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Thread: Zion West Rim backpack
09-23-2016, 07:58 PM #1
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- Mar 2011
Zion West Rim backpack
Looking to explore another part of Zion National Park, and also arrange a first backpacking outing for my ten-year-old son, I managed to secure a permit for Campsite 6 - about halfway along the West Rim Trail between Lava Point and Zion Canyon (The Grotto). Beloved wife and another couple completed the expedition. We camped the night previous at Kolob Reservoir, as the Lava Point campground near the trailhead (with only six sites) was full. First day was around 8 miles of sometimes level, sometimes uphill hiking across a plateau through pleasant meadows and forests of desert oak and ponderosa pine, with leaves starting to turn to fiery fall. Most springs along the route were dry, so we carried all our own water.
Campsite 6 sits atop a bluff overlooking the sheer cliffs and canyons of the Zion backcountry. This trek gave us all a greater appreciation of the size of the area; if you only see the park from Zion Canyon, you almost get the feeling that it consists of a narrow strip along the Virgin River.) Wasps were abundant, no doubt feasting on the scattered scraps of ramen noodles and Mountain House dinners left by passing through-hikers. Yet they weren't much of a nuisance, and no threat to the cabernet sauvignon we'd brought along.
Day Two involved a delightful start: 3 miles along the West Rim, hiking along the edge of the plateau with spectacular views. Then, the five-mile drop into Zion Canyon, past Cabin Spring and Angels Landing, with the silver/red/orange sandstone monoliths for which Zion is rightly famous. There is one roughly quarter-mile stretch which sees the trail zigzag down a steep cliff face, reminiscent of the North Kaibab Trail, with massive drop-offs.
Finally we were at the bridge marking trail's end, and there we clocked our fastest pace of the entire journey, sprinting for the pub at Zion Lodge, where cold beers awaited. Trip was rounded off nicely with a filling late lunch at Oscar's in Springdale.
We estimated the total distance at around sixteen miles. We trained for this, and brought all our own water as we figured on most water sources being dry at this time of year. A month earlier, in hot weather, this hike could be really tough. Overall, however, a great introduction to backpacking for my son, and a splendid time was had all round!Attachment 84940Attachment 84948Attachment 84947Attachment 84946Attachment 84945Attachment 84944Attachment 84943Attachment 84942Attachment 84941Attachment 84949
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