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Rappelling and Canyoneering in Keyhole Slot Canyon in Zion National Park, Utah

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Destinations > Utah

Blog Post - July 9, 2021

Julie and I got invited to go rappelling and canyoneering in the Keyhole Slot Canyon in Zion National Park with some good friends.

These friends were really experienced and had all of the gear we needed, so we jumped at the opportunity. 

This was our first time exploring Zion National Park and it was amazing!

We headed out early to beat the heat. We drove through Zion National Park till we got to the designated parking area. It only fits 3 or 4 vehicles so this is another reason to start early. We parked  and headed to the trailhead.

The trail is really steep going up the mountain. Once you reach the top, you head down a steep trail till you get to the slot canyon.

Once there, we all drank some water and got our rappelling harnesses on. I put on my helmet too. This was my first time rappelling and I was super nervous. 

There are 3 rappels in the slot canyon that are about 25 feet at the highest. After the first rappel I started to get the hang of it. I was always the slowest going down, but everyone was really patient with me.

There are pools of water in the slot canyon that can be really high or really low just depending on the time of year you go. We brought wetsuits, but the water was low enough the we didn't put them on.

After the 3 rappels, we did a lot of climbing and scrambling through the slot canyon.

The views inside the slot canyon were breathtaking.

As we exited the slot canyon, we followed the trail to the road where we parked. You have the choice of going through a tunnel under the road or crossing the road to get back to your car.

This was such a fun adventure and we were so glad we got to go!

This is the view of where we parked looking towards the trailhead:

Keyhole Canyon Parking Area

We walked down the road to the where the trailhead starts. This is a steep climb to the top.

Keyhole Canyon Trailhead Entrance

This is the view from the top of the climb looking down at the trail we were going to take:

View from the top looking down of the trail to the Keyhole Slot Canyon

This is the view from the bottom of the hike:

View from the bottom of the hike

From the bottom of the hike, we walked a little ways to the first rappel into the Keyhole Slot Canyon.

Rappel #1 into Keyhole Slot Canyon
Jordan rappelling into Keyhole Slot Canyon

You can see the water at the bottom of the rappel. If the water had been higher, we would have put on our wetsuits.

Water at the bottom of the rappel

Then we headed to the rappel #2:

Rappel #2 at Keyhole Canyon

Then we headed to the rappel #3, which is the easiest of them all:

Rappel #3 at Keyhole Canyon

We then headed through the slot canyon. The views were amazing!

Views of the slot canyon
Views of the slot canyon

You will see these logs at the end of the slot canyon. We climbed out right here.

End of the slot canyon

This is the view looking down from where we climbed out of the slot canyon.

Climbed out of the slot canyon

We walked the trail out of Keyhole Canyon back to the road where we had parked.

Trail out of Keyhole Canyon

As you get to the road, you have the choice of crossing the road or taking the tunnel under the road to get back to your car.

Trail out of Keyhole Canyon

This was such a fun trip. Zion National Park was amazing!


Keyhole Canyon Map, Zion National Park, Utah:

(Click on the map above to go to a Google Maps larger view.)


Keyhole Canyon is located in Zion National Park. You need to pull a permit to hike the slot canyon. You also have to pay an entrance fee to get into Zion National Park.

Zion National Park Entrance Fee for 1 day: $35 per vehicle of 15 people or less or $20 per person if you are by yourself. 

Permit fee for Keyhole Canyon: We had 11 people in our group so the cost was $25 for the group

Permit Cost:

  • $15.00 - 1 to 2 people
  • $20.00 - 3 to 7 people
  • $25.00 - 8 to 12 people

Total cost for entrance and permit was $60


These are the checklist items I recommend:

  • Bring a small backpack with plenty of water and some food
  • Bring a hat to keep the sun off of your face for the hiking portion.
  • Bring a wetsuit in case the water levels are high.
  • Make sure you get a permit in advance
  • Bring money to pay to get into Zion National Park
  • Go with someone who is experienced and has the proper rappelling equipment
  • Go Pro Hero 9 Black video camera
  • Go Pro 3-Way Grip to hold the camera out in front of you.

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