Behunin Canyon, Zion National Park

Zion National Park
> Canyons
> Behunin Canyon

Behunin Canyon

Behunin Canyon is a great intermediate canyoneering route, with nine separate rappels, the last of which is a 165-foot free rappel to the Middle Emerald Pool, where hikers can take a cool swim. Read More

  • The trek is 5-9 hours long, covering just over 8 miles.
  • There are nine rappels in total, with five of them over 100 feet in length.
  • The canyon rating is 3A III, with a maximum group size of six people.
  • Generally dry throughout the year, Behunin can be very hot during summer.


Somewhat wider than other slot canyons in Zion, Behunin nonetheless provides significant hiking and technical challenges because of the length and number of rappels. 

Because it's normally a dry route, bring plenty of water as it's particularly hot in the afternoon sun. However, snow melt in winter and spring can bring significant water through the canyon, introducing an entirely new element of risk.

The route starts with a two-hour walk along the West Rim Trail, leading to the descent into this canyoneering adventure. There are a total of nine rappels, finishing with a 165 ft. drop to the Middle Emerald Pool.

Canyon Specifics

  • Route distance: 8.5 miles
  • Average time: 5-9 hours
  • Canyon rating: 3A III (Canyon Rating System)
  • Best time to go: Limited water, heat and southern exposure make spring and fall ideal seasons.
  • Route beginning: Grotto Picnic Area
  • Route end: Middle Emerald Pool, with hiking access back to the Grotto Picnic Area
  • Elevation change: 2,400 feet


A backcountry permit is required for access into Behunin Canyon, so be sure to make a reservation online at or call (435) 772-0170 for more information.