03/04/2013 08:26 am ET

Zion National Park's Subway Gets Ready For Its Close Up (PHOTOS)

"The Subway" at Utah's Zion National Park may not actually constitute public transport, but the stunning natural tunnel created by a river is certainly transporting. As outdoorsy traveler begin planning for the summer travel season, this unique formation is worth a spot on the itinerary.

The rough, 9-mile-long hike to and through The Subway requires permits (the busy season starts come April) because it is so popular with in-the-know travelers. And it's easy to see why the area is so popular -- the tunnel is simply stunning.

Unfortunately, planning for vacations in the parks has been complicated by the sequester, which threatens to mandate cuts throughout the park system. Still, Zion National Park spokeswoman Alyssa Baltrus told The Salt Lake City Tribune, "We’re hoping we can absorb all the cuts by the things we’ve already done."

That means The Subway should stay open. Mind the fissures.



The Subway, Zion National Park