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Behunin Canyon – Zion National Park
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Overview
Location

Zion National Park

Distance

The approach is 3.8 miles and I would guess its about six miles including the canyon and exit.

Parking Lot Elevation

4,405

Summit Elevation

6,775

Elevation Gain/Loss

2,370

Time Required

6-10 Hours

Pets

No

Fees

Zion National Park entrance fee as well as a permit fee.

Water Info

Mostly stagnant water that may or may not be there at all. Definitely bring at least 2 liters per person. Bring more if it will be hot outside. The approach is mostly in the sun.

Best Season

Early Summer through Fall

Sun Exposure

The approach and most of the canyon are completely in the open.

Trail Condition

Easy well traveled approach with a very technical canyon with many rappels

Restrooms

At parking lot

Visitor Center

Yes

Camping

Nearby

Equipment

Canyoneering is not for just anyone. Do not under any circumstance attempt this canyon without the proper knowledge, training, and equipment.

Family Friendly?

No

GPS Coordinates:

Break off from West Rim Trail:37.28249 N, 112.96976 W

Driving Directions


The Trail:

Behunin Canyon is a technical canyon located in Zion National Park. This is not a casual hike. Canyoneering is only for people with proper training, equpiment, and knowledge of all the safety concerns that the sport brings with it. If you are with an experienced canyoneer then this is an awesome place to see Zion. You do have to have a permit aquired beforehand to enter the canyon. There is a group size limit of six. This canyon is known for its many large rappels (9 total rappels) and ends with a huge mostly free hanging rappel into one of the most popular spots in the park at Emerald Pools. The canyon is not technical in the bottom areas where the canyon is flat and open and doesn’t require any crazy down climbing or stemming but you obviously will need decent rappelling skills. If the weather is cool I highly recommend wearing a wetsuit. Always bring a jacket and a headlamp for EACH person. We went in expecting neither and came out having used both. If there are chances of rain do not go into the canyon. You will begin the hike at the grotto which is probably the busiest trail head in the park due to the ultra popular Angels Landing trail. You will take much of the popular trail all the way to scout lookout before the Angels Landing chain area starts. The approach is steep and has many switchbacks. Be sure to take a rest at the Scout Lookout and see the great views of Angels Landing.

Instead of finishing Angels Landing you will stay on the West Rim Trail which continues to climb. The views along this trail are awesome.

The spot you will need to take to get into Behunin is not signed and really isn’t obvious at all so use the coordinates at the top and start hiking down. There are huge cliffs above you in this area.

You will scramble your way down into the canyon and follow the bottom. We even had to navigate a recently exploded tree.

You will eventually cliff out and this is the area of the first rappel. This trek will not be one that gives technical details on every rappel. Those can be found on many other sites. I will instead focus on some of the views and sites and highlights of my favorites of the rappels. The area at the first is beautiful with towering cliffs. One even smiles at you!

This is looking at the first couple rappels from the bottom. Lots of fun spots!

The narrow sections here are gorgeous and usually flat and sandy.

There is never much walking between rappels. All of them are pretty fun.

We were taking our own sweet time and took longer than we thought we would and ended up having to do the last two rappels in the dark. The last one is 165 feet of mostly free hang. It happened to be one of the darkest nights I can remember. You could not see anything. It made it eerie and looking back created some fun memories but I do not recommend this for most.

Here is a video of our trip:

The Return:

At the bottom of the last rappel you will scramble through the scree field and onto the emerald pools trail that you will follow all the way to Zion Lodge where you can catch the bus back into town.

Personal Thoughts:

This was a long but fun day with lots of great views and long rappels. I recommend it at least once to anyone who loves canyoneering.

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Ratings (out of 10)
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Difficulty
7.0
Technicality
7.0
Enjoyment
7.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

7.0
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About The Author
Josh1990
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @ joshua.oyler@gmail.com

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