Zion National Park recs

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Jim Davies
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Re: Zion National Park recs

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:00 am

Bring water shoes if you want to do the Narrows.
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Re: Zion National Park recs

Postby jdorje » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:05 am

I did the narrows just fine in my trail runners with thick wool socks. Many there did bring or rent water shoes. I considered using my vibrams but it was a good idea to leave them behind. The river is quite rocky in most places so you don't want a shoe with a very thin sole.

I will say in line with a previous thread: polarized sunglasses would be a good idea. Seeing the river bottom through the water is very helpful.
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Re: Zion National Park recs

Postby Bobo » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:40 am

+ another 1 for Angels Landing. Pretty smart advice for the early morning from others, but don't discount a late afternoon/evening hike up too. My son and I did it on July 2nd this year (it was a hot day, but our hike was relatively nice), depending on your timing, you have nice shade after you leave the river, until boy scout lookout. On the way down, we got shade from about half way down the "chain section", all the rest of the way to the shuttle stop. The advantage to the afternoon/evening is no crowds, and beautiful afternoon light in the canyon. Just make sure you leave enough time to catch the shuttle bus, and take a headlamp in case something goes south. It took us 3 hours round trip, with a picnic dinner on top. Try not to use the chains for hand holds (you'll have a better sense of accomplishment).
"At this point the runner might philosophize a and consider just where he or she is in the Imogene Pass Run. You've climbed 1945 ft of elevation in 5.45 mi, at an average of 356 ft./mi., 6.8% gradient. To reach Imogene Pass you must climb 3365 ft in the next 4.60 mi, at an average of 731 ft./mi., or 13.85% gradient. Your effort so far has simply been a warmup. The steep gradients of the named hills below are now less than the average gradient ahead." - IPR course description
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Re: Zion National Park recs

Postby cougar » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:31 pm

agree with the other recs - Narrows is a must do because it's rather unique and scenic. Angels Landing too. But both are also the most crowded - as with most places, the farther back you go, the fewer people. Observation Point or the West Rim would be great after Angels Landing (just go farther along on the same trail from where it splits off on the way back from AL if you have the time). I didn't see anyone past the turn-off for Angels - it's mostly just backpackers up there. The views from the canyon rim are great, and the landscape transitions a lot. Nice little alcoves of oak trees, and it's cooler and breezier up there.

I wish I had gotten the water shoes - I didn't know about them until I saw people wearing them. You get a cool staff too.
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Re: Zion National Park recs

Postby bob863 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:40 pm

+1 for all the great recs so far - the Narrows and Angels Landing; however, if you want to avoid the crowds, please consider the Subway slot canyon just a few miles outside of the park. The only bad news is that they require permits (normally, a year's wait).

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Re: Zion National Park recs

Postby flashover00 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:47 pm

I'm very familiar with Zion - actually got married in the park under the giant cottonwood tree at the lodge. My votes would be as follows:

(1) Observation Point. Less crowds, you get to see more of the canyon as you wind your way up, and it's higher than angels landing so you get a better view of the canyon. Also, you can spur off main trail and hit some nearby "summits" along the canyon - Cable Mountain being one of them; or you can just keep going and hike the rim trail to your heart's content.

(2) Kolob Arch from the north part of the park. You can avoid just about 95% of the crowds as everyone just goes to the canyon and "skips" this one. If you access it directly from I-15 north of St. George and you'll have the trail basically to yourself. It's a 15 mile roundtrip hike from the TH to the Arch itself - and the trail winds its way through the canyons and along the Virgin river the whole time.

I would agree that Angel's Landing and the narrows are must-do's as well. Also, don't forget to stop in at Oscar's on your way out for post hike grub. The green chile pork burrito is a staple.
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Re: Zion National Park recs

Postby Kane » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:30 am

Ive been to Zion 7 times in the past two years and I reside in Denver! I'm a bonified Zion Junkie. Personally I think the scenery there blows Colorado scenery away. I certainly get that it's a different kind of landscape in Zion but that place really appeals to me eye. Each time I go it's because I long for the backcountry where nobody visits, I say that with certainty. Somebody here said that Zion is quite small. Hmm, maybe in sq miles, but it would litterally take a lifetime to explore all the backcountry in there. That's the beauty of Zion, all the people reside in about 10% of the land.

I typically do a big backcountry backpack and climb followed by a few days of chilling with another trip up the Narrows. The Narrows is downright fantastic each time I visit so I have no issues with all the recommendations. If I could, I would pack my gear and head to Zion, and explore Narrows photography for a month straight.

However, in my opinion, the best bang for the buck (short hike) is a sunset hike up Progeny Peak. It's about two hours up there so it's a good one for late afternoon. The view is spectacular, access is super easy and you will be all alone. It sort of reminds me of the first time I hiked to Willow Lake which resides way above Maroon Lake. When you're up there the views of the Bells and Pyramid are mesmorizing and you get the luxery of seeing the hords of people below. You get that feeling that you are the lucky one here. Progeny is like that, especially at sunset.

Now, if you want a true backcountry Zion Experience that will eat up your day, and officially make you a Zion junkie then I recommend Hepworth and Roof Peaks. I promise you a fantastic Zion memory...if you hit the route correct. Google "Everytrail Hepworth Peak" and get a fantastic route description that if followed well, you will have no problems. The views from up there are in my opinion better than anything from the main canyon. And you get the pleasure of climbing something that maybe 6-12 people a year visit. You will be alone.

Here's four pages of Zion Pictures.


Btw if you need more info feel free to contact me.
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Re: Zion National Park recs

Postby mtn_nut » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:43 am

I wrote up my zion trip from last fall here. It might give you some inspiration.


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