Zion Snow Guess 3/2/2017 Tom Jones Link for North Fork Flow Rate. Closed to hiking above 150 cfs. There's a bunch of snow up high and at medium altitudes, and zilch at ground level Springdale. So what does that mean. A. The Narrows will most likely close for at least a few weeks. Projected: April 1 to May 15th. Depends on how the melt progresses. And if it snows or rains again. VERY hard to predict at this point. B. West Rim Trailhead: The road to the upper West Rim Trailhead is on the north side of a steep hillside at altitude (7800 feet). This road opens when it can, often not until June 1st. The road to Lava Point opens before that, adding a one mile hike (The Barney Trail) to the start up there. This opens... maybe May 1st (???). Before that, the road out to Lava Point tends to be a pond, and you can do that, but if hiking the West Rim Trail, it might be better to hike from the Wildcat Trailhead. C. The Subway has a lower and smaller collection zone leading to it, but given the snowpack, it is likely to be flowing and impassable to all but the best canyoneers starting... well, maybe even now. Hard to say. Depends on the warm/cool cycles at the 7000 to 8000 foot level. In prior years it has had heavy flow during April and the Wilderness Desk SHOULD close it, but there is no gauge on that creek, so it is hard for them to track the flow level. Being issued a permit is ZERO indication that the canyon is passable. WHEN you get down to stream level, if there is flow in the canyon (>1 cfs) you should probably turn around. From the bottom, no problem. D. ECHO Canyon: Middle Echo Canyon holds snow. There tends to be an impassable huge block of snow some distance after the rappels. Reports from a few weeks ago was that the block was close to being impassable; so it is likely not passable now. Hard to say when it will be passable - if you plan on doing it, hike in from the bottom to the bottom of the last rappel (if you can) before rapping in. The Desk might or might not close the canyon. Being issued a permit does not mean passage is possible. E. Other Canyons: early season, the tendency is to run canyons that face south and are fairly low. Popular canyons early season include: Keyhole, Pine Creek, Spry, Behunin, Not Imlay. I can also recommend Jacob. Observation Point Canyon tends to be very warm (as in, too warm) unless the day is very cloudy; until you get to the shaded place where it would be very cold (wetsuit/drysuit needed). Mystery is likely to hold snow for awhile on the approach, but should be good once you get there. Engelstead tends to hold some snow. F. Imlay and Heaps: Heaps you can drive by and see if it is flowing. That is snowmelt coming out of there. Unlikely to be a good time if there is flow coming out of the canyon. Tends to be very wet and very cold in the spring... out through July 1st. Imlay has a fairly large and fairly high drainage, so it takes a while to stop flowing in the spring. Hard to tell without going and looking. G. Lava Point Canyons: the canyons that start near Lava Point (Kolob, Boundary, Pipe Spring) are really the highest canyons in the Park, and the last to be ready. If you cannot drive to the West Rim Trailhead, you probably don't want to do these canyons. Kolob tends to hold some very large ice-bergs/snow piles in places (below the usual rappel part) that can be technical and dangerous. The reported release from the dam is not necessarily a useful thing to know... If you want to do one of these canyons, I recommend doing Pipe Spring Canyon first, all the way to the creek, to see how the creek is doing. It is a fun canyon, even if it does not have the REP! Overall, it is fair to say that the Zion season, when we have winter snows like this year, does not start until maybe June 1st. Could be sooner, could be later.