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Walker Gulch

Zion beta posted by K Marshall
  • The Hype

    Walker Gulch is one of the numerous tributaries of Zion's famous Orderville Canyon. The upper section has a spectacular upper narrows, and interesting walls in the lower section. This canyon has an excellent backcountry feel to it. But beware in summer, hot temperatures and long dirt roads make an early start a necessity.

    Getting There

    Access Road: The upper car park mileage begins at where Highway 9 meets the North Fork Road. Head north on the NF Road 5.2 miles to the entrance to the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Reset your odometer here. Don't turn into the Ponderosa - continue on the NF road, which soon turns to dirt, usually passable to 2WD cars, though often washboardy. This road is impassable when wet, even to the burliest 4WD vehicles. Continue on the North Fork County road 9.4 miles to a small side road on the left (west). Take this road .2 miles to the Orderville Corral. All but the burliest vehicles will want to park here. Hike or jeep down the steep, rutted, rocky Orderville jeep road 2.1 miles to a cul-de-sac at the end. Park here.


    From the Trailhead: Beginning at the cul-de-sac, find a path that heads west to the left around a large juniper and descends to the creekbed. Immediately cross the creek and follow a double-track ATV path northwest up a hill. This path attains the north rim overlooking Orderville Gulch. It climbs over a hill, then parallels with the East Fork of Walker - not the fork you want. Continue on this path around the top of the East Fork, then over a ridge and down into the Main Fork of Walker. Distance to here is 2.75 miles with 400 feet of elevation gain. Leave the trail where it crosses Walker, next to a scrappy 80 foot dryfall.

    The Canyon - Rating: 3A III   Longest Rap: 150'   # of Raps: 3

    3A III
    At this point, the Walker Gulch drainage will be heading in a southerly direction. The 80’ dryfall can be bypassed on the left (east side). If the water is flowing, it is worth it to hike up to view the pool below the ‘dryfall’. Shortly, the sandstone begins and a 10’ obstacle is reached. Next, several small potholes signal the beginning of a short narrow section. The canyon walls increase in height and eventually the first mandatory drop is reached. Obvious natural anchors exist at the head of the chute, and throughout the upper section. Shortly, several down climbs follow a 10’ rappel. Last but not least, the final rappel is 20’. Several down climbs and short hops are found throughout this upper narrows section. Eventually, the canyon widens and then narrows slightly before the confluence with Orderville Canyon.

    Skills required: Natural Anchoring, Navigation

    Water
    If you catch the timing just right, water will be flowing in Walker. However, in all but the coldest conditions, a wetsuit is not required. Water exposure is minimal.

    Natural Anchors
    This canyon uses all natural anchors. Some anchors may not be obvious, and you should be prepared to build your own. Please do not use bolts in Walker Gulch.

    Gear Recommendations
    Technical Canyoneering Kit - including helmet, harness, rappel device, ascending gear

    Flash Flood Danger: Low

    The Exit

    Hiking up Orderville Canyon requires several hours. Hiking down will require an even longer day.

    Red Tape

    Walker Gulch is located on federal land, just outside the boundaries of Zion National Park. If exiting out the narrows of Orderville and North Fork of the Virgin to Temple of Sinawava, a permit is required. If exiting up Orderville, a permit is not required.

    Most slot canyons are found on public lands managed by the US Government, although a few can be found on private lands. The US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service manage these lands. Each area tends to have unique management issues. As a result, there is not a uniform set of rules governing our use of these lands. For current issues related to canyoneering access, please visit www.americancanyoneers.org.
  • Access Road: The upper car park mileage begins at where Highway 9 meets the North Fork Road. Head north on the NF Road 5.2 miles to the entrance to the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Reset your odometer here. Don't turn into the Ponderosa - continue on the NF road, which soon turns to dirt, usually passable to 2WD cars, though often washboardy. This road is impassable when wet, even to the burliest 4WD vehicles. Continue on the North Fork County road 9.4 miles to a small side road on the left (west). Take this road .2 miles to the Orderville Corral. All but the burliest vehicles will want to park here. Hike or jeep down the steep, rutted, rocky Orderville jeep road 2.1 miles to a cul-de-sac at the end. Park here.


