Canyoneering Route Description

Heaps Canyon - 4B IV (or V) R or X
Zion National Park, Utah.

Quick Facts

06-23-07, 4 people, 3 Day (Travel time in route 37.2 hours) -   Almost full water conditions - Via Bottom - Up Route Pictures Icon
10-14-11, 4 people, 3 Day (Travel time in route 17.75 hours) - Full water conditions -             Via Bottom - Up Route Pictures Icon
08-16-14, 5 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 17.1 hours) -   Full water conditions -             Via Bottom - Up Route
07-07-18, 5 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route  15.9 hours) -  Low water conditions -            Via Bottom - Up Route

Bottom - Up Route:
Time Required
- 15 to 25 hours
Distance - 10.5 miles Total, 3.1 miles Technical
Rappels - 25 Rappels, Longest Rappel 290 feet.
Elevation Range - 7357 - 4280 Feet
Shuttle Required -No Vehicle - Passenger Permit Required - Yes

Top - Down Route:
Time Required
- 15 to 25 hours
Distance - 12.9 miles Total, 3.1 miles Technical
Rappels - 25 Rappels, Longest Rappel 290 feet.
Elevation Range - 7470 - 4280 Feet
Shuttle Required -Yes 36.6 Miles Vehicle - Passenger - Possible High Clearance Permit Required - Yes

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 290 feet and 120 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  Wet suits are a MUST in Heaps Canyon.  During hot summer months a bare minimum of 5mm is recommended and more if you get cold easy or the weather is cooler.

General Comments

The technical portion of the canyon is only about 3 miles.  That may not seem like too far, but DO NOT UNDER ESTIMATE THIS CANYON!  The route involves working over and through pot hole after pot hole to the point of madness.  The final section ends with 3 rappels in a row.  50 feet, 150 feet and the final rap of almost 300 feet.  The last rap drops you right next to the Upper Emerald Pool right next to a bunch of unsuspecting tourists.  The last rap is a site and experience to remember for a life time.  From the Upper Emerald pools it is a little over a mile trail to the Zion Lodge where you can catch the shuttle back to your vehicle.

Be prepared with pot hole escape tools and knowledge of how to use them as well as the use of a pack anchor.  It is a very good idea to plan ahead and work out your sequence for the final 3 raps.  The last two of these have only enough room for two people at the anchor.

Note / Warning:
At present the beta here is for Heaps Canyon when in full water conditions.  If the water levels drop the route becomes much more difficult.  It is amazing to look into the potholes you are swimming over in the narrows and realize just how many of those would present significant problem solving situations as water levels drop.  Bear this in mind when reading the beta here.  You will need to be prepared for a lot of possible pothole escapes if doing Heaps with lower water conditions.

Heaps canyon is a challenging canyon and I am happy to have had it as my second canyon ever.  Quite a jump from Fat Man's Misery!  Seeing it a few years later brought back some good memories and reminded me of just how big a bite I bit off for doing this as my second canyon.  Overwhelming and fun as a second canyon.  Looking back maybe it wasn't the smartest choice, but I would not trade it for the world!  I think the complete shock of the hard work in a remote place is part of what got me hooked on the incredible sport of canyoneering.

If you would like to read an account of my first trip through Heaps, feel free to read "Heaps - Through the Eyes of a Beginner Canyoneer."

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

There are a couple of options for the approach to the drop into Phantom Valley.  Starting from the top down by beginning the route at the West Rim trailhead by Lava Point or starting from the bottom up beginning the route from the Grotto shuttle stop along Floor of the Valley road. 

The top down route is from West Rim trail head by Lava Point.  The top down route is about 8.3 miles from the West Rim trailhead to the drop in to Phantom Valley with an elevation range of about 590 feet (7470 feet through 6780 feet).  The top down route is 2.3 miles longer with significantly less elevation change but comes with a 36.6 mile car shuttle.  Saving time and energy starting here comes with the down side of needing to go retrieve your entry vehicle.

The bottom up route is from the Grotto shuttle stop along the Floor of the Valley road.  The bottom up route is about 6 miles from the Grotto shuttle stop to the drop in to Phantom Valley with an elevation range of about 3,050 feet (4318 feet through 7357 feet).  The bottom up route does not involve a car shuttle so after canyon is nice and easy.

Bottom - Up Route:
Park your car at the Zion Visitor Center and take the Shuttle to the Grotto shuttle stop.

Top - Down Route:
36.6 miles car shuttle.  From the South Gate of Zion National Park (by the Zion Visitor Center), drive about 14 miles west on highway 9 to the turn off for the Kolob Reservoir Road.  Follow the Kolob Reservoir Road 20.1 miles to the turn off for Lava Point (extLavaPoint).  Turn right and follow Lava Point Road 2.2 miles to the West Rim Trailhead (tWestRimN).  There are few roads around Lava Point which may mislead but there are signs that will point you toward the West Rim Trailhead at Lava Point.

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

Bottom - Up Route:
No exit vehicle is needed.  When you exit at the Zion Lodge, ride the shuttle back to your car at the Visitor Center.

