Canyoneering Route Description

Icebox Canyon North Entry - 3B III (IV)
Zion National Park, Utah.

Quick Facts

11-04-2007, 3 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 14.15 hours) Pictures Icon
08-13-2016, 5 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 13.6 hours) Pictures Icon

Time Required - 12 to 15 hours
Distance - 13 miles Total, 2.93 miles Technical
Rappels - 7 Rappels, Longest Rappel 150 feet.
Elevation Range - 6960 - 5050 Feet
Shuttle Required -No Vehicle - Passenger Permit Required - Yes

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 150 feet and 70 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  Wet suits should be included in cool temps.

General Comments

Icebox Canyon is not a technical show piece once down in the canyon proper but is a scenic show piece!  This place is beautiful!  The scenery starts from the view looking down canyon while on the entry raps.  The canyon continues to visually delight all the way to the end with, streaked walls, trough water falls, colored walls that look like oil paintings and more.  If you like pretty places you should check out Icebox Canyon.

There are a couple spots where you will likely need to swim (one of them being about 100 feet long).  In warm to moderate temps a wet suit is not needed as there are only a couple swims and you will dry quickly.  Bring a dry bag though to keep your stuff dry.  With a bit of work you can stem over the long pool and only get wet to your knees in the entire canyon, but plan on likely swimming.

The North Pass Entry to Icebox canyon starts down a sloped trough like area which slowly gets more and more steep.  There are bolts placed along the way but the upper stations you will likely walk past unless there is snow and ice.  The raps for the north pass entry are labeled and written up with the assumption you will bypass some of these rap stations.  With this in mind, realize your entry rap count may differ if you choose differently.

One of the rappels on the North Entry is more of a hand line to protect a 90 feet steep slope where you traverse a lot.  A fall here would result in a pendulum tumble.  Be careful.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From I15 exit the turn off for the Kolob Canyon section of Zion National Park.  Drive about 3.6 miles past the visitor center to the Lee Pass trailhead for western end of the La Verkin Creek trail and park there (tLeePass ) to start the route.

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is needed.  This is done as a loop route.

Maps - - - - GPS coordinate information listed at the bottom of this route description.

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

Map Link Icon
Click the links for maps of the route.
Map of the entire route.
Map of the technical section and approach.

Details

The Approach:
From the Lee Pass / La Verkin Creek trailhead (tLeePass) follow the trail south.

Example Pic. As you hike in on the trail look east to see this view.  You will hike up the drainage then get up to the ridge with the blue route line on it and work your way up to the respective entry.  Note that this route description only covers the north entry thus far.

About 1 mile from the trailhead, the trail drops down into and crosses a wash (jIceboxCyn). To go to Icebox Canyon turn left (east) to leave the trail and follow down this drainage a little over 200 feet to where it Tees into another drainage (wIceboxRP-01).

About 210 feet farther is another drainage (wIceboxRP-1). Turn left to travel north up this drainage.  Follow up this drainage as it goes from north and slowly curves to go northeast.

About 0.67 miles farther is where the drainage begins to travel mostly east (wIceboxRP-02).  Continue east upstream staying in the main wash avoiding many side minor drainages on both sides.  Sections of the drainage are very overgrown with vegetation and are bush whacky.  You may find various uses trails on either side that assist in avoiding some of the thick vegetation.

About 0.5 miles farther is a huge boulder broken off of the side wall of the canyon (wIceboxRP-03). When we were there Aug. 2016 it looked fairly fresh but not sure.  Continue east up the drainage.

About 300 feet farther is a fork in the wash (wIceboxRP-04) where you can see a large vertical slickrock wall a short distance up the left fork. Walk a few feet up the left fork toward the vertical slickrock wall then note a dirt sloped going up to the right. Walk up the dirt slope following formed use trails going up to the following along the base of the slickrock wall.

About 500 feet along the use trails will be a spot (wIceboxRP-05) where you can scramble up about 10 feet to get to dirt slopes above going northeast.  Climb / scramble up onto the sloped dirt above then make your way northeast up the thickly vegetated slope.

Once up on the vegetated slope route find your way northeast up onto the follow up a wide steep vegetated ridge.  About 0.25 miles up the steep ridge you will have good view of two saddles / passes for entry into Icebox Canyon.  The gentle trough shaped saddle to the right is the south entry and the saddle to the left is the north entry.

When you get about 475 feet from the top of the ridge (wIceboxRP-06), you can continue up the crest of the ridge or take an easier route over toward open slickrock aiming over toward the south entry.

