Jan 2, 2011 at 10:01 am #1267192
@eric_kLocale: The northwest is the BEST
My wife and I are thinking of taking a long weekend trip to Zion sometime in April. We have some airline miles and would love to make good use of them. Neither of us have ever been there though so we have a few questions.
We would be flying into St. George or Salt Lake City, is there any type of shuttle to the park from either of these places this time of year? We are flying in from AK and don't want to rent a car.
Any good trip recommendations, we easily do 20 miles a day and would have two or three hiking days.
We have done almost all of our hiking in WA and Alaska. Are there any gear/clothing recommendations we need to have?
Thanks for any info a resources you can point me too.
EricJan 3, 2011 at 12:24 am #1680010
My wife and I did the Zion Traverse in October. 3 days 58 miles.
We used Zion Adventure Company for shuttles and was very pleased with their service.
They have a shuttle from St. George to the park.
Where are you in AK? I am in Fairbanks maybe we could get together for a chat.
It was a great trip and I would do it again.
If you have any specific questions let me know.Jan 3, 2011 at 12:29 am #1680011
@auratorJan 3, 2011 at 7:51 am #1680062
If you aren't set on St. George or SLC, consider Las Vegas too.
You would have to price it out, but I found it best for me to fly into Las Vegas and drive up (rental I know). You save about 2 hours over SLC. And it was much cheaper than St. George. You can get a small compact out of there for 16 a day easy.
But if you are completely no on the rental, St. George is easiest.
I didn't backpack in Zion so not much help there and unfortunately April is probably a no go for the Narrows due to runoff. But go ahead and hit up Angel's Landing if you have a little extra time b4 or after your main hike.Jan 3, 2011 at 9:40 am #1680095
@drewdoty1444Locale: Santa Cruz, CA
i am not sure but i know that there may be snow up in the higher elevations. you may want to check on that before you decide on your trail. i did a hike with my wife called the trans zion trail in june…same hike others have posted on i believe. it was great! started in kolob canyon and went down to the grotto. we stayed at campsite 5 on the west rim which is epic. http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/west-rim-trail.htm
drewJan 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm #1680172
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
In April there will likely be snow up high. Depends on the year. It most cases a determined hiker will probably be able to make it through, even if the rangers try to discourage you.
For good backpacking, I'd counsol renting a car and driving to the Escalante (if you can afford it). The Zion traverse is spectacular, but not very wilderness-y, and the logistics of the hike are a pain.Jan 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm #1680234
my wife and I are headed there the same month, we'll be doing the "zion transverse", we'll start at Lee's Pass and end up at the Grotto (after a quick climb to angel's landing :)) and then catch the shuttle back
haven't set exact dates, probably early to mid April- maybe we'll see you there :)Jan 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm #1680235
We should all do a 'meet up.' I will be there in Mid April.Jan 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm #1680242
that would be fun :)
just did a little more checking on the shuttle- looks like you can park at Springdale, zionadventures leaves there at 7:00 am sharp and reaches Lee's Pass at 9:40 am (several stops in between)- cost is $39/person
after finishing the transverse trek (we're ending at the Grotto- not going to the East Rim) you can grab a free shuttle (run by the NPS) back to Springdale
not too complicated, but a little spendy for a shuttle- oh wellJan 4, 2011 at 8:22 am #1680373
I did a hike in Zion last year from Lee's Pass to The Grotto with a side trip up Angels Landing. The "Davids" (Chenault & Ure) helped me out quite a bit with planning and the Zion Adventure company is so incredibly helpful, I highly recommend them. I flew into Las Vegas, rented a car, drove 3 hours, and parked it right beside their store so I could hop in the shuttle in the morning. Doing it in 2 days would be a big push for me, I did it in 3 days, and 4 days would be fairly leisurely.
It is a touristy place, and probably not suited for someone looking for complete solitude, but the terrain was something I had not seen before and it pretty much blew my mind. Angel's landing was packed when I was there and when I was coming down Angel's Landing there was probably 50 to 75 people waiting to go up. Like I said, very busy but stunning scenery…and in all honesty, it only got busy as you get to the southern end of the West Rim and busier as you get closer to the Grotto.
If you want to save some money, you can read my trip report and watch the video…then you don't have to go anymore ;)
Have a great trip!Jan 4, 2011 at 8:32 am #1680375
Were you the one who started running out of water?
That is one rec I would have for the OP. Be aware of the extra water you will want to carry! I went in early May so it was later, but we drank a ton. Way more than in the Sierra or Rockies. Zion just sucks the water out of ya.Jan 4, 2011 at 9:33 am #1680382
Yeah, that was me – rookie desert hiker :).
It was my first time being exposed to such high temps and the valley acts as a solar oven, just cooks you. I think I went through something like 6 liters of water before running out on my first day. I've never drank that much up here in my life. Next water source was something like 9 miles away. I didn't freak out, but I was out of my comfort zone and was planning on hiking through the night in hopes of it being cooler to save on my water requirements. I really lucked out and found a river not shown on the map. The water was literally brown from the sand but I drank it down like a champion.
