Re: ORDERVILLE from gravel road better than Narrows 2 day top down ?
- OK, the first time I was in Zion I had only a couple days... and I've been coming back ever since. So be warned, as Tom said, you could spend much time there.
Anyway, you have lots of good options and opinions. I suspect at that time of year permits may be your biggest constraint. Though be wary of the weather as well! Zion main canyon from below has no permit requirement, so you can do that any day. I would say at least a day there is a must. But you could also do (with an early start) Angels' Landing followed by a walk up the narrows. When we did that, we cached our water gear in the bushes near the Angels' Landing shuttle stop. It makes for a long day and you're in the midst of the crowd all the way up the Narrows. (advantage of a plain and simple early start up the Narrows is that you can stay ahead of most other people if you keep moving).
I would choose Subway over Orderville if I had the choice. But as Harlan pointed out, it is a hot walk out in the summer, and it's fairly long. There's water most of the way, and most likely you'll be late enough that the short but steep climb out at the end would be shaded (it is east facing). Orderville would be cooler, you're in the water during the hot part of the day.
We all are assuming you know what you are doing in easy technical canyons. If you're planning on being the type who jumps off the obstacles or tries to descend using clothes like you bought at Home Depot, do reconsider please.
You have very long days in the summer. You will need them. You *really* want to get nice early starts!