Icebox Canyon, Zion National Park

Zion National Park
> Canyons
> Icebox Canyon

Icebox Canyon

Including a waterfall rappel and the famous Kolob Arch, Icebox Canyon is an ideal route for those looking for a more remote canyoneering adventure that can be done in one long day. Read More

  • While the trip can be completed in one day, a peaceful overnight is also possible.
  • Descending in the lush canyon, a constant spring provides water for drinking and swimming, as well as the waterfall.
  • For advanced canyoneers, the Slickrock Pass Variation has a 3-pitch, 460-foot big wall rappel.
  • After descending the canyon, the return trail passes Kolob Arch.


Either as a single day or overnighter, Icebox Canyon (also known as Waterfalls Canyon) is a great way to be alone in the fingers of the Kolob Canyons. Running it as a single day trek will be long and tiring, but rappelling gear for an overnighter can be difficult as well.

While there is plenty of water inside the canyon itself, enough water must be carried to reach the canyon floor, a distance of about three miles. Dropping down into the canyon requires several rappels through the watercourse, which is surrounded by lush vegetation.

After entering the canyon proper, follow the waterway through several more rappels, including one into a large pool, and over a waterfall (hence the Waterfalls Canyon name), while enjoying the vegetated red rock canyon walls and other features. 

Although the route is long and technical, the spectacular waterfall finish and a view of Kolob Arch make the long day worth the scratches, aching thighs and sun-burnt face.

Canyon Specifics

  • Route distance: 12.25 miles
  • Average time: 12 hours
  • Canyon rating: 3B IV; Slickrock Pass Variation - 4B IV (Canyon Rating System)
  • Best time to go: Since this is a long day trip, summer is the best time to go for the long hours of daylight.
  • Route beginning: Lee Pass parking lot
  • Route end: Lee Pass parking lot
  • Elevation change: 2,700 feet 
  • Number of rappels: 9


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