Spry Canyon |

Zion Main Canyon

Canyoneering Spry Canyon - Zion Main Canyon Canyoneering Spry Canyon
Zion Main Canyon

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments


TICKS & TODOS: 7 Todo Lists / 10 Ticks
LENGTH: 5-7 hours
GEAR: Standard Technical Gear
MAPS: Springdale East, UT;
RAPPELS: 11 to 50 m ( 165 ft. )
WATER: General just a few pools, wetsuit required in cool/cold conditions. Not needed in hot weather.
SEASON: Spring, Summer, Fall
Thu Hi:79 Lo:48 Fri Hi:80 Lo:51 Sat Hi:78 Lo:48 Sun Hi:76 Lo:49 Mon Hi:70 Lo:48
View Full Weather Details

Spry is one of the popular and classic Zion canyons. This is one that it often done by beginners and intermediates getting started in their canyoneer careers. It has a bit of a rough approach, many rappels, and a couple of tricky downclimbs. Beginners should have competent leadership. In the summer, start very early, the approach and exit are HOT!

Given its popularity, Spry is one of those canyons that didn't make much of an impact on me. I found it fairly ho-hum, but possibly because I had done most of the other classic Zion canyons first (including Imlay the day before). I would recommend it, but not nearly as highly as I would recommend some of the other classics like Pine Creek , Mystery Canyon, or Echo Canyon.

Note: The canyon requires a car shuttle or hitchhike. Most have a relatively easy time hitchiking, though with my shady appearance I have had terrible luck hitching a ride... Do the hitch before starting your hike to maximize your chances of success. (Dirty, muddy, and smelly canyoneers are not high on most peoples list to let into their sedans.) On my worst day, I tried for an hour before finally giving up and doing a different canyon. Good luck!

Getting There

Exit Trailhead

From the west side park entrance (the main entrance near Springdale), follow highway 9 into the park. Stay on highway 9 at the junction at 1.4 miles from the park entrance, and park at 1.8 miles, where the highway makes its first switchback on the way up to the tunnel.


From the exit trailhead, follow the highway up and through the tunnel. Once through the tunnel, continue an additional 0.4 miles to a pullout on the left side of the road. (This is about 6.5 miles from the park entrance.)


Approach (1-1.5 hours)

From the parking area, head north up the drainage. A use trail makes this easy. After about a half mile (10-15 minutes, before the drainage begins to narrow), the trail leaves the drainage and begins climbing up the slopes on the left. This starts out easy, but gets a little steeper the higher you go. Follow it up to a bench, then follow the bench north west to a bowl. Work up the bowl to the pass. Phew! The impressive mountain to the north is Deertrap Mountain.

At the pass, go right and down to the narrow slot. Follow the slot down until it is easy to descend the slabs to the bottom of Spry Canyon.


The hard part is over. Heading down canyon, it is 10 minutes to the first rappel.

R1 - 50 m ( 165 ft. ) down the slab.

R2 - The canyon slots up and drops. Take the trail on the left and rap 15 m ( 50 ft. ).

R3 - A short 6 m ( 20 ft. ) drop can be downclimbed or rappelled.

R4 - Reach across the slot and carefully rig this rappel anchor, then rappel 15 m ( 50 ft. ).

R5 - A fairly big 30 m ( 99 ft. ) drop.

R6 - From a tree on the left. 30 m ( 99 ft. )

R7 - 15 m ( 50 ft. ), continue the rappel past the pool 1/2 way down.

R8 - 15 m ( 50 ft. )

R9 - 20 m ( 66 ft. )

R10 - 20 m ( 66 ft. ) the canyon is now open. Social trails avoid the next and final rappel, but please stay in the watercourse and do the final rappel to avoid further erosion.

R11 - 32 m ( 105 ft. ) down the cliff face.

Exit (20-30 minutes)

From the bottom of the final rappel, it is a short boulder hop down to Pine Creek. Once at Pine Creek, follow the social trail on the right to the exit trailhead.


Printable Maps:

12S 328221mE 4120532mN

N37° 12' 56" W112° 56' 10"

Rappel 1

12S 326926mE 4121603mN

N37° 13' 30" W112° 57' 03"

Rap Final

12S 326074mE 4121011mN

N37° 13' 10" W112° 57' 37"

Exit Trailhead

12S 325611mE 4120700mN

N37° 12' 59" W112° 57' 56"


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