When you get to an the open slickrock area (wIceboxRP-07) To go to the north pass entry make your way up a dirt and rock slope about 350 feet to the pass on the left. To go to the south pass entry contour right to head south toward the smooth trough like pass.

When you get up to the North Pass Entry (yIceBoxTpNorth) enjoy the views.  The slick rock pass for the North Pass Entry to Ice Box Canyon is a big contrast from the steep sandy vegetation filled ridge climbed to get here.  The contrast makes this entry something worth seeing.  And the views back the way you came are awesome too.

The Canyon / Technical Section:
At the top of the North Pass Entry (yIceBoxTpNorth) is a wide trough like slope that descends to the east. There is a single bolted chain anchor on the LDC side but the trough is not steep enough to need it unless there were ice and snow. Walk down the slope.

About 320 feet down from the saddle is a single bolted hanger (dICeBox-N-Rb) where the slope is gentle and you can walk past this bolt station. There is a very old single blotted bent piece of metal anchor about half way between here and the head of the entry.

A short distance down the slope is another optional rap station with a single bolted hanger (dICeBox-N-Rc). The slope here begins to get significantly steeper and you can walk it still. However some parties may decide to set a rappel here. Travel down the slope from here will likely be best done as a crab walk in a few places.

A short distance later is a flat ledge with an two bolted hangers which I will call rap 1.  Remember depending on conditions (snow or ice) or comfort level of the party this may not be the first rappel as different decisions will be made.

Rap 1 (dIceBox-N-R1) is anchored double bolted hangers on a small ledge where the slope becomes more steep. The rap from here is more of a hand line to protect a steep slope walk / traverse. From here look down and way over to the right to find a medium sized pine tree on a ledge. You will use about 90 feet of rope to get over to the pine tree for the next rappel. This can be an awkward rappel as you are traversing a lot and a fall will result in a pendulum tumble.

Rap 2 (dIceBox-N-R2) anchored from a pine tree on a ledge and drops about 120 feet down to a ledge large enough for 2 to 3 people where the next rappel is. The rap starts sloped then goes vertical about half way down.

Rap 3 (dIceBox-N-R3) anchored from 3 bolted hangers on a ledge large enough for 2 to 3 people and drops about 150 feet to the canyon floor.  At the bottom of rap 3 you are on the canyon floor.  Follow south down the drainage.

About 0.32 miles down canyon is a side canyon (wIceboxRP-08) joining in from RDC (west).  The side canyon is a fun place to upclimb if you enjoy stemming / galumphing. On our visit Aug. 2016 we upclimbed 300 to 400 feet up the canyon to where we could see a couple of upclimbs we did not want to take the time to go up. This side canyon is worth some looking around if you have time.

About 180 feet down canyon is another side canyon (wIceboxRP-09) joining in from the LDC (east) side.  To get into this side canyon you would need to climb up a 20 foot vertical wall.  Almost 200 feet down canyon is rap 4.

Rap 4 (dIceBoxR4) is anchored RDC from 2 bolted hangers and involves traversing a ledge if you want to try to avoid a pool and uses about 50 feet of rope to traverse the RDC ledge and avoid the pool.  If one were to slip or decide to just rap straight down off the anchors, the rap would drop down into a pool of water in a slot. 

Shortly after rap 4 is a very narrow section of the canyon where you will downclimb to a pool and have a short swim or avoid swimming by walking a ledge on the RDC side about a foot under the water.  About 0.2 miles farther is rap 5.

Rap 5 (dIceBoxR5) is anchored from a very old single bolt with no hanger drops about 10 feet into a narrow slot filled with water where you will likely need to swim about 100 feet.  With a lot of effort you can stem the walls and avoid the water getting wet only up to your knees but this is a challenge.  This rap can be downclimbed by taller people.

About 1000 feet down canyon of rap 5 is a huge rock fall area (wIceboxRP-10) to climb over. 

Just after the rock fall area is a side canyon (wIceboxRP-11) that joins in from the LDC (east) side.  You can access the canyon by going up a sloped ramp where you can then bridge / galumph a short distance up canyon before reaching a large boulder that would be difficult to safely upclimb.

About 300 feet down canyon is a spring feed pool to bypass on the RDC side.

