The Subway: Russell Gulch

Last Candition: April 19, 2011


5 out of 5
Date of Trip: April 18, 2019

Went though this morning with my brother and it was spectacular. Trailhead access is clear of all snow. We were at the top of the first rap in Russell Gulch in 90 minutes (including about 15 minutes to get on wetsuits and gear). There's a good amount of snow melt from the Kolob Plateau creating a nice stream through the canyon and awesome waterfalls to rappel down. May not be for the faint of heart but we thoroughly enjoyed it.

There are a few narrow places down in the Subway that we took special care on considering the water flow, but we didn't have any issues. Got to the Left Fork Trailhead in just under 8 hours from leaving Wildcat Canyon Trailhead. The anchors and webbing were all in good shape.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 14, 2017

Russell Gulch is full of water - clean, cold and very green right now. We loved the 2nd rappel into the scenic cave area with vegetation hanging over on both sides of the slot. The pools at the bottom of raps 1 and 2 were both swims for 10 to 15 feet (on short folks; we're 5'2" and 5'4" so YMMV) and there was a short swim between raps 1 and 2 as well. Other than that, there were some narrow areas to wade through but nothing more than thigh deep. We used 3mm wetsuits and were chilly but fine. At the bottom of rap 3 there is a social path LDC to avoid the pool at the end of the normal Subway approach. From where we started down Russell Gulch to where we met up with the end of the normal Subway approach took about 2 hours. In total, 9.5 hours from car to car. Anchors and webbing all in good shape.

3 out of 5
Date of Trip: October 18, 2013

Great fall colors. The first rap was chest deep (i'm 6'0"), and 2nd rap if you jump in the middle of the water, is a small sand walkway that is waist-deep rather than chest deep. VERY COLD!! You are not smart if you don't bring a full-wetsuit in the fall months. Anchors in good shape. Replaced webbing & rap ring on 2nd rap; fraying.

Image JBC
5 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 24, 2013

Replaced webbing on one station. Water on one rappel was waist deep. Some skanky parts along route.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 21, 2013

Anchors and webbing all looked good. We came after a couple big rainstorms so lots of dirty muddy water and the riverbed was full of mud. The first two rappels lowered into water about waste deep. The water was warm.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: April 28, 2013

Webbing good. No flow. Chest deep water in a couple of places

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: March 30, 2013

All snow and ice has melted. New yellow? or purple? webbing at the first and second raps. Older but good tan webbing still there at the last free hanging rap. Most raps, drops go into pools. Average flow in the Left Fork proper. Beautiful day in the subway. Five of us were in thick wetsuits, two in dry suits, all comfortable.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: December 25, 2012

Deep snow, lots of ice, some ice-breaking-swimming. Very, very cold. 2 feet of snow on the approach. 11-1/2 hours car to car. Very beautiful.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: August 23, 2012

took a group of 4 through here after flashing on Sunday and loots of rain on Wednesday. russells gulch was great! lots of warm water, great rappells. the subway was also fun, however the flash has washed a mass amount of sand throughout the canyon, placed that used to have 6 foot swim holes are now filled with sand. the canyon is very different!

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: July 11, 2012

Descended Russell Gulch directly, surprisingly good amount of water, several waist deep pools and two sections of chest deep water, possibly a swim for shorter people at the bottom of the second rappel. Spinning hanger on one of the bolts at the first rappel, and the webbing at the last rappel could stand replacement soon. Subway itself had lots of handlines left behind that will surely be cut down soon, otherwise normal conditions.

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: April 19, 2011

Steady flow of 2-4 CFS. All anchors in good shape. Pools at bottoms of rappels are swimming with light hydraulics. 3-4 total short swims.