Zion National Park 6-8May2012 trip report

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Zion National Park 6-8May2012 trip report

New postby SNEAKers » Wed May 30, 2012 11:17 pm

I finally have gotten around to going through some of the 1000+ pictures I took during my trip to Zion National Park earlier this May. Unfortunately, I typed up a detailed trip report last night, but was logged out and lost the whole thing. So here goes the reader's digest version….

First night camped out at Kolob Reservoir, 8,500 ft elevation and was apparently the coldest place in Utah that night (right around freezing with 50-60mph gusts and no real shelter from the wind). Below is a picture of our campsite and we were the only ones camping at the reservoir that night.

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This is the water just to the left of the shot above.
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The next morning we set out on the West Rim Trail (WRT) which starts at the northern end of the park and heads south to the main canyon of the Virgin River. The trail is about 16 miles and we camped at Campsite 4, which is nearly halfway down the trail.

Much of the first few miles are this type of terrain with trees damaged by wildfire.
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This was an approximately 4 inch long grasshopper with fire engine red legs.
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This was along the "west rim" where you begin to see into the hundreds of canyons that zig zag across the land.
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The trail then seemingly ends at the edge of a cliff, but actually begins a descent down many switchbacks. This picture is approximately halfway down the switchbacks. You can see the trail in the bottom left of the picture.
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This is down towards the bottom. You can see how much the terrain has changed from the first picture of the WRT.
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Another view from the bottom.
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The trail then begins to climb slightly and changes again to even more dry and rocky terrain. I love the oranges and reds of the rock.
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This was about 20 feet high and provided some much needed shade.
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This is approaching the WRT junction with the Angel's Landing Trail and trail to the Grotto (which is at the bottom of the main canyon/Virgin River) This view is looking at the north side of Angel's Landing, which can be climbed by going up the narrow trail in this picture. Unfortunately, this was the second day and our friend was waiting at the end of the trail, so we did not climb to the top. It burns me so bad that we did not get to the top, that I modified a cross country road trip that I'm taking in July to go back!
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These are some of the switchbacks that goes from the trail junction down to the main canyon. To see the scale and steepness, there is a person down at the last switchback.
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This is the view into the main canyon with the Virgin River and Zion's red canyon road to the left of the river. The trail is to the right in the picture. This is as close to the view from the top of Angel's Landing as I got, but really is no comparison to pictures I've seen.
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If you are ever in Las Vegas and have time for a long day trip or can take a few days, I HIGHLY recommend heading to Zion! Hope you all enjoy the pictures!
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Re: Zion National Park 6-8May2012 trip report

New postby Jon » Thu May 31, 2012 9:15 pm

wow I remember going there when I was 10 or 11 and taking a bus ride to some river, but nothing like that. Great photos. Looks like it was a great trip!
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Re: Zion National Park 6-8May2012 trip report

New postby SNEAKers » Thu May 31, 2012 9:48 pm

Haha! The last few pictures is the place! The park doesn't allow cars in the main canyon in the summer for environmental reasons. And this is the only place the buses run... Pretty amazing how our perspective changes as we grow older.

In my original trip report that was lost, I wrote a little about a couple I met on the bus. They were telling me about how they were in Zion in their early 30's which was 47 years earlier! I asked them if it was much different back then and they said it really is unchanged other than Zion lodge which had burned down and was rebuilt slightly different. An extraordinary place by far!
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Re: Zion National Park 6-8May2012 trip report

New postby mike » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:28 pm

Great trip report. I haven't been to Zion NP yet. Maybe one of these days I will get there. The terrain is just beautiful. If you get a chance, post some more pictures. One of my friends just went to Arches NP. I'm hoping to get to Glacier NP in September.

Better that it was cool then blazing hot!
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Re: Zion National Park 6-8May2012 trip report

New postby Nasrettin Hoca » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:09 pm

Nice Photos!

I did Angels Landing this past March. After a ski trip. First time I'd been to Zion and it was well worth the effort. There are chains along the way, but there was one place, no chain and lots of snow and ice.

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When I go again, and I will, I'll take my dry suit and do the narrows. Zion has about the fewest roads of any National Park I've done.
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Re: Zion National Park 6-8May2012 trip report

New postby mike » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:38 pm

Wow! That is one impressive climb.
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Re: Zion National Park 6-8May2012 trip report

New postby Nasrettin Hoca » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:57 pm

There was something else across the way. A slot canyon but at elevation. Can't recall having seen the like. I thought it was more challenging than Angels Landing which was pretty clear cut. This, you had to figure it out. IIRC at one point, I backtracked and hit it another way. Has a distinctly Devils Path feel to it. So a Catskill Hiker should be all set when you tackle it.

There were these obstacles throughout. Where floods crammed a lot of stuff into a narrow.
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Here's a little slot within a slot
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I had to stem across this to avoid getting wet.
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Re: Zion National Park 6-8May2012 trip report

New postby SNEAKers » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:28 am

Hoca,

You are much braver than I !  When I was in Zion during this trip (went in May and July this year) there was some rumbles of thunder when I was at the trail junction.  I definitely didn't want to be climbing Angel's Landing when wet.  You climbed in the snow/ice... Yikes!

I still haven't shown the pics from the cross country road trip after Crater Lake, which will include Zion part II.   Unfortunately, there isn't much to show because it rained the whole time I was there and again wouldn't climb in the wet.

Those other pics are amazing as well, looks like a great time!  Zion and Yellowstone are by far my two favorite places I've been!  In the future I will refuse to go to Las Vegas without a plan to hit Zion for a couple of days. 
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