Top - Down Route:
When you exit at the Zion Lodge, ride the shuttle back to your car at the Visitor Center.  Then drive back up to the West Rim trailhead to retrieve your entry vehicle.

Maps

GPS coordinate information listed at the bottom.  For information about waypoint naming and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Map Link Icon
Click the links for maps of the route.
Map of the overview (top down and bottom up routes).
Map of the bottom up route and canyon.
Map of the technical section.
Map of the technical section zoomed in a bit.

Details

The Approach - Bottom - Up Route from The Grotto Shuttle Stop:
After getting off the shuttle at the Grotto stop (wBusStpGrotto), walk across the road and start down the trail to Angel's Landing.  The trail starts out flat and easy for a while but soon starts to climb switchbacks as it climbs to Refrigerator Canyon.  Continue on the trail through Refrigerator Canyon.  Next will be a series of 21 short but steep switch backs called Walter's Wiggles (sWaltrsWiglsTp).  A short distance after getting to the top of Walter’s Wiggles you will come to Scout’s Lookout which is about 2.1 miles from the trailhead.  From Scout's Lookout follow the signs pointing to the West Rim Trail (not Angel's Landing).  

As you continue up the West Rim Trail you will come to a section of slick rock where it would be easy to lose the trail.  A few sign posts along the slick rock with a boot print on them have been placed to mark the way over to the continuation of the trail.  After crossing the trail less slick rock area, the trail will begin to descend again.  About 1.2 miles after Scouts Lookout the trail will have a bridge that crosses a stream.   

As you continue on from the bridge the trail will slowly begin to climb again through wide open spaces with lots of views to take in.  About 0.75 miles after crossing the bridge the trail will begin to get steeper as it starts into an area with more vegetation (some of which had recently burned in a fire).  The trail will no longer be in a wide open area but will have walls on both sides.     

The trail will start up a series of gentle switch backs with an overall direction of southwest.  About 1 mile after crossing the bridge is where the switch backs will top out at an area kind of like a saddle.  At this saddle the trail will turn from an overall direction of southwest and start up northeast (yBehuninTp).  Continue up the trail which is cut into the side of a huge cliff heading northeast for about 0.5 miles to the next trail junction.  The trail junction (jTelphnCynTrl2) is where the Telephone Canyon trail and the Cabin Spring trail both meet the West Rim Trail.  

If you need water Cabin Springs is about 300 feet down a trail.  It is a good spot to filter water.  If you stay quiet and keep an eye out you may get to see a variety of animals looking to get some water after you leave.  Be sure to check with the back country desk before starting your trip to see if there is water flowing at the spring.  There are times when there is little or no flow.  

Note:
From the junction, look toward the trail down to Cabin Spring then look slightly left.  The trail immediately left is the trail to Telephone Canyon.  The trail immediately left of that is the continuation of the West Rim Trail.  The trail just left of that is a short trail over to camp site number 2. 

The Telephone Canyon trail has closed to general hiking for short periods of time after fires in the area.  The trail is beginning to get overgrown and is easily un-noticed from the junction to Cabin Spring.

From the trail junction for Cabin Springs (jTelphnCynTrl2) follow the West Rim Trail west.  From here the trail continues to climb but not as steep.  About 1.4 miles after the junction for Cabin Spring will be the junction for a short trail over to West Rim Camp 3 (jWestRimCamp3) then a little over a hundred feet farther will be the junction to West Rim Camp 4 (jWestRimCamp4).

When you reach to junction for West Rim Camp 4 (jWestRimCamp4), you will turn left (south) and leave the trail.  From the junction to camp 4, turn left (south) and walk off trail about 0.3 miles to the start of a ridge (yHeapsPvTp) dropping down south from the rim.  This ridge drops down south from the rim down into Phantom Valley and is the start of the technical portion of the Heaps via Phantom Valley Route.

The Approach - Top - Down Route from The West Rim Trailhead by Lava Point:
From the West Rim Trailhead (tWestRimN) at Lava Point, follow the West Rim Trail south east.  Continue past the junction to the Wildcat Canyon Trail (jWldCatCny) about 500 feet into the trail and past the junction to Sawmill Springs (jSawMillSpg) at about 0.9 miles. About 5.2 miles from the trailhead is the junction to Potato Hollow (jPotatoHollow).

Continue on the West Rim trail 1.5 miles to the junction of the northern end of the Telephone Canyon Trail (jTelphnCynTrl1).

Continue south on the West Rim Trail 1.6 miles to the junction for the West Rim Camp 4 (jWestRimCamp4).

When you reach to junction for West Rim Camp 4 (jWestRimCamp4), you will turn right (south) and leave the trail.  From the junction to camp 4, turn right (south) and walk off trail about 0.3 miles to the start of a ridge (yHeapsPvTp) dropping down south from the rim.  This ridge drops down south from the rim down into Phantom Valley and is the start of the technical portion of the Heaps via Phantom Valley Route.

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
When you get to the start of the ridge that leads down into Phantom Valley (yHeapsPvTp), route find your way down the crest of the ridge along use trails through the vegetation for about 200 feet to the top of rap 1.

