Heaps Canyon

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Heaps Canyon Canyoneering Canyoning Caving
Also known as: via Phantom. For other features with similar names, see Heaps Canyon (disambiguation)
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Heaps Canyon Banner.jpg

Difficulty:4B V R (v5a2 V)
Raps:‌25, max ↨290ft
Overall:12h-2 days ⟷10.5mi
Red Tape:Permit required
Condition Reports:
17 Sep 2023

"Started at Lava Point at 4am, made it to the first rappel just after sunrise. The second rappel was a bit further down the ridge than we were expectin

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Best season:


This is one of the hardest canyons in Zion. Very long and cold but relatively easy if potholes are full, it can become extremely difficult in adverse conditions.

Tom Jones' preface to Heaps is a must-read for those unfamiliar with its difficulty.



See one or more full beta pages (farther below) for more detailed information.

There are three sections of narrows, each about twice as long as the previous one. Two of the trickiest parts seem to be near the end. First, there is a dead-end hallway that can be confusing; the correct route is a crack with a log jam on the right looking toward the dead end:

  • Heaps Canyon DevilsPit.jpg
  • Second, to begin the final rappel sequence, climb up canyon right and then over the hill to the first rappel station at a tree. Do NOT descend into the crack on canyon left. The bluugnome beta below has a good image for this.


    The last rappel ends at Upper Emerald Pools. Hike down the popular trail to the Lodge.

    Red tape

    Permits are required and are generally limited to two groups of 6 per day.

    Beta sites

    Trip reports and media

    June 9, 2016: Group of 5 including two pro guides. 13 hours car-to-car from the Grotto. Water levels not full but not super low. Some pothole escape techniques were needed on a couple. Lots of fun stuff inc. pack tosses, pack anchors, floating anchor, guided rappel, etc. The group we passed did not have these skills and likely took over 15 hours and were expending a lot of energy.

    September 3, 2016: http://amazingslots.blogspot.com/2016/09/heaps-canyon.html




    Information provided by automated processes. KML map by (unknown). Main photo by (unknown). Authors are listed in chronological order.

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    Near fall on rappel in HeapstrueNo loss2016-05-22