Birch Hollow Canyon

Location: Zions National Park
Rating: Intermediate 3B III to 3A II
Length: 4-6 hours if exiting North Fork Road | 8-12 hours if exiting Zion Narrows
Longest Rappel: 100ft (30m)
Start: 8.4 miles up the North Fork Road
End: Temple of Sinawava
Permits: Required if finishing through Orderville/Narrows | None if you track back up Orderville
Wet Suit: Not needed. Recommended in cold weather if finishing through Orderville

** Permits can be obtained from Zion National park through an online lottery system. The lottery is 2 days, 7 days or 3 months in advance. Mystery and Subway are the only canyons with a lottery 3 months in advance. Click here for site lottery.

Overview: Super fun canyon. Cold river temperatures and heavy current in the Zion Narrows and Orderville Canyon possible. River Running is unavoidable if exiting Zion Narrows. Water Pools can be avoided with difficulty. Park one vehicle at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Drive a second vehicle to the Engelstead trailhead | Birch Hollow Trailhead 8.4 miles up the North Fork Road on the East side of Zions. 3.2 miles from Ponderosa Ranch on dirt road. 10 or so rappels.


Head east out of Zions National Park to the North Fork Road. Follow The North Fork for 5.3 miles to Ponderosa Ranch. Tom's Canyoneering Guide directs travelers to follow the North Fork 2.8 miles past Ponderosa Resort to another 4-wheel road on the left. You can park here off the road if you don’t have a high clearance vehicle to venture another ¼ mile. Follow old ATV path for 15 min until you see another ATV trail branch to the right. Follow this trail to the mouth of Birch Hollow.  Several Social trails can be seen that head down the steep, shale covered slope. Although this route is possible it is not recommended. Tom's route will take you down a very steep shale surfaced slope of Birch Hollow which can be very dangerous. Instead it is best to travel 3.1 miles from Ponderosa Ranch to a large pull out on the left (west). Head west into the brush and follow social trails down the canyon. Be wary: increased use of Birch Hollow may result in required permits. If you pack-it-in please pack-it-out. Keep Group sizes limited to 12 and try to follow already used trails/canyon bottom.


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