Rap 1 (dHeaps-R1) is anchored from a small tree on the crest of the ridge and drops about 60 feet down featured almost vertical wall with a lot of loose rock along the way.

 After rap 1 continue down the ridge.  Slightly let (east) of the ridge of the crest seems to be the easiest travel.  About 200 feet down the ridge from rap 1 is a down climb of about 8 feet (wHeapsRP-01).  The down climb has a few good hand and foot holds.  Rap 2 is about 250 feet down the ridge after the down climb.  Shortly before getting to rap 2 is a section of the ridge where you will be walking on a knife edge like crest with big drop off on either side.  As work along the knife edge look for a large obvious tree just right (west) of the ridge crest which is where rap 2 will be anchored from.

Rap 2 (dHeaps-R2) is about 450 feet down the ridge from rap 1, is anchored from an obvious large tree just right (west) of the ridge crest and drops about 200 feet down a mostly vertical wall with.  At the top of rap 2 be very careful of the loose and brittle rock.  Looking down from rap 2 you should be able to note a large dead tree (snag) directly below.  Rappelling down to this tree will give a 200 foot rappel.  It is possible to shorten this rappel by traversing over to the side but this will leave you on a steep section of slick rock to scramble down.

At the bottom of rap 2 look for a use trail dropping down through the vegetation to the south.  Follow the use trail as it winds along and makes its way down to a wide open slick rock ridge below (wHeapsRP-02).  This ridge is just the continuation of the ridge you were rappelling off of but on a gentle angle making for an easy walk.

Follow south down the slick rock ridge about 0.8 miles to one of many confluences in the Heaps drainage.  There are multiple spots to drop down off the slick rock ridge and into the drainage below and on the right (west).  Where ever you decide to drop off into the drainage below just continue down the water course until you reach a confluence (wHeapsRP-03).  I reference this confluence as nothing more than a navigation aid to keep give this written route description meaning.

Note:
If you planned to camp in Phantom Valley, there are a lot of nice spots to set up camp and be near water if there have been recent rains.

About 600 feet down canyon of the confluence is a drop in the water course (wHeapsRP-04) that is bypassed on a ledge LDC.

About 0.3 miles farther down canyon is where the Heaps Canyon starts to narrow up where there is some rock debris to scramble over. 

About 150 feet down canyon of the boulder debris is the start of the first narrows where there is a down climb (wHeaps-Nrws1Tp) of about 12 feet down into a narrow corridor.  The narrow corridor is about 80 feet long and can have water a little over waist high if full of water.  At the other end of the corridor the canyon takes a sharp left.

About 40 feet down canyon is a down climb over log debris to a pool.  If the canyon is full of water the down climb will be about 8 feet to the water.  The pool is about 25 feet long where you will find rap 1 on the other side.

Rap 3 (dHeaps-R3) is anchored from a single bolted hanger LDC about head high and is a two stage rap with a total length of about 50 feet.   The first stage drops about 40 feet down a sloped wall to a pool of about 15 feet to swim then down a second stage of about 8 feet to a pool.  The second stage may be a little longer in lower water conditions.

The pool at the bottom of rap 3 is about 25 feet long with a sloped slide / down climb at the other end of about 8 feet down to another pool.  The second pool below rap 1 is about 15 feet long and has a down climb on the other side of it.  The down climb out of the second pool goes down through an arch to a larger pool below.

The down climb through the arch is a sloped slide down climb of about 10 feet down to a pool when the canyon is full of water.  The pool below the arch is about 20 feet long where you will find rap 4 on the other side.

Rap 4 (dHeaps-R4-5) is anchored from two bolted hangers RDC about head high.  One of the anchors is pretty old.  Rap 4 drops about 25 feet down a sloped wall to a pool.  On the other end of the pool is a log jam to climb up where rap 5 starts from the top of the log jam.

Rap 5 is anchored from a log at the top of a log jam and drops about 12 feet to a pool if the pot hole is full of water.  The pot hole / pool is about 5 feet in diameter.  On the other side of the pool is a narrow spot to climb up out of which can be difficult since the walls are smooth.  In low water conditions this pool could be a difficult pothole to get over or across.

After getting up out of the pool below rap 5 will be a short slide down to large pool in a wide open area.  This is where the first narrows ends (wHeaps-Nrws1Bt) and the canyon makes a sharp right to start through a long corridor to walk in.

From the bottom of the first narrows continue walking down canyon for about 0.4 miles to the start of the second narrows.  The walk between the first and second narrows has a couple pools to skirt around and a very long narrow corridor with a sandy bottom.  As the long corridor ends you should notice you are looking straight up a ravine / drainage coming down to you.  As you get to this ravine the canyon veers left and starts into the second narrows (wHeaps-Nrws2Tp).

A short distance into the second narrows is a down climb / awkward slide of about 8 feet down to a pool long pool to swim thorough with some log jams to climb over.  Rap 4 is from one of the log jams at the other end of the pool.

Rap 6 (dHeaps-R6) is anchored from logs at the top of a log jam and drops about 12 feet down to a long pool of about 80 feet to swim.

