Here's a little blast from the past that we FINALLY finished editing. This was back in April of 2015.
We had heard people talk about the Zion traverse route, but we didn't know much about it. We had given Zion NP a try once or twice, but we didn't really get into the backcountry. It was all short day hikes from the shuttle bus, which left us overwhelmed. We felt like Zion was an overrated park, and an overall letdown. If only we had known how mistaken we were...
Zion is an interesting park. It's got a little bit of everything: wide open plains, jagged mountains and cliffs, narrow precipices, canyoneering, rock climbing, hiking, red rock, white rock, and slot canyons with rivers flowing through the middle of them. Zion NP has become so popular that certain sections of the park are closed to vehicles, and you have to park and take a shuttle to get in to the park. The first time we visited, this was a big turnoff for us, along with the insane crowds. When you think about it, most of Zion is comprised of high mountain plateaus, but you enter in on the valley floor. The valley is so narrow that there aren't many places for people to go, so they're all concentrated into one little spot. To truly enjoy Zion (at least the way we enjoy the outdoors), you have to get far away from the pavement. On this trip, we set out to do just that.
The last time we went to Zion, we hiked from Kolob Canyon to Hop Valley. It was pretty, and quite atypical of what I had come to expect from Zion, but it still left me wanting more. On that trip we came across some trail runners who were running the entire 48 miles from West to East in Zion NP. They were troopers, and they encouraged us to give it a try someday.
April 2015, that day had come. We got there at 