Half-Day Canyon Ground School (for Keyhole, Subway)


  • Staff-wide, we feel this course is the most empowering of our offerings. Keyhole Canyon in Zion National Park is the "best little slot canyon" in the Southwest. It has drill holes, waterfalls, plunge pools, chockstones, and beautiful stone fins and waves, all carved by flowing desert waters. The Subway (Left Fork of North Creek) is also a very popular canyon in the National Park. It's sculpted walls and flowing water provide a surreal experience for any canyoneer. Our Keyhole/Subway Ground School is popular because people can go from mild-mannered civilians in the morning to independent, competent canyoneers by the afternoon.
  • No experience required, but...
      • Recommended for confident outdoor enthusiasts, or those with some climbing experience
      • Age 12 or older recommended
      • ***Canyoneering permit required***
      • To learn how to reserve an online permit, click here.
      • Visit this link to make a permit reservation or go to the Zion Permit Desk the day before the ground school to ensure availability. Group not to exceed 12.
      • We recommend you and your group aquire a permit before the day of your course. Courses can run all day up until the Backcountry Desk closes.  To ensure you get a permit to allow you to do your canyon please make sure to get a permit beforehand
  • Self-guided Canyon descent following the course:

    Check out this video to learn more about the course.

      • Map reading and route finding
      • Scrambling, down-climbing, swimming, and stemming
      • The shadowy depths of a super slot, with 3 exciting, reasonable rappels
      • Plunge pools, wading corridors, and a 100-foot swim
  • You will learn the skills necessary to descend Keyhole or Subway Canyon, including:

      • Knots, ropes, & anchors
      • Scrambling & rappelling
      • Problem solving and route finding
      •  "Leave No Trace" practices
  • We provide all the necessary technical gear and transportation for your experience, but recommend you bring:

      • 2 quarts of water/person & food/snacks
      • Sunscreen and sun hat
      • Warm, synthetic clothing
      • Waterproof camera
      • Closed-toe shoes

    • Meet for morning instruction at Zion Adventure Company at 36 Lion Blvd., across from the Quality Inn.
    • 7 days/week, winter-season
    • Class begins at 7:30am or 1:00pm, March-September, and 8:00am October-March (Mountain Daylight Time)
    • Trips typically last about 4 to 5 hours.


    One on one: N/A
    Two or more: $151/person

    • Price includes day after gear that can be rented out to course participants based on the instructor's disgretion: dry suit/wetsuits, ropes, gear sets, harness, helmet, dry, bag, runners, carabiners, and packs. Price includes footwear.
    • Early reservations advised. Dates tend to book 30 to 45 days out, June through August. Check your calendar and book early.
    • A Private Trip Supplement ($45/person, waived for groups of 5 or more) guarantees no one else will be joining your group.
  • Courses are 100% refundable up to 30 days prior to departure. Once inside the 30-day window, we deduct a 25% cancellation fee from any refunds.  You may apply this 25% fee toward any future services or products we offer within two years from the date of cancellation. Cancellations within 24 hours of trip departure are non-refundable.