Zion severely restricted shuttle bus access to the canyon. Of course you cannot drive up the canyon yourself and instead have to take a shuttle, walk, ride or pay $$ to a private tour company. I had decided that we would allocate one day to doing a canyon hike and when the shuttle tickets ($1 ea) went on sale I had my finger poised over the “Yes, I want some” button. You buy tickets for an hourly window and I selected 7am to 8am even though the sun only rose at around 7:30am. Oh, and there is no standing in the bus and they have taken out half the seats for their social distancing.
So we awoke in the dark, had some coffee and were on one of the first shuttles at 7:15am for a quick ride to The Grotto where we started our hike up the West Rim. This is the same trailhead for the over popular Angeles Landing hike so it was busy.
Once past the Landing turnoff it got decidedly quieter and more peaceful as we entered a basin before the assault on the summit rim.
We had been hiking mostly in the cool shade of the morning but now the trail broke out into the sun and it was time for a clothing break.
The map shows a nice turnaround point as “The Cabin” as the trail shifts from exposed views to the more dense foliage of the top.
We were sitting at the side of the trail having a bite to eat when this deer peers right at us from about 10′ away. We both sat and watched each other till he decided enough is enough and disappeared back where he came from.
All in all a great hike and spent the next day going into Hurricane for breakfast, laundry and supplies
Time to go and do a welfare check on our Tpods. This is a fun cross country hike off the Kolob Terrace road, is upside down as in you hike down Russel Gulch and then have to climb back out for the return.
Once off the established trail in the beginning you are free to follow your line, the cairns or sandy footprints as you drop through the shelves to the destination.
That’s it for Zion this year as we head head a bit further east past Lake Powel to Monument Valley and surroundings.