When we set out to travel, one of our goals was to make sure that we thoroughly enjoy each place we visited. We clearly have the time and saving gas is a major bonus as well. We were recently in Zion for four days and while that sounds short, I think we did it justice. Let’s recap:
Day 1 (Tues, Oct 3): Hike Observation Point (7 miles, 2645 ft gain)
What a way to introduce yourself to Zion. This 8 mile hike brings you to the highest point in Zion, overlooking the main canyon in the park. One interesting note, the hike looked down upon Angel’s Landing, the most popular hike in Zion. We wanted to do it but it was closed for restoration. However, after hiking Observation Point, we believe we got a better view than the one provided at Angel’s Landing.
Day 2 (Wed, Oct 4): Climb “Led by Sheep” (4-pitch, 5.6, 800′)
This was a fun one. The ascent to get to the climb was interesting: we had to toe-step our way up large slabs of rock that were most decidedly angled down. Gravity would not have been kind if we slipped. Thankfully, we didn’t and our calves got one hell of a workout. That was the hardest part of the whole day. Once we got to the climb, it was an upward walk in the park with a stunning summit at the end. According to a guide who summited after us, it’s one of *the* best views in the whole park. Win. The rappel down was SUPER fun as well. It was a two-rope rappel, meaning each rappel was about 60M or almost 200ft in length.
Day 3 (Thur, Oct 5): Hike Hidden Canyon (4.5 miles, 1130 ft gain) and Weeping Rock (1 mile, 175 ft gain). Visit the History Museum.
This is what Colin calls a “rest day”. While I disagree, it was lighter than our previous days. We did the more touristy items and were actually surprised with some of the drop-offs Hidden Canyon had to offer.
Day 4 (Fri, Oct 6): Hike The Narrows (10 miles, 380 ft gain)
This hike is going on my all-time favorites list. What an unbelievable, breathtaking hike. We set out early to avoid tourists (as if we aren’t one). While it made for an early morning, it was worth it ten fold. There were many times when it felt like we were the only ones in the canyon. That’s my kind of hike. About half of the hike involved treading through water. Most of the time, the water was just below our knees but every now and then, it would come up to the belly button. Thankfully, our rented gear (for a steep price) was solid. We had neoprene socks and booties along with dry pants and each bit of it made getting into the water fun, not freezing (this is KEY for my happiness factor). While there was hardly any gain on this hike, it was still one heck of a workout. It felt like the longest water aerobics class ever with a few boulder scrambles to boot. The last 1-2 miles back to the Zion shuttle felt like an eternity, mainly because we were walking through throngs of tourists, but also because our legs were just gassed.
Over one year in van life and loving it. Hiker, rock climber, novice mountain biker, and professional napper. Official “documenter” of our time with Vaniel. Favorite podcast: Stuff You Should Know.