Another 500 feet down canyon is the start of a deep slot (wIceboxRP-12) which is bypassed on very large wide ledge system on the RDC side.  The slot is bypassed since it is full of log debris and would be difficult to get through.  There is also a large alcove up on the RDC side here to go look at.  Walk the ledge about 400 feet to the next rap.

Rap 6 (dIceBoxR6) is anchored from a single bolted hanger on the RDC wall and drops about 30 feet down a vertical wall to a large dirt and rock ledge. Walk in the down canyon direction and route find your way down to the canyon floor working through vegetated dirt slopes.

Shortly after getting down to the canyon floor is a huge boulder debris field which can be a little awkward scrambling through.  Just after the boulder debris is an area well worth taking the time to look around.  There are two trough falls that are very beautiful.

The top of the first Trough Fall (wIceboxRP-13) is worth the view.  Bypass this first fall and walk the LDC (east) side ridge down into the bottom of the first trough and to the top of the second trough. When you get to the bottom of the ridge you will be at the top of the second trough fall and at the next rap. 

Rap 7 (dIceBoxR7) anchored from a tree and drops about 150 feet down a mostly vertical wall. Before dropping down this rap take a moment to walk up into the first trough for a scenic treat.  The bottom of the rap is sloped so you could use less rope and walk down the slope a bit.

From the bottom of rap 7 walk down the trough then scramble your way down into the main canyon again.

About 400 feet farther down canyon is a drop of a bout 8 feet (wIceboxRP-14) along the RDC wall.  A very aggressive partner assist can be used to get everyone to the bottom or optionally you can rig a rappel from a small tree a little ways back.

The rest of the canyon is easy travel to where the Kolob Arch Trail starts marking the end of the technical canyon (yIceBoxBt).  A short hike on the trail to the right (west) will get you to where you can view the Kolob Arch.

The Exit:
To exit follow the Kolob Arch trail south about 0.5 miles to the junction with the La Verkin Creek Trail (jKolobArchTrl ).

From the junction to the La Verkin Creek trail (jKolobArchTrl ) turn right (south west) and follow the La Verkin Creek trail south west.  From here the trail roughly follows La Verkin Creek. 

About 1.8 miles from the junction the trail gets very close to La Verkin Creek providing a scenic spot to take a break and easily enjoy the water (sLaVrknCk1). 

About 1.1 miles farther is Camp Site 3 (lLaVrknCmp3) where the trail turns right to head north following along Timber Creek. 

About 3.4 miles past camp site 3 is the La Verkin Creek trailhead / Lee Pass (tLeePass) where your journey comes to an end back where you started.

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.

