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Deep Creek - Zion National Park

Deep Creek

Zion National Park
Canyoneering & Backpacking

          Deep Creek offers a challenging route to a seldom visited canyon that ends by visiting the centerpiece of Zion National Park. If you are looking for a multi-day backpacking experience in Zion with minimum social encounters and pristine wilderness this might be your ticket.

          Deep Creek is a major tributary of the North Fork of the Virgin River, more popularly known as the Zion Narrows. The Zion Narrows are the centerpiece of Zion National Park. Accessing the Narrows through Deep Creek will provide you with a chaste canyon and more solitude than the traditional route. Best of all is the memorable backpacking experience you gain.

          Interested in viewing a short video clip of Deep Creek and the Zion Narrows?

*Zion Narrows Video*

Circle of Friends:
          Deep Creek is part of the "Circle of Friends" program. Members of the "Circle of Friends" have access to more specific information, explicit route information, GPS waypoints, trailhead location and detailed maps.  If you would like more information on joining the "Circle of Friends" visit the sign up page.

"Circle of Friends"

Deep Creek - Zion National Park Your Handsome Tour Guide

General Information:
          Deep Creek is a canyoneering adventure that will require 3 days to complete for experienced hikers. The less experienced, high water or muddy water conditions will require additional time. The total route is 23 1/4 miles long. A lengthy car shuttle is required for this adventure.

          Deep Creek is rated 1C VI using the Canyon Rating System. You will need a Zion backcountry permit for this canyon. Deep Creek has a high flash flood danger, check the weather report at the Visitor Center when you pick up your permit.

          You will need a hiking staff or trekking poles to provide sure footing during the miles of river hiking. An old pair of ski poles also work great. You will want to pack everything that is to stay dry into drybags. Visit my gear suggestions for the proper footwear and clothing, this is not a technical canyon so many of the items in the gear section are not required but are still worth reading about to gather ideas for enjoyable wet canyoneering.

          Deep Creek requires many miles of wading with depths up to chest deep combined with a couple of possible short swims. If required, the swimming is never further than 10 to 15 feet. Navigation for this adventure is moderate since there is no real trail for most of the route. You will be walking and wading in a river for long periods of time.

Trailhead Information:
          All vehicles can reach the trailhead in good weather conditions.

Ryan Cornia Near the Kolob Junction Zion Narrows Merges with Deep Creek

Local Legend:
          The east rim of Deep Creek is dominated by an area known as Hogs Heaven. An entertaining legend is connected with this area. Hogs Heaven was named after "Hog" Allen, an early pioneer who claimed ownership to much of the land to the east of Deep Creek. According to legend, Hog swore to evict ranchers who came later to stake legal homesteads, but died before he could carry out his threats. But neighboring ranchers and their families became subject to mysterious and fatal accidents on the anniversary of Hog Allen's death, which encouraged them to desert the area. It is said that, on certain nights, a mist drifts down the Golden Staircase and settles over Hog Allen's grave. This phenomenon is said to be the spirit of Hog Allen returning to do a dance on the east rim.

Goose Creek joins the fun Big Springs is Incredible

Human Waste Disposal:
          Since the Narrows is such a heavily used canyon we need to discuss your potty habits, particularly those doing the canyon as a multi-day backpack. As the experienced already know, liquid waste goes into the water and solid waste needs to be carried out. In other words, pack out your poop. This little item is simple to do and will make a big difference to others enjoyment of the canyon.

          The National Park Service has introduced a human waste disposal program for overnight users in the Narrows. An environmentally friendly human waste disposal bag, complete with use and disposal instructions, will be provided to all party members with every Narrows overnight permit. The bag is called Restop 2. It is a lightweight, sanitary way to pack out waste. The bag within a bag design and ziplock closure securely contains waste and odor, while the special blend of polymers instantly breaks down waste and turns it into a deodorized gel. The contents of the bag are safe for landfills and may be deposited in the trash. Use of this waste disposal system is strongly encouraged as a means for protecting the Virgin River.

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