Rap 7 (dHeaps-R7) is about 80 feet down canyon of rap 6 at the other end of the pool, is anchored from a log and drops about 15 feet to a pool.

Below rap 7 are two potholes of about 15 feet long each.  In full water conditions these pools are just one long swim of about 30 or 40 feet.  In lower water conditions both of these pools can be a challenge to climb up out of.  After the second pool is a drop of about 40 feet. 

Climb up out of the second pool just above the 40 foot drop then climb up 8 to 10 feet to a ledge on the RDC side.  The anchors for rap 8 are about 40 feet down canyon on this ledge but you will find a fracture running down the ledge that you will need to climb past to get over to the anchors for rap 8.  It is a good idea to have one person cross the fracture and rig the other end of a safety line from the rap 8 anchors to assist others.

Rap 8 (dHeaps-R8) is about 80 feet down canyon of rap 7, is anchored from 2 bolted hangers and drops about 30 feet down a vertical wall into a narrow corridor.

The corridor down canyon of rap 8 is over 100 feet long and may be walk or a wade / swim depending on sand levels.

Rap 9 (dHeaps-R9-10) is about 140 feet down canyon of rap 8, is anchored from log jam debris and drops about 15 feet down to a pool with a short swim to rap 9.

Rap 10 is also anchored from logs and drops about 15 feet down to a long pool to swim in a narrow corridor.

Down canyon of rap 10 is a long swim in a corridor with a slide down some rock of about 8 feet part way through the swim.  The second narrows ends about 300 feet down canyon of rap 10 where it opens up to a wide area.  As the second narrows ends (wHeaps-Nrws2Bt) you are entering the cross roads.

The cross roads offers a easy travel for a while in more wide open canyon.  About 300 feet into the crossroads is a drainage dropping in from RDC (south) which is the bottom of the drainage to climb up to get to Isaac Canyon (jIsaac-Canyon).  About 100 feet farther down canyon is a drainage dropping in from LDC (north) which is the bottom of the Gunsight route (yGunSit-Bt) which is descended as an alternate version of Heaps or as access to go to Isaac Canyon.

Down canyon of the Gunsight are a few pools to skirt around on the RDC side.  About 200 feet down canyon of the Gunsight is a use trail going up to a ledge on the RDC (south) side.  The use trail runs along the ledge to avoid a couple potholes and has a rappel at the end to drop back to the canyon which is rap 11.

Rap 11 (dHeaps-R11) is about 200 feet down canyon the Gunsight drainage is up on a ledge on the RDC side anchored from tree and drops about 15 feet down a vertical wall.  Rap 11 is optional and is used to bypass a couple pot holes.  Optionally one could drop into the pools and swim and climb in and out of them.

 Down canyon of rap 11 is a narrow section of a few hundred feet and a couple very long swims when the canyon is full of water.  After the long swims in the narrow section and about 450 feet down canyon of rap 11 the canyon takes a sharp right where another short drainage drops in from LDC.

When the canyon turns right you are presented with a very long corridor to walk in which is a scenic treat.  Enjoy the easy travel and prepare yourself for the third technical narrows ahead.  The corridor runs for about 0.3 miles to the start of the third technical narrows (wHeaps-Nrws3Tp).

At the end of the long corridor there is a drainage dropping down to the canyon and the main canyon takes a left as this drainage drops in from straight ahead.  At the left turn just past the drainage is the start of the third technical narrows (wHeaps-Nrws3Tp).

The third technical narrows starts out deep narrow and has nicely twisted sculpted walls.  The first part of the narrows has a few pools to swim with a couple short down climbs into them still in a tight narrow environment.  When the canyon is full some of the swims here can be very long.  At the end of the long swims is a log jamb that is the anchor for rap 12.

Rap 12 (dHeaps-R12-13) is about 650 feet down canyon into the third technical narrows, is anchored from a log jam drops about 15 feet to a pool.  The pool at the bottom of rap 12 is about 30 feet long with a log jam on the other end which is where rap 13 is.

Rap 13 is about 30 feet down canyon of rap 12 on the other side of a pool, is anchored from a log jam and drops about 15 feet to a pool.

Down canyon of rap 13 is a corridor of water or sand depending on conditions that runs for about 90 feet to where the canyon takes a right turn.  As the canyon turns right you are greeted with the continuation of more tight, deep, narrow and sculpted canyon.  In this section will be 3 down climbs to pools of 6 to 10 feet each.  Partner assists or pack anchors may be useful on a couple of these drops.  Shortly after the short down climbs will be a log jamb to climb up to where the top of rap 14 will be.

Rap 14 (dHeaps-R14-15) is about 500 feet down canyon of rap 13, is anchored from a log jamb and drops about 12 feet to a pool.

Rap 15 is a short distance down canyon of rap 14, is anchored from a log jam and drops about 10 feet to a pool.

 Down canyon of rap 15 are a few logs to climb up and over mixed in with a few narrow swims.  Just before reaching rap 16 is a dark narrow slot that can be a difficult spot to get through if the log soup is thick.  A short distance into the dark slot will be a tall log jam to climb up about 20 feet.  Rap 16 is at the top of this log jam.