Icebox North Entry (1) - Approach
  1. tLeePass          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.45215   W -113.19120        Elev: 6,070 Feet
    Lee Pass TH. Western end of trail the La Verkin Creek trail.
  2. jIceboxCyn          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43911   W -113.19128        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trail drops down into and crosses a wash here. To go to Icebox Canyon turn left (east) to leave the trail and follow down this drainage a little over 200 feet to where it Tees into another drainage.
  3. wIceboxRP-01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43864   W -113.19103        Elev: 5,562 Feet
    The wash from the trail intersects with another drainage here. Turn left to travel north up this drainage. Follow up this drainage as it goes from north and slowly curves to go northeast.
  4. wIceboxRP-02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44444   W -113.18260        Elev: NaN Feet
    Somewhat arbitrary point as there is no landmark here. This is about where the drainage begins to head mostly east. Travel east upstream staying in the main wash avoiding many side minor drainages on both sides. Sections of the drainage are very overgrown with vegetation and are bush whacky. You may find various uses trails on either side that assist in avoiding some of the thick vegetation.
  5. wIceboxRP-03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44516   W -113.17385        Elev: 5,795 Feet
    Huge boulder broken off of the side wall of the canyon. When we were there Aug. 2016 it looked fairly fresh but not sure. Continue east up the drainage.
  6. wIceboxRP-04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44540   W -113.17280        Elev: NaN Feet
    A fork in the wash where you can see a large vertical slickrock wall a short distance up the left fork. Walk a few feet up the left fork toward the vertical slickrock wall then note a dirt sloped going up to the right. Walk up the dirt slope following formed use trails going up to the following along the base of the slickrock wall. About 500 feet along the use trails will be a spot to climb / scramble up about 10 feet.
  7. wIceboxRP-05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44448   W -113.17153        Elev: NaN Feet
    A spot where you can scramble up about 10 feet to get to dirt slopes above going northeast. Climb / scramble up onto the sloped dirt above then make your way northeast up the thickly vegetated slope. Once up on the vegetated slope route find your way northeast up onto the follow up a wide steep vegetated ridge.
  8. wIceboxRP-06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44710   W -113.16797        Elev: 6,620 Feet
    As you get closer to the top of the ridge you can see both entry passes to Icebox canyon. The gentle trough shaped saddle to the right is the south entry and the saddle to the left is the north entry. When you get about 475 feet from the top of the ridge, you can continue up the crest of the ridge or take an easier route over toward open slickrock aiming over toward the south entry.
  9. wIceboxRP-07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44637   W -113.16673        Elev: 6,760 Feet
    Open slickrock area just below the entry points for Icebox Canyon. To go to the north pass entry make your way up a dirt and rock slope about 350 feet to the pass on the left. To go to the south pass entry contour right to head south toward the smooth trough like pass.
  10. yIceBoxTpNorth          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44708   W -113.16568        Elev: 6,960 Feet
    Top of North Pass Entry for Icebox Canyon. A wide trough like slope that descends to the east. Tehre is a single bolted chain anchor on the LDC side but the trough is not steep enough to need it unless there were ice and snow. Walk down the slope.
Icebox North Entry (2) - The Canyon,
  1. yIceBoxTpNorth          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44708   W -113.16568        Elev: 6,960 Feet
    Top of North Pass Entry for Icebox Canyon. A wide trough like slope that descends to the east. Tehre is a single bolted chain anchor on the LDC side but the trough is not steep enough to need it unless there were ice and snow. Walk down the slope.
  2. dICeBox-N-Rb          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44708   W -113.16459        Elev: 0 Feet
    Optional rap station about 320 feet down from the head of the North Pass Entry. This is a single bolted hanger where the slope is gentle and you can walk past this bolt station. There is a very old single bolted bent piece of metal anchor about half way between here and the head of the entry.
  3. dICeBox-N-Rc          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44704   W -113.16432        Elev: 6,720 Feet
    Approximate location of another optional rap station with a single bolted hanger. The slope here begins to get significantly steeper and you can walk it still. However some parties may decide to set a rappel here. Travel down the slope from here will likely be best done as a crab walk in a few places.
  4. dIceBox-N-R1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44705   W -113.16407        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 - Icebox Canyon North Entry. Anchored from double bolted hangers on a small ledge where the slope becomes more steep. The rap from here is more of a hand line to protect a steep slope walk / traverse. From here look down and way over to the right to find a medium sized pine tree on a ledge. You will use about 90 feet of rope to get over to the pine tree for the next rappel. This can be an awkward rappel as you are traversing a lot and a fall will result in a pendulum tumble.
  5. dIceBox-N-R2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44685   W -113.16385        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 - Icebox Canyon North Entry. Anchored from a pine tree on a ledge and drops about 120 feet down to a ledge large enough for 2 to 3 people where the next rappel is. The rap starts sloped then goes vertical about half way down.
  6. dIceBox-N-R3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44683   W -113.16361        Elev: 0 Feet
    Rap 3 - Icebox Canyon North Entry. Anchored from 3 bolted hangers on a ledge large enough for 2 to 3 people and drops about 150 feet to the canyon floor.
  7. wIceboxRP-08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44280   W -113.16064        Elev: NaN Feet
    A side canyon comes in from the RDC (west) side and is a fun place to upclimb if you enjoy stemming / galumphing. On our visit Aug. 2016 we upclimbed 300 to 400 feet up the canyon to where we could see a couple of upclimbs we did not want to take the time to go up. This side canyon is worth some looking around if you have time.