I learned my lesson, so yes, good advice on mentioning the water awareness aspect of the trip.Jan 4, 2011 at 9:48 am #1680388
Hi Steve – the heat played a big part in your thirst. I think in April, the cooler temps will negate having to carry as much water but I could be wrong. We shall see.Feb 16, 2011 at 10:49 am #1697412
I am also planning a trip week of April 10, and am trying to piece together a 3-night trip. Maybe the Zion Traverse, or some portion of it. Actually, I was just in Zion Canyon on Feb 9th of this year…my first time!
I mostly stayed in the valley, but got up to Angels landing (Trip Report coming). From that angle, I didn't see much snow other than some patches in the shady spots. There were a few icy patches on Willy's Wiggles (switchbacks up to Scout Lookout) where crampons or something would have been nice, but there were enough bare spots to make it safely.
Zion had several days of heavy rain, followed by cold weather, so there were lots of branches down and I heard many rock falls down Refrigerator Canyon. Also saw many rocks along the road in the valley as I was driving.
I'll be following this post, and looking for you in April.
TomFeb 18, 2011 at 6:42 am #1698250
Tom, I'm pretty sure it is Walter's Wiggles.Feb 18, 2011 at 7:06 am #1698259
Yeah, you're right, it's Walter's Wiggles.Mar 5, 2011 at 7:00 am #1704735
Eric (and others),
I finished my Zion trip report if you'd like to see more photos.
I have been playing phone tag with the backcountry ranger. I wanted to get more info about first-come availablility that time in April, expected snow conditions, etc. for the West Rim Trail I got a camping site (#6), and am gambling on a first-come. If I don't get it, we might have to do an in-and-out hike from the Grotto trailhead. Zion really isn't made for multi-night backpacking…other than fantastic views, of course.
If any of you folks are there the same time as me and are in a pinch for a campsite, let's see if we could squeeze some more people in at our Camp #6 on the West Rim Trail. Look for a guy with UL gear.
TomMar 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm #1712388
We've got a scout group doing Less Pass to East Entrance in mid-April.
Camping at Hop Valley, Wildcat Canyon, West Rim plateau, and East Rim.
4th day looks tough. We plan on doing West Rim (Campsite 1) -> Angels Landing -> Grotto -> Weeping Rock -> East Rim (camping near Stave Spring) .
Our plan is to be up with the birds and to hit Angels landing early in the morning. Anyone got experience backpacking in that section? Got any realistic travel times (assuming plenty of time to take in the beautiful sites)? Any tips?
We're coming in from Bryce, and are looking to park a big van near Lee Pass. Any suggestions? We've got a follow-up team who will pick-up the van and meet us a few days later at East Entrance.
Westfield, MAMar 22, 2011 at 8:45 am #1712617
I finally got a hold of the back country ranger at Zion last week to find out about snow conditions up on the rim. He said that there was 4 ft at the higher elevations, with 2-3 ft around Hop Valley Trailhead…more than I was expecting. He said that they have had some warm weather. Well, it is "spring," so I'm wondering how deep it will be. I'll be there the week of April 10, and will try to let you folks know what I experience.
He said that all of the campgrounds are open, so camping in the valley should not be a problem.
Has anyone else heard any other updates or news?
TomMar 22, 2011 at 9:30 am #1712644
Booya! I will be there from April 6th to the 10th.Mar 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm #1713148
I'm wondering the same thing, although we are thinking about a trip a week earlier (week of april 4)… would love to head up West Rim and camp up there for a bit, but a little unsure about whether we could get through little siberia. The ranger was a little unclear/unhelpful today, although they just left a message so perhaps we should try to call them back and get some more info. Hopefully it's warming up / melting fast…..
Those of you that have been up in early season, is little siberia the type of place where you need crampons? snowshoes? would trekking poles be enough? we are very experience hikers/climbers but are now traveling with a 1.5 year old so safety is a bit more of a concern… :)
Thanks for any info!!!Mar 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm #1715079
I will be heading up the week of April 18th and hoping to do a four day backpacking trip completing the zion traverse. A couple friends hit this trip same time in 2009 with no snow issues. Of course every year is different but hoping for the best. Any of you folks going in early April I would love a snow report!Mar 28, 2011 at 10:20 pm #1716429
Well we are still planning on getting to the canyon this saturday April 2, and probably heading up west rim as far as we can get… will update when getting back on here, lots of snow still up there I'm sure but hopefully this week of sunshine will get things flowing a bit (not too much!)Mar 30, 2011 at 10:22 am #1717213
Nice to hear all of this talk about the Zion Traverse. I am doing it May 20-23. I cannot wait!!! See you on the trail.Apr 7, 2011 at 9:56 am #1721400
just got back from our short jaunt up to the west rim – spent a beautiful two nights up there
still some snow in little siberia section of trail from the canyon, but not a problem. on monday we had to kick steps in the last steep switchback before gaining the pass above behunin, but no big deal – proceeded cautiously and our trekking poles came in handy. we felt safe taking our 1 1/2 y.o. with us so it obviously wasn't technical. when we came down on wednesday the trail was already a lot better and it had melted a lot.
of course with this weather coming in now who knows what will happen… but that's the update as of april 7th. :)
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