Bureau of Land Management, Utah.
Birch Hollow is a side canyon of Orderville Canyon in the Orderville Canyon Wilderness Study Area. With its twisting passages and striking descents, Birch Hollow offers canyoneers a superlative day trip. The route requires technical canyoneering skills and equipment, with rappels of up to 120 feet (40 meters).
Birch Hollow is undeveloped, with no designated trails or amenities. Most visitors begin at the Birch Hollow kiosk on North Fork Road. From the kiosk, an unmaintained path leads about a mile to the first rappel. Alternatively, a user-created bypass route can be used to avoid the first drop. The route continues downcanyon through a series of rappels before reaching the confluence with Orderville Canyon. From here, most visitors exit the canyon system by hiking upstream to the Orderville Canyon trailhead and shuttling back to the Birch Hollow kiosk. Alternative user-identified routes can eliminate the need for a shuttle, but they require good route-finding skills and are often difficult to follow. Some visitors opt to hike downcanyon in Orderville Canyon into Zion National Park, ultimately exiting the canyon system by way of the Virgin River Narrows. This route requires additional rappels and a Zion National Park canyoneering permit. It makes for an extremely long day hike that should not be underestimated.
Birch Hollow is critical habitat for the threatened Mexican spotted owl and contains other important resources such as wilderness character. Limit group size to 12 people or fewer to minimize impacts to wildlife and other resources. If you have a larger group, break it up and allow at least a 30-minute buffer between groups.
Please do your part to protect Orderville Canyon Wilderness Study Area by following Leave No Trace principles:
Plan ahead and prepare to ensure that you have detailed route information as well as proper skills and equipment. Bring all supplies, including drinking water, with you. Be self-sufficient and don’t expect others to rescue you in an emergency.
Dispose of waste properly and packing out what you pack in.
Protect soils and vegetation by traveling on durable surfaces and staying low in the drainage as you hike.
Leave what you find, and don’t mark rock faces or disturb vegetation. Adding bolts or chains or other climbing equipment is prohibited.
Respect wildlife by maintaining your distance and not harassing or feeding wild animals.
Be considerate of other visitors by keeping noise down and allowing faster groups to pass you in the canyon to avoid bottlenecks at obstacles.
Know before you go:
Slot canyons like Birch Hollow are flood prone and should not be attempted if there is a risk of rain or flash flooding.
Attempting to access the trailheads for Birch Hollow and Orderville Canyon by passenger car is not recommended. The unpaved portion of North Fork Road is clay based and quickly becomes impassable to even 4-wheel-drive vehicles when wet.
From the intersection of Utah State Route 9 and the North Fork Road, about 1.75 miles from the east entrance to Zion National Park, travel up North Fork Road for about 8.5 miles to the Birch Hollow kiosk and a small parking area on the north side of the road. To stage a vehicle at Orderville Canyon, continue an additional three miles on North Fork Road before turning right onto BLM92. Most vehicles should park at the gate about 0.2 miles down BLM92 as the road becomes extremely rough. 4-wheel-drive vehicles with high clearance may be able to reach the Orderville Canyon trailhead 2.5 miles from the intersection with North Fork Road.