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Bopping around Zion.

Out for a hike on Hurricane Rim.

We drove through the tunnel on a Saturday and down into the canyon proper. Plenty of tourists and of course all the campgrounds were full, well we expected as much and kept going out along Hwy 9 West towards Virgin and a turnoff to some BLM dispersed sites where our friends had encamped themselves.

Sunday we went for an out & back hike along the Hurricane Rim trail known also as a local mountain bike trail.

Rose, Lauralee & Libby, Chris and Gale.
Canyon overview.

Last year we had done a hike part of the way up the Kolob Terrace road and this time we picked a shuttle hike from the top of the park at the West Rim trail head back down to Wildcat Canyon trail head.

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A glimpse of wildcat Canyon.

The upper plateau is more traditional hiking along a wooded pathway which slowly introduces to the more spectacular white cliffs a layer below.

South east deeper into the park.
Mellow forest and grasslands.
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A spur trail leads off to the Northgate Peaks and more of the traditional Zion scenery.

Northgate Peaks territory.
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Selecting a preferred seat for lunch with a view.
Rose, Lauralee, Chris & Gale.
The cliffs of Russell Gulch.

The tendency is to hike the park perimeters and avoid the congestion of the classic tourist areas but Rose & I decided to venture deep into tourist land and hike up Angels Landing, a very popular trail. Sun rises here at 8 am and soon thereafter we were in the car headed for the park visitor center and the mandatory shuttle bus up the main Zion Canyon. 9:10 we boarded the shuttle without a line and patiently waited for our stop, The Grotto trail head. By comparison when we returned at about 1 pm the queue for the shuttle was of Disneyland proportions snaking into the courtyard itself. Want to beat the crowds? Go early!

Start of Angels towering up on the right.

It was nice in the cool of the morning just as Gale had found on a similar hike across the way. The trail was busy but not enough to annoy one and groups were pretty spread out.

Switchbacks up to  Refrigerator Canyon.
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Branching off the West Rim trail onto the Angels Landing spur and you know you are in for an adrenaline treat.
At Scouts Lookout you get to see the ridge line up to the Landing and numerous people decide this is it for them and make it their turnaround point.
Looking back into the canyon.
Lots of chain assist along the way and patience as sections have one lane for both up & down.
Waiting to get around the corner and see for oneself.
Way to go kid!
More downward looking views.
Looking south’ish out of the main canyon.
Photographic antics on the top.
Lots of: “Will you take our photo and we’ll take yours”.
Mukuntuweap, the shear cliffs of the Zion.
Time to head back down.
Switchbacks are now in the sun.
I was just up there.
Back in Springdale I had to park near the end of town and walking back got startled by this deer casually having a chew on some homeowners foliage. He was literally 6 to 8 feet away and didn’t have a care in the world.

Next hike was Horse Valley, up a wash to a surprisingly picturesque waterfall.

Yup, just follow the river up.
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Now that looks like the subway.
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Libby liked the water and wasn’t afraid to get wet.

4 thoughts on “Bopping around Zion.”

    1. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the east canyon with everyone. As for Angels Landing, don’t let the view from Scouts put you off, not as scary as it looks when you get up close. Just go early to avoid the crowds.

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