Day 3: The Surprisingly Beautiful Lower Paria

Bush Head Canyon to Lee’s Ferry (12 miles, +0/-400 feet). I was not looking forward to today.  I imagined that the lower Paria would be a very wide canyon with monotonous red walls far away on either side and ranch land in the middle.  I also thought we would continue to have lots of route…

Day 2: I Just Met a Gorge Named Paria

Paria Mile 10 Spring to Bush Head Canyon (16.5 miles, +0/-600 feet). In case you are wondering about the title of this blog entry, remember that “Paria” rhymes with “Maria” and think: West Side Story.  🙂 I slept SOOOO well last night.  It was about 20 degrees warmer than the night before and there was no…

Day 1: Buckskin Gulch

Wire Pass Trailhead to Paria Mile 10 Spring (18 miles, +0/-800 feet). Today was a truly extraordinary day.  Buckskin Gulch is the longest slot canyon in the world and the deepest in the US, and I suspect it also may be the most beautiful. The hike through Buckskin was surprisingly challenging.  There is no significant…

Day 4: Hopping to the End

Northgate Peaks Trail to Lee Pass Trailhead (18.2 miles, +1,100/-1,700 feet). This morning we were a little leery of what lay before us.  The next section of the hike was on the “Connector” trail.  It sounded about as glamorous as an urban highway interchange.  But even this part of the route was beautiful, and in…

Day 3: The Spectacular West Rim

Cabin Spring to the Northgate Peaks Trail (16.7 miles, +1,500/-1,500 feet). All the frustration I felt with the crowds in Zion Canyon melted away this morning with the sunrise.  I never knew that the beauty of the main canyon spills over the countryside into countless gorges and landscapes.  And the West Rim Trail puts you…

Day 2: The Maddening Crowd

Top of Echo Canyon to Cabin Spring (11.0 miles, +3,000/-2,500 feet). I love all the scenery in Zion Canyon, and I love the fact that it is accessible to all different kinds of people.  But when I’m in a frame of mind to go into the backcountry, it can be shockingly repulsive to deal with all…

Day 1: A Tranquil Beginning

East Entrance Trailhead to Top of Echo Canyon (6.6 miles, +1,000/-400 feet). We met Art, who was driving in from Denver, at the Kolob Canyon Visitor Center.  We got our permit and then dropped a car at the Kolob Canyon trailhead where we will return at the end of our hike.  We then shuttled to…