Rap 16 (dHeaps-R16) is about 275 feet down canyon of rap 15, is at the top of a tall log jam in a dark slot and anchored from a single bolted hanger RDC.  Rap 16 drops about 40 feet down a vertical wall.

After rap 16 are a few swims and the Iron Room.  The Iron Room is a chamber feeling room with deep rust colored stains running down the RDC wall.

Rap 17 (dHeaps-R17) is just after the Iron Room and about 70 feet down canyon of rap 16.  Rap 17 is anchored from one piton and one bolted hanger RDC and drops about 15 feet to a pool to swim in.  This is where the canyon lets in a little more light and you start to see more green moss and plants on the walls.  The green is a beautiful contrast with the color of the canyon itself.  After rap 17 is more narrows, swims and a down climb of about 8 feet.

Rap 18 (dHeaps-R18) is about 80 feet down canyon of rap 17 and has no fixed anchor.  Rap 18  and drops about 15 feet down a mostly vertical wall to a pool.  A pack anchor works well for rap 18 which is pulled down over the edge when done.

Shortly down canyon of rap 18 is a down climb of about 8 feet to a pool to swim about 20 feet over to a log jammed in a narrow spot.  Getting up over the log can be a challenging up climb of about 6 feet.  It may speed things up for the group if the first person up sets up an aider for those following.

Rap 19 (dHeaps-R19) is about 80 feet down canyon of rap 18, is anchored from log debris and drops about  12 feet to a pool.

Down canyon of rap 19 is a long narrow swim a couple short down climbs and large boulder choke stone overhead.

About 100 feet down canyon of rap 19 is wide ravine dropping down to the canyon from the northwest (wHeapsRP-05).  This ravine can be easily up climbed a long way in case of flash flooding.  When meeting this ravine the canyon turns sharp right and goes through a key hole like opening into a deep dark narrow section.

The narrow section down canyon of the ravine has sections to wade in and a couple pot holes to get across.  If the water levels are low the pot holes can present pot hole escape issues.  If the canyon is in full water conditions these pot holes can be moderately difficult due to log jams.  On the other end of the second pot hole is rap 20.

Rap 20 (dHeaps-R20) is about 200 feet down canyon of the ravine, is anchored from a log at the top of a log jam and drops about 12 feet.

Shortly after rap 20 the canyon widens a little and provides easier travel.  Most of the pools down canyon of here can be avoided by walking ledges on either side. 

Note:
As the canyon opens up a bit more you are in the alcove (wHeapsAlcove) where you can set up camp on ledges on either side of the canyon.  The slick rock makes good clean camping but camping here means you have to put your wet, cold wet suite back on in the morning.  Another option if you have a small group is to camp on a sandy ledge just before the up climb about 800 feet and two raps farther down canyon.  The camp there is sandy and can be a pain to keep sand off things but from there you can just wade about 20 feet over to the up climb in the morning and be done with water for the day.

Rap 21 (dHeaps-R21) is at the other end of the alcove and about 450 feet down canyon of rap 20.  Rap 21 has two possible routes.  You can anchor to a log directly in the water course and rap down 15 feet with an overhanging start if water flow is low or non existent.   The other option is to walk the LDC ledge about 50 feet over to a bolted anchor and rap about 40 feet.

Down canyon of rap 21 are a couple easy down climbs.

Rap 22 (dHeaps-R22) is about 150 feet down canyon of rap 21, is anchored from a piton and a single bolted hanger out on a ledge LDC and drops about 45 feet down a flat vertical wall into a long corridor.  The ledge is a little sketchy and care should be taken here.

The corridor down canyon of rap 22 is almost 400 feet long.  At the other end of the corridor is sandy bank on the LDC side which can be used for a small group to camp.  Just past this sand bank is a narrow slot that continues down canyon on the LDC side.  Do not continue down that slot.  Instead climb up a sloped dihedral on the RDC side to exit the main water course and get to teh final rap sequence.

Note:
The spot to climb up out of the main watercourse is where the final slot appears to end with a vertical wall at the end.  As you get closer you will see the main water course drops down a narrow slot on the LDC side of the wall.  The climb out is made by going up a dihedral on the RDC wall.  To check that you are looking at the correct climb up spot you can look for a lot of deep rope grooves about 30 feet up near the top of the climb caused by people hauling packs up the climb out.

Example Pic. This is where you climb up out of the water course to get to the classic final rappel sequence.

The up climb is about 30 feet and mostly low class 5 with one awkward spot that some feel may be 5.7 or so.  An option to make this upclimb more safe is to send someone up without a pack who can set up a rope to help the rest of the group and haul packs up with ropes.  To help preserve the sandstone and reduce rope grooves, try to climb with your pack and use the rope as a safety.

From the top of the up climb walk 30 or 40 feet over to a narrow chute and down climb the chute to a small tree at the other end.  The small tree is the anchor for rap 23. 

