South Guardian Angel (Zion NP, UT)


Jan 11, 2018
The Route
South Guardian Angel is prized among Zion peak baggers due to its relatively remote location and challenging approach. For your grovelfest you are rewarded with an ascent up lovely sandstone and breathtaking views that few will ever see.I hiked the 3rd class NE Ridge back in April 2018. There is a short section of 4th class on the approach out of the creek bed.

I put detailed beta on Mt Project.

The cross-country route from the small pink dome near North Guardian to the base of South Guardian.
Start/end Trailhead: Wildcat Canyon trailhead off of Kolob Terrace Road (shuttle required for optional Subway descent which ends the Left Fork trailhead)
Mileage: ~15 miles
Elevation gain: ~2900 ft
Navigation: GPS suggested, some cairns
Filterable water: most reliable water in North Creek
Permits: visitor required for overnight trips or with the optional Subway +/- Russell Gulch exit
Bathrooms: parking lot
Dogs: not allowed
Nearest town/gas: La Verkin, UT (gas); Virgin (food, seasonal)

Passing by one of the Northgate Peaks.

North Guardian Angel

One of the smaller domes as you head toward the pink bump that marks the descent into the Subway.

Rounding the base of North Guardian to see South Guardian, just a major drainage away.

Crossing the Left Fork of North Creek (a.k.a. the Subway).

The Jughandle Arch (how you know you crossed the creek at the right place).

Heading up from the valley onto the toe of South Guardian Angel.

the hoodoo section

Passing the big hoodoo.

The little vegetated ledge before the final push to the summit.


your reward

Closer view of North Guardian Angel.

The grovelly ascent out of North Creek on the way back.

Out of the drainage


  • DSC05706.JPG
    797.8 KB · Views: 48
I have this in my back pocket to do someday. But that piece of paper is getting pretty ratty looking when I remove it from my pocket. I am held back by the 4th class bit and I know that the final slope is a doozy. @Jackson had some decent pictures in his trip report of that. We'll see. Maybe if I get @Jeffrey Chandler invested in it, it will happen.
If you bring a friend along that's ok with the 4th you could get up and down the lower part with a short rope, possibly getting an anchor in on the rock or trees. The 3rd class section would be harder to protect since there are less features and less substantial vegetation.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Jackson South Guardian Angel Hiking & Camping 12
Kullaberg63 Suggestions for Escalante east of river, south of Choprock Trip Planning 4
Timber High Sierra - North Lake to South Lake Loop - Layover Day Trip Planning 9
J South Crandall Creek and the Hoodoos Wyoming and Yellowstone? Trip Planning 3
RockyMntCol Trip Planning Younts Peak / South Fork Yellowstone Trip Planning 12
F Thorofare/South Boundary/Wolverine Creek Trip Planning 2
balzaccom South America Everything Else 1
BobFink Yellowstone South Entrance to Fox Creek via Basin Creek Cutoff - Labor Day 2022 Trip Reports 4
scatman South Ridge of City Creek Canyon - January 28, 2023 Hiking & Camping 4
SteveR Coyote Buttes South- New Daily Permit Process Trip Planning 8
wsp_scott Big South Fork Bikepacking Backpacking 1
S Driving to poverty flats (South Coyote Buttes) on AWD Trip Planning 11
P Yellowstone--Heart Lake to South Entrance Backpacking 13
John Goering Tobacco Root Mountains South Meadow Creek Off Road 1
BJett Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area Packraft/Backpack Loop (TN) Backpacking 6
balzaccom South by Southwest from Napa Hiking & Camping 4
Janice Vermillion Cliffs Trip - Part 2 - White Pocket & Coyote Buttes South Hiking & Camping 7
Janice The Wave - and SO MUCH MORE! (Coyote Buttes North, South, White Pocket, Buckskin, Condors, Bighorns...) - Part 1 Hiking & Camping 14
dhertbag Camping at Cottonwood Cove - Coyote Buttes South Trip Planning 11
wsp_scott Honey Creek (Big South Fork) Backpacking 9
Chuck the Mauler Sierra North Lake / South Lake "loop" questions Trip Planning 10
wsp_scott Big South Fork Views Backpacking 14
S Conejos - South San Juan Wilderness Backpacking 2
Jammer Sequoia: Upper Kern and Lake South America Backpacking 12
kwc Chimney Mountain, South Central Adirondacks Hiking & Camping 3
kwc Hiking in the South Central Adirondacks Hiking & Camping 1
I Water in Frisky Creek south of Highway 12 in the Grand Staircase? Trip Planning 0
K Floating down South Fork of the Snake (ID) Trip Planning 1
regehr Dirty Devil South Trip Reports 11
Nick Coyote Buttes South - Jan 18, 2020 Trip Planning 1
TrailScot Quite the Adventure, South of Moab, Across the Colorado Plateau, May 2019 - Part 4 Backpacking 17
TrailScot Quite the Adventure, South of Moab, Across the Colorado Plateau, May 2019 - Part 3 Backpacking 8
TrailScot Quite the Adventure - South of Moab, Across the Colorado Plateau, May 2019 - Part 2 Backpacking 14
TrailScot Quite the Adventure - South of Moab, Across the Colorado Plateau, May 2019 - Part 1 Backpacking 10
regehr south waterpocket fold backpack Trip Planning 27
Titans Prescribed burn South Monroe Mountain- photos from Capitol Reef area Photography 0
Chuck the Mauler North Lake - South Lake questions Trip Planning 4
tropicalwanderer YNP : 8/31-9/7 : Heart Lake to Nine Mile via CDT, South Boundary and Thorofare Trip Planning 9
LarryBoy Going South this Weekend? Meet Up (Members Only) 4
I Zion-South Utah Spring Break - March 9th-March 14th Trip Planning 15
Born to Hike Windriver 36 mile loop: Skull Lake, Washakie Pass, South Fork Lakes, Lizard Head Trail, The Cirque, Big Sandy Lake Backpacking 6
D South Coyote Buttes. We are going to put in at Lone Tree Reservoir because we don't have 4wd but we want to make it to White Pocket. Trip Planning 30
WasatchWill South Draw Loop Off Road 3
balzaccom South Lake Blew us away Backpacking 4
Wanderlust073 South Colony Lakes overnight Backpacking 9
Perry Old South Skyline Trail - Ogden Canyon Trip Planning 1
pixie1339 White Pocket, South Coyote Buttes Advice Trip Planning 11
KevinBoyer South Lake to North Lake Sierra Nevada Trip Planning 4
Curt Badlands National Park, South Dakota Backpacking 14
fiber Wind River Range, South - Sept 2-6, 2017 Backpacking 13

Similar threads