Left Fork (Subway)

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Wilderness Permits for the Left Fork of North Creek (Subway)

Plan Ahead and Prepare

There are two ways to explore the Left Fork of North Creek (Subway). Permits are required regardless of the direction of travel. Both trips involve extensive route finding. Visitors are encouraged to obtain a detailed route description and travel with someone that has successfully completed the Subway in the past. The Subway is a day-use area only. While preparing for your trip, consider your interests, time, and the ability level of your group. Always have a backup plan in mind. Use the pages below to help plan your experience:

Left Fork (Subway) Bottom-Up Route

This is a very strenuous 9-mile round-trip hike through the Left Fork of North Creek that requires route finding, creek crossing, and scrambling over boulders. This hike begins and ends at the Left Fork Trailhead on the Kolob Terrace Road.

Left Fork (Subway) Top-Down Canyoneering Route

This is a very strenuous 9.5-mile through-hike that requires rappelling skills, 60 feet of rope, and extensive route finding experience. The route also requires swimming through several deep pools of very cold debris-filled water. The trail begins at the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead and ends at the Left Fork Trailhead. Both trailheads are located on the Kolob Terrace Road.


The Advance Lottery: 2 Months in Advance

  • An online Advance Lottery is held for trips, April through October, into Left Fork (Subway) and Mystery Canyon.

  • Online applications must be submitted two-months prior to your planned trip with up to three prioritized dates selected.

  • Applications are limited to one request per individual, per canyon, per month.

*Example Application

  • Choose your three prioritized dates carefully. Once you submit an Advance Lottery application, you will not be able to change your selected trip dates. Even if you cancel your online application, the permit system will not allow you to submit a new Advance Lottery application. Please make sure your dates are correct before you click submit.

  • Applicants will be sent a notification email on the 5th day of the following month with information about the status of their request.

  • Any spaces for Left Fork (Subway) and Mystery Canyon not reserved through the Advance Lottery, can then be reserved through Calendar Reservations or the Last-Minute Drawing.

  • There is a $5.00 non-refundable fee for the Advance Lottery application. Apply for the Advance Lottery

Calendar Reservations: 1 Month in Advance

Occasionally, a few spaces remain after the Advance Lottery has been held. These spaces may be reserved through the Canyoneering Calender Reservation System.

  • Online reservations are available during a two-month time frame, one month in advance.
  • On the 5th of every month at 10:00 am MT, reservations for the next month become available. If spaces are still available, reservations can be made until 5:00 pm MT, the day before your trip.
  • There is a $5.00 non-refundable fee for each Calendar Reservation. Apply for a Reservation if the Advance Lottery has run

Reservation Dates:

For a trip in: Advance Lottery applications received in: Calendar Reservations become available:
April February March 5
May March April 5
June April May 5
July May June 5
August June July 5
September July August 5
October August September 5
November October 5
December November 5
January December 5
February January 5
March February 5

The Last-Minute Drawing: 7-2 Days in Advance

  • An online Last-Minute Drawing is an option for Canyoneering trips when the Advance Lottery or Calendar Reservations are fully booked.
  • Individuals can apply for the Last-Minute Drawing to obtain any remaining reservations for permits.
  • The Last-Minute Drawing is limited to one request per individual, per canyon. Applications can be submitted seven days prior to a trip date, until two days before at 12:00pm MT.
  • The online drawing is held at 1:00 pm MT, two days before the trip date. Applicants will then be sent a notification email with information about the status of their request.
  • Any spaces not taken through the Last-Minute Drawing will be available as Walk-in Permits the day before a trip date.
  • There is a $5.00 non-refundable fee for the Last-Minute Drawing. Apply for the Last-Minute Drawing

Obtain Your Wilderness Permit

  • Plan your trip itinerary to allow sufficient time to obtain your permit the day of, or the day before your trip during our Hours of Operation.
  • Allow for at least 20 minutes to obtain a permit. Come prepared with all vehicle(s) information: make, model, and license plate(s).
  • All Wilderness permits must be obtained in-person at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center Wilderness Desk.
  • The individual listed as the reservation holder must be the one to obtain the permit, please plan accordingly.
  • ⚠️ Wilderness Permits cannot be obtained at the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center.

Permit Cost:

$15.00 - 1 to 2 people
$20.00 - 3 to 7 people
$25.00 - 8 to 12 people

Wilderness Permits are Non-Transferable

Traveling in the Zion Wilderness requires careful planning and preparation. Permit holders assume the responsibility of ensuring that their group is aware of the risks involved, is self-reliant, has developed a back-up plan, and will follow park regulations. Because these are such important aspects of trip planning and resource protection, permits for trips into the Zion Wilderness are non-transferable.

If you cannot participate in your trip, please cancel your reservation to provide opportunities for others. If other members of your group still wish to participate in a planned trip, you may coordinate with a new prospective permit holder for them to immediately reserve the available spaces or sites, as soon as your reservation has been cancelled.

You may cancel your reservation online by logging in to your Zion Wilderness Reservations Account. As soon as your reservation is cancelled, those spaces or sites will immediately be available for someone else to obtain through the calendar reservations page. New permit holders will need a Zion Wilderness Reservations Account prior to creating a calendar reservation.

Plan your trip itinerary to allow sufficient time to obtain your permit the day of, or day before the trip during Zion Wilderness Desk Hours of Operation. The individual listed on reservation must be the one to obtain the permit, please plan accordingly.

Zion Express Membership

  • Zion Express Membership allows visitors who regularly visit the park, and are familiar with the park resources, to obtain a login account to create online reservations and convert them into Wilderness Permits from home.

  • To become a member, applicants must watch three orientation films at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center Wilderness Desk. (Membership cannot be obtained in the Kolob Canyons.)

  • After watching the films, applicants will sign a Zion Express Program Agreement form and obtain a username and password for their member account.

  • There is no cost for enrollment. Membership is valid for the remainder of the current year and for the next two calendar years.

  • Memberships may be cancelled if any regulations are violated.


Last updated: August 2, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.
State Route 9

Springdale, UT 84767


Recorded park information available 24 hours a day. Phones are answered 9 am to 4 pm Mountain Daylight Time. You can also send your questions to us at zion_park_information@nps.gov.

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