Note:
Raps 23, 24 and 25 are the final three rappels and are one on top of the other dropping a total of about 500 feet.  Rap 23 is anchored from a small tree and drops about 60 feet down a sloped wall.  Rap 24 is right at the bottom of rap 23, is anchored from a small pine tree and drops about 150 feet down a vertical dihedral to a bird perch large enough for only two people.  Rap 25 is right at the bottom of rap 24, is anchored from 4 bolted hangers and drops from the bird perch about 290 feet with mostly free hang over the Upper Emerald Pool.  Views from the tops of raps 24 and 25 are incredible.  It is way up there and will grab your attention but don't forget to take a moment to look around and enjoy the incredible views!

Rap 23 (dHeaps-R23-25) , is anchored from a small pine tree and drops about 60 feet down a steep slope to another pine tree which is the anchor for rap 24.  There is only enough room for 2 people here so stage people through.

Rap 24 is at the bottom of rap 23, is anchored from pine tree and drops about 150 feet down a vertical wall in a dihedral down to the Bird Perch for rap 25.

Warning:
Be careful when rappelling down rap 24.  It would be possible to rappel down past the Bird Perch if you are not watching for it.  When setting up rap 24 it is a good idea to tie a knot in the end of your rope.  The Bird Perch is not difficult to see and the fall line of rap 24 is pretty close to it but if you have a moment of not paying attention it is possible to pass right on by.

Rap 25 is at the bottom of rap 24, is anchored from 4 bolted hangers and drops about 290 feet which is mostly free hanging down to the Upper Emerald Pool.  The Bird Perch has VERY limited space.  Two people can fit but not comfortably.  It will be a challenge to maneuver two people and their packs while on the Bird Perch.  While on rap 25 remember to look around.  If you are lucky enough to rap this one while there is a little flow in the canyon you will get to watch the water fall like rain right next to you while hanging there.  The first person down should be sure to provide a belay for those that follow.

After rap 25 clean up the ropes and put away your gear while enjoying the Upper Emerald pool and maybe some conversation from hikers.  THis is the final rap and the end of the canyon.

The Exit:
Once down to the Upper Emerald Pool and the exit of Heaps (yHeapsBt), follow the trails 1.2 miles to the Lodge and catch the shuttle back to the visitor center.  Optionally you can follow the trails 1.3 miles to the Grotto shuttle stop.

GPS Waypoint Information

GPX Files Available for DOWNLOAD.
Downloadable GPX files for many of the canyons listed here are now available at the BG-Gear Store.  In addition to the waypoints, the GPX files also offer routes and tracks for the canyon.  Over time more GPX files will be added.

If you want to avoid manually adding waypoints into your GPS or mapping software, want the additional routes and tracks or simply want to support the efforts put into BluuGnome, head over to the BG-Gear Store and grab the files that interest you.

Elevations are approximate.  Waypoints with no elevation data will display NaN in place of the elevation.

For information about my waypoint naming convention and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Notes for GPS information:
BEFORE
entering coordinates from this website, please ensure your system (GPS or mapping software) is set to the same datum used here.  Waypoint coordinates are listed with WGS84 datum and in Lat/Lon hddd.ddddd° format.  Entering coordinate information with inconsistent datum's can result in the waypoints being off by hundreds of feet.  It is important to keep this in mind when entering waypoints from any source.

