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Zion Backpacking

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Zion Backpacking

Postby daw37 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:03 pm

Hi all,

I'm coming to Zion in late April and am looking for a good backpack. Currently thinking about going up to Kolob Arch but also debating going up on the west rim but I understand that it may be difficult to get to Lava Point / through Little Siberia. Is this likely to be the case? Most of the info I've found just says winter is bad but no when it will be ok!

Quite happy to carry spikes / crampons / ice axe if its particularly icy!

Thanks!

David
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Re: Zion Backpacking

Postby Wisdom » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:16 am

Hey daw, since you're going to be at Zion, you may want to plan on doing Angels Landing too. It will only take you a few hours, but it's a fun climb. Only need to carry some water and maybe something light for traction if there's ice on the trail - but I wouldn't think that should be an issue in late April. The bottom part of the trail is paved switchbacks, but it does get fun on the upper part.

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Re: Zion Backpacking

Postby Buz Groshong » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:38 pm

I spent a few days there in late April a few years ago and it was a great time for it. I didn't backpack; I styed in one of the local motels and day-hiked. When I hiked up to Angel's Landing, I went on up to the west rim. There was some old snow remaining where the drifts had been, but not really much other than that. Definitely didn't require ice axe or crampons; kicking steps and using poles did just fine. Hiking up to Observation Point, I didn't encounter any snow. I also rented a dry suit and hiked up to the narrows; that was really a great day.
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Re: Zion Backpacking

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:11 pm

You might consider subscribing to
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Zion_Nati ... rk_Hiking/

Traditional backpacking routes are pretty scarce in Zion; the one that comes to mind is the connection of West Rim and East Rim trails with a shuttle (perhaps provided by ZAC, Zion Adventure Company). In April, "Little Siberia" is sometimes dangerous, so it is good to call the NPS or ZAC for an update. There are certainly lots of backcountry routes where one could loop, but it is surprisingly tricky country, with confusing terrain and cliffs that pop up seemingly out of nowhere.
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Re: Zion Backpacking

Postby Buz Groshong » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:20 pm

MoapaPk wrote:You might consider subscribing to
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Zion_Nati ... rk_Hiking/

Traditional backpacking routes are pretty scarce in Zion; the one that comes to mind is the connection of West Rim and East Rim trails with a shuttle (perhaps provided by ZAC, Zion Adventure Company). In April, "Little Siberia" is sometimes dangerous, so it is good to call the NPS or ZAC for an update. There are certainly lots of backcountry routes where one could loop, but it is surprisingly tricky country, with confusing terrain and cliffs that pop up seemingly out of nowhere.


Camping in the canyon and doing dayhikes makes a lot more sense. You will see more of what the park has to offer and will have a good campsite every night (with stores and such nearby).
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Re: Zion Backpacking

Postby Wisdom » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:20 am

But Kolob Canyon is not too bad of a hike either. It does have a nice camping area. I was there maybe 15 years ago in late May and really remember the bloodthirsty horseflies that hunted near the start of the trail. A friend, who was just drinking the 'clean' water out of the creek, changed his habit when we came across a rotting deer carcass halfway in the stream. It was either chased or slipped off the cliff above, but it broke it's neck when it hit rock.

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Re: Zion Backpacking

Postby daw37 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:26 pm

Thanks for the advice. I'll probably stick to the canyon and dayhike - gives me plenty of scope. Will see when I get there what the snow conditions are like from the NPS guys.

Ta!
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Re: Zion Backpacking

Postby Dmitry Pruss » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:58 pm

We dayhiked to Kolob Arch by the way of Hop Valley last April. No catttle, no bugs, and not a human soul too, it's a nice season to visit this corner of the park. Crossing the river was a challenge though. And it was snowing almost daily when we were in Zions. Which could make the mountains so beautiful - but which could also make the trails slippery and the vistas invisible too :)
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