocks ended up tearing holes in them.
We had to drive out of the park to get to the TH, and the parking lot was just a small, square dirt lot. We would be hiking the trail from top to bottom, following the river along the way.
The beginning of the trail is very dusty, and for the first 2.75 miles it almost seems like we were on the wrong trail since we were walking by farms and fences.
As we entered the canyon, the walls rose above us and it was quite dry and easy going for several miles.
We finally reached our first rappel, a 15 foot tall boulder. Even though it looked short enough to jump down, we set up our rappel anyway and one by one rappelled down.
The ground slowly became wetter and wetter, and we eventually couldn't keep our feet dry.
We finally reached the Guillotine! We were happy to use our brand new rappelling gear to descend this one as well.
The last mile of Orderville canyon was quite wet, and there was even a deep pool that Kyle decided to jump in while we tried to scramble around the slippery steep rocks.
We reached the Narrows after 8.5 miles in, and we rejoined the crowds as we hiked out.
Our wet sneakers made squishy sounds as we walked on the paved path back to the shuttle. After spending all afternoon in wet shoes/socks, I couldn't wait to get them off and dry my feet.
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