Heaps (1) - Drive to Upper Trailhead (optional)
  1. extKolobRes          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.20374   W -113.18604        Elev: NaN Feet
    Turn off for Kolob Reservior Raod.
  2. tLftFrkNrthCk          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28480   W -113.09576        Elev: 5,070 Feet
    Trailhead for the Left Fork of North Creek trail.
  3. tWildCatCyn          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.33985   W -113.07587        Elev: 6,970 Feet
    Wild Cat Canyon Trailhead.
  4. extLavaPoint          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.39454   W -113.05287        Elev: 7,898 Feet
    Turn off for Lava Point off of the Kolob Reservoir Road.
  5. tWestRimN          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.38155   W -113.02298        Elev: 7,470 Feet
    Northern trailhead for the West Rim Trail (by Lava Point).
Heaps (2) - Approach from Upper Trailhead
  1. tWestRimN          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.38155   W -113.02298        Elev: 7,470 Feet
    Northern trailhead for the West Rim Trail (by Lava Point).
  2. jWldCatCny          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.38057   W -113.02244        Elev: 7,450 Feet
    Junction where the Wild Cat Canyon Trail ends at the West Rim Trail.
  3. jSawMillSpg          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.37184   W -113.01502        Elev: 7,290 Feet
    Junction to Saw Mill Spring
  4. jPotatoHollow          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.32098   W -112.98908        Elev: 6,810 Feet
    Junction off the West Rim Trail to Potato Hallow.
  5. jTelphnCynTrl1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.30388   W -112.98553        Elev: NaN Feet
    Junction where the Telephone Canyon trail meets the West Rim Trail
  6. jWestRimCamp4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28539   W -112.98403        Elev: 7,340 Feet
    Junction to Camp 4 on the West Rim Trail.
  7. yHeapsPvTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28230   W -112.98625        Elev: 7,120 Feet
    Top of Heaps Canyoneering route via Phantom Valley route. This is the start of a ridge dropping down from teh rim to the south and into Phantom Valley.
Heaps (3) - Approach from Lower Trailhead
  1. wBusStpGrotto          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25908   W -112.95121        Elev: 4,280 Feet
    The Grotto shuttle stop on the Zion - Floor of the Valley road.
  2. tAngleLnd          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25998   W -112.95152        Elev: 4,300 Feet
    Angel's Landing Trailhead.
  3. sWaltrsWiglsTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27534   W -112.95128        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of Walter's Wiggles. 21 short steep switchbacks cut into the rock for the trail.
  4. jWestRimS          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27492   W -112.95085        Elev: 5,330 Feet
    Junction off the Angel's Landing trail for the Southern West Rim Trailhead. This is known as Scouts Lookout.
  5. cWstRmBridge          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28598   W -112.95582        Elev: 5,590 Feet
    A bridge allowing the trail to cross a stream.
  6. jTelphnCynTrl2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28674   W -112.96846        Elev: 6,740 Feet
    Junction where the Telephone Canyon trail and the Cabin Springs trail both meet the West Rim Trail.
  7. sCabinSpng          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28756   W -112.96841        Elev: 6,706 Feet
    Cabin Spring. Seasonal Water filtering source.
  8. jWestRimCamp4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28539   W -112.98403        Elev: 7,340 Feet
    Junction to Camp 4 on the West Rim Trail.
  9. yHeapsPvTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28230   W -112.98625        Elev: 7,120 Feet
    Top of Heaps Canyoneering route via Phantom Valley route. This is the start of a ridge dropping down from teh rim to the south and into Phantom Valley.
Heaps (4) - The Canyon,
  1. yHeapsPvTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28230   W -112.98625        Elev: 7,120 Feet
    Top of Heaps Canyoneering route via Phantom Valley route. This is the start of a ridge dropping down from teh rim to the south and into Phantom Valley.
  2. dHeaps-R1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28188   W -112.98617        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 - Heaps Canyon. Located on the ridge leading down into Phantom Valley. Anchored from a small tree on the crest of the ridge and drops about 60 feet a lot of loose rock on the wall.
  3. wHeapsRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28138   W -112.98598        Elev: NaN Feet
    Down climb of about 8 feet.
  4. dHeaps-R2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28070   W -112.98597        Elev: 6,765 Feet
    Rap 2 - Heaps Canyon. Located on the ridge leading down into Phantom Valley. Anchored from an obvious large tree near the crest of the ridge and drops off the west side of the ridge about 200 feet down a mostly vertical wall.
  5. wHeapsRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.28020   W -112.98685        Elev: NaN Feet
    Bottom of the use trail after rap 2 where it dumps off onto a wide open slick rock ridge.
  6. wHeapsRP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.27015   W -112.98534        Elev: NaN Feet
    One of a few confluences in the Heaps Drainage. The Route down the slick roack ridge meets the Heaps draiange approximately here in Phantom Valley.
  7. wHeapsRP-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26844   W -112.98563        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop in the water course that is bypassed on a ledge LDC.
  8. wHeaps-Nrws1Tp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26577   W -112.98511        Elev: 5,621 Feet
    Start of the fisrt narrows with a down climb of about 12 feet down into a narrow corridor about 80 feet long.
  9. dHeaps-R3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26566   W -112.98495        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 3 - Heaps Canyon. This is the first rap in the first narrows of Heaps via Phantom Valley. Anchored from a single bolted hanger LDC about head high and drops about 50 feet over two stages of 40 then 8 feet with a pool between stages.
  10. dHeaps-R4-5          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26572   W -112.98466        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 4 and 5 - Heaps Canyon. Rap 4 anchored from two bolted hangers RDC about head high and drops aobut 25 feet to a pool. Rap 5 on the other sidce of the pool below rap 4 at the top of a log jam. Rap 4 anchored from a log and drops about 12 feet to a pool that may be a keeper in low water conditions.
  11. wHeaps-Nrws1Bt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26585   W -112.98450        Elev: NaN Feet
    End of the first Narrows in Heaps. The narrows dumps out to a large pool where the canyon makes a sharp right and starts into a long corridor section to walk.
  12. wHeaps-Nrws2Tp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26139   W -112.98129        Elev: 5,580 Feet
    Start of the second narrows after the long corridor below the first narrows.