    From the Trailhead: Beginning at the cul-de-sac, find a path that heads west to the left around a large juniper and descends to the creekbed. Immediately cross the creek and follow a double-track ATV path northwest up a hill. This path attains the north rim overlooking Orderville Gulch. It climbs over a hill, then parallels with the East Fork of Walker - not the fork you want. Continue on this path around the top of the East Fork, then over a ridge and down into the Main Fork of Walker. Distance to here is 2.75 miles with 400 feet of elevation gain. Leave the trail where it crosses Walker, next to a scrappy 80 foot dryfall.
  • 3A III
    At this point, the Walker Gulch drainage will be heading in a southerly direction. The 80’ dryfall can be bypassed on the left (east side). If the water is flowing, it is worth it to hike up to view the pool below the ‘dryfall’. Shortly, the sandstone begins and a 10’ obstacle is reached. Next, several small potholes signal the beginning of a short narrow section. The canyon walls increase in height and eventually the first mandatory drop is reached. Obvious natural anchors exist at the head of the chute, and throughout the upper section. Shortly, several down climbs follow a 10’ rappel. Last but not least, the final rappel is 20’. Several down climbs and short hops are found throughout this upper narrows section. Eventually, the canyon widens and then narrows slightly before the confluence with Orderville Canyon.

    Skills required: Natural Anchoring, Navigation

    Water
    If you catch the timing just right, water will be flowing in Walker. However, in all but the coldest conditions, a wetsuit is not required. Water exposure is minimal.

    Natural Anchors
    This canyon uses all natural anchors. Some anchors may not be obvious, and you should be prepared to build your own. Please do not use bolts in Walker Gulch.

    Gear Recommendations
    Technical Canyoneering Kit - including helmet, harness, rappel device, ascending gear

    Flash Flood Danger: Low
  • Hiking up Orderville Canyon requires several hours. Hiking down will require an even longer day.
  • Walker Gulch is located on federal land, just outside the boundaries of Zion National Park. If exiting out the narrows of Orderville and North Fork of the Virgin to Temple of Sinawava, a permit is required. If exiting up Orderville, a permit is not required.

    Most slot canyons are found on public lands managed by the US Government, although a few can be found on private lands. The US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service manage these lands. Each area tends to have unique management issues. As a result, there is not a uniform set of rules governing our use of these lands. For current issues related to canyoneering access, please visit www.americancanyoneers.org.
Bill, Tyler, Joe Braun and 1 other person like this.

Condition Reports for Walker Gulch

  1. ratagonia
    July 24, 2016
    ratagonia

    Difficulty:

    Easy

    Skill Level:

    Intermediate

    Water:

    Dry/avoidable

    Thermal:

    None

    Group Size:

    3 people

    Total Time:

    1 hour 7.5 hours


    Don't use hard-to-reach tree for first rappel. Use HUGE boulder at top of flute. Requires 30 foot piece of webbing. Very nice rappel, easy pull. Wonderful canyon though technically short. Road down to Orderville Trailhead is in good shape, still requires HC 4WD.

    Posted Aug 2, 2016
  2. Yellow Dart
    July 17, 2016
    Yellow Dart

    Difficulty:

    Easy

    Skill Level:

    Intermediate

    Water:

    Dry/avoidable

    Thermal:

    None

    Group Size:

    2 people

    Total Time:

    1 hour 5.7 hours


    Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

    Point of reference: you can see Dakota Hill the entire second half of the approach, directly north.

    The seeps were flowing well; with a bucket, water could be had unfiltered from the drips, or filtered from the small clear pools downcaynon of the 80' drop a hundred yards.

    Only 2 raps necessary, as log jams made all the downclimbing easy.

    The ledge to the first rappel anchor is very loose/sandy with no handy protection. Caution advised.

    Posted Jul 19, 2016
  3. jonshipley
    Oct 16, 2013
    jonshipley

    Difficulty:

    NA

    Skill Level:

    NA

    Water:

    NA

    Thermal:

    NA

    Group Size:

    NA

    Total Time:

    NA


    As a point of reference, our group of 4 including 3 experienced adults and a 15 year-old new to canyoneering descended Walker through Orderville taking 10 hours from the 4x4 parking to the Temple (9 AM to 7 PM).

    Posted Oct 16, 2013
  4. K Marshall
    Feb 11, 2013
    K Marshall

    Difficulty:

    NA

    Skill Level:

    NA

    Water:

    NA

    Thermal:

    NA

    Group Size:

    NA

    Total Time:

    NA


    Orderville has ample amounts of snow. Expect 6-12 inches on the canyon floor and even more on the rim. Also be ready for cold pools covered in ice.

    Posted Feb 11, 2013
The information provided here is intended for entertainment purposes only. The creator of this information and/or Canyon Collective are not liable for any harm or damage caused by this information. Conditions in the backcountry are constantly changing, only you are responsible for your safety and well being.