  8. wIceboxRP-09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44239   W -113.16031        Elev: NaN Feet
    Another side canyon joins in from LDC (east). To get into this side canyon you would need to climb up a 20 foot vertical wall.
  9. dIceBoxR4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.44203   W -113.15998        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 4 - Icebox Canyon. Anchored RDC from 2 bolted hangers and involves traversing a ledge if you want to try to avoid a pool and uses about 50 feet of rope to traverse the RDC ledge and avoid the pool.
  10. dIceBoxR5          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43965   W -113.15854        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 5 - Icebox Canyon. Anchored from a very old single bolt with no hanger drops about 10 feet into a narrow slot filled with water where you will likely need to swim about 100 feet. With a lot of effort you can stem the walls and avoid the water getting wet only up to your knees but this is a challenge. This rap can be downclimbed by taller people.
  11. wIceboxRP-10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43642   W -113.15654        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rock fall area to climb over.
  12. wIceboxRP-11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43548   W -113.15581        Elev: 6,157 Feet
    Side canyon that joins in from the LDC (east) side. You can access the canyon by going up a sloped ramp where you can then bridge / galumph a short distance up canyon before reaching a large boulder that would be difficult to safely upclimb. About 300 feet down canyon is a spring feed pool to bypass on the RDC side.
  13. wIceboxRP-12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43327   W -113.15452        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of a deep slot (wIceboxRP-12) which is bypassed on very large wide ledge system on the RDC side. The slot is bypassed since it is full of log debris and would be difficult to get through. There is also a large alcove up on the RDC side here to go look at. Walk the ledge about 400 feet to the next rap.
  14. dIceBoxR6          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43220   W -113.15392        Elev: 6,000 Feet
    Rap 6 - Icebox Canyon. Anchored from a single bolted hanger on the RDC wall and drops about 30 feet down a vertical wall to a large dirt and rock ledge. Walk in the down canyon direction and route find your way down to the canyon floor working through vegetated dirt slopes. Shortly after getting down to the canyon floor is a huge boulder debris field which can be a little awkward scrambling through. Just after the boulder debris is an area well worth taking the time to look around. There are two trough falls that are very beautiful.
  15. wIceboxRP-13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43075   W -113.15301        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of the first of two trough falls. These are huge trough shaped waterways with spring fed trickliing waterfalls. This area is well worth the time to look around and spend some time in. Bypass this first fall and walk the LDC (east) side ridge down into the bottom of the first trough and to the top of the second trough.
  16. dIceBoxR7          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43031   W -113.15236        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 7 - Icebox Canyon at the top of the second trough fall. Anchored from a tree and drops about 150 feet down a mostly vertical wall. Before dropping down this rap take a moment to walk up into the first trough for a scenic treat. The bottom of the rap is sloped so you could use less rope and walk down the slope a bit. From the bottom of rap 7 walk down the trough then scramble your way down into the main canyon again.
  17. wIceboxRP-14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.42925   W -113.15119        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop of about 8 feet along the RDC wall. A very aggressive partner assist can be used to get everyone to the bottom or optionally you can rig a rappel from a small tree a little ways back.
  18. yIceBoxBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.42275   W -113.15212        Elev: 5,350 Feet
    Bottom of the Ice Box Canyon where it meets the Kolob Arch trail. A short walk up the trail to the right (west) will get you to a point where you can view Kolob Arch.
Icebox North Entry (3) - Exit
  1. yIceBoxBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.42275   W -113.15212        Elev: 5,350 Feet
    Bottom of the Ice Box Canyon where it meets the Kolob Arch trail. A short walk up the trail to the right (west) will get you to a point where you can view Kolob Arch.
  2. jKolobArchTrl          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.41582   W -113.15119        Elev: 5,250 Feet
    Junction where the Kolob Arch trail meets the La Verkin Creek trail. To go back to Lee Pass after getting out of Icebox Canyon, turn right and follow the La Verkin Creek Trail southwest.
  3. lLaVrknCmp5          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.41024   W -113.16998        Elev: 5,112 Feet
    Cunction to camp site 5
  4. lLaVrknCmp4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.40706   W -113.17576        Elev: 5,100 Feet
    Junction to Camp Site 4
  5. sLaVrknCk1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.40576   W -113.17896        Elev: 5,050 Feet
    Trail gets close to La Verkin Creek. Nice scenic place to take a break by the water. To go back to Lee Pass TH, continue southwest.
  6. lLaVrknCmp3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.40738   W -113.19666        Elev: 5,435 Feet
    Camp site 3 where the trail turns right to head north following along Timber Creek back to the Lee Pass TH.
  7. lLaVrknCmp2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.41651   W -113.19188        Elev: 5,445 Feet
    Camp site 2 on the Laverkin Creek Trail.
  8. lLaVrknCmp1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.42246   W -113.19630        Elev: 5,440 Feet
    Camp site 1 on the La Verkin Creek Trail.
  9. jIceboxCyn          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.43911   W -113.19128        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trail drops down into and crosses a wash here. To go to Icebox Canyon turn left (east) to leave the trail and follow down this drainage a little over 200 feet to where it Tees into another drainage.
  10. tLeePass          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.45215   W -113.19120        Elev: 6,070 Feet
    Lee Pass TH. Western end of trail the La Verkin Creek trail.