  13. dHeaps-R6          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26134   W -112.98109        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 6 - Heaps Canyon. This is the first rap in the second narrows. Anchored from logs at the top of a log jam and drops about 12 feet to a long pool of about 80 feet to swim to rap 7.
  14. dHeaps-R7          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26129   W -112.98080        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 7 - Heaps Canyon. Anchored from a log and drops about 15 feet to a pool.
  15. dHeaps-R8          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26128   W -112.98054        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 8 - Heaps Canyon. Anchored from two bolted hangers RDC along a ledge after climbing up from pot holes and drops about 30 feet to a long corridor swim / wade.
  16. dHeaps-R9-10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26128   W -112.98005        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 9 and 10 - Heaps Canyon. Rap 9 anchored from log debris and drops about 15 feet to a pool. Rap 10 shortly after rap 9 anchored from log debris and also drops about 15 feet to a pool.
  17. wHeaps-Nrws2Bt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26131   W -112.97910        Elev: 5,540 Feet
    End of the second narrows about 300 feet down canyon of rap 8 and about 300 feet up canyon of drainages crossing Heaps at the cross roads.
  18. jIsaac-Canyon          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26120   W -112.97805        Elev: 5,465 Feet
    This is the bottom of the drainage to climb up out of Heaps to get up to Isaac Canyon.
  19. wHeapsCrossRds          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26122   W -112.97780        Elev: NaN Feet
    A point called the Cross Roads on the Heaps Canyoneering Route. This point is between two drainages dropping in from opposite sides.
  20. dHeaps-R11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26109   W -112.97710        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 11 - Heaps Canyon. Anchored from a tree high up on a ledge RDC and drops about 15 feet. Rap 11 is used to bypass a couple pot holes and is optional.
  21. wHeaps-Nrws3Tp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25879   W -112.97302        Elev: 5,460 Feet
    Start of the third technical narrows. This is where the canyon turns left as a drainage drops in just before.
  22. dHeaps-R12-13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26009   W -112.97154        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 12 and 13 - Heaps Canyon. Rap 12 anchored from log debris and drops about 15 feet to a pool. Rap 13 is abouth 30 feet down canyon, is anchored from log debris and drops about 15 feet to a pool.
  23. dHeaps-R14-15          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26014   W -112.97022        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 14 and 15 - Heaps Canyon. Rap 14 is anchored from a log jam and drops about 12 feet. Rap 15 is shortly down canyon, is anchored from a log jam and drops about 10 feet.
  24. dHeaps-R16          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25987   W -112.96937        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 16 - Heaps Canyon. Located at the top of a tall log jam in a dark slot, anchored from a single bolted hanger RDC and drops about 40 feet down a vertical wall.
  25. dHeaps-R17          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25999   W -112.96917        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 17 - Heaps Canyon. This is the rap just after the Iron Room. Anchored RDC from one bolted hanger and one piton and drops about 15 feet to a short swimmer
  26. dHeaps-R18          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26008   W -112.96890        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 18 - Heaps Canyon. No fixed anchor and drops about 15 feet to a pool. Use a pack anchor here and pull it down to you when done.
  27. dHeaps-R19          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26027   W -112.96884        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 19 - Heaps Canyon. Anhored from log debris and drops about 12 feet.
  28. wHeapsRP-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26051   W -112.96881        Elev: NaN Feet
    Spot where the canyon meets a ravine dropping in from the northwest. As the canyon meets this ravine it takes a sharp right and drops into a more narrow section. The ravine can easily be up climbed a long way in case of flash flooding.
  29. dHeaps-R20          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.26032   W -112.96816        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 20 - Heaps Canyon. Anchored from a log and drops about 12 feet to a pool.
  30. wHeapsAlcove          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25972   W -112.96761        Elev: NaN Feet
    The alcove is a place you can set up camp on sand stone ledges up out of the water course.
  31. dHeaps-R21          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25920   W -112.96763        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 21 - Heaps Canyon. Two options. You can anchor to a log directly in the water course and rap down 15 feet with an overhanging start if water flow is low or non existent. The other option is to walk the LDC ledge about 50 feet over to a bolted anchor and rap about 40 feet.
  32. dHeaps-R22          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25884   W -112.96751        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 22 - Heaps Canyon. Anchored from a piton and a single bolted hanger LDC on a ledge and drops about 45 feet. The ledge is a little sketchy so be careful.
  33. dHeaps-R23-25          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25773   W -112.96691        Elev: NaN Feet
    Raps 23 thru 25 - Heaps Canyon. Rap 23 anchored from a pine tree and drops 60 feet down a steep slope to rap 24. Rap 24 anchored from a pine tree and drops 150 feet down a vertical wall in a dihedral to rap 25. Rap 25 anchored from 4 bolted hangers and drops about 290 feet mostly free hanging to the Upper Emerald Pool.
  34. yHeapsBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25760   W -112.96661        Elev: 4,800 Feet
    Bottom of Heaps Canyoneering route. Ends at the Upper Emerald pool with a 290 foot rappel.
Heaps (5) - Exit
  1. yHeapsBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25760   W -112.96661        Elev: 4,800 Feet
    Bottom of Heaps Canyoneering route. Ends at the Upper Emerald pool with a 290 foot rappel.
  2. sUprEmrld          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25736   W -112.96623        Elev: NaN Feet
    Upper Emerald Pool
  3. jKayentaEmrld          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25745   W -112.96058        Elev: 4,440 Feet
    Junction of the Kayenta trail and the Emerald Pools Trails
  4. tEmrldPls          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25113   W -112.95935        Elev: 4,287 Feet
    Trailhead for Emerald Pools
  5. tLodgeBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.25020   W -112.95733        Elev: 4,270 Feet
    A drive way leading from the main lodge lawn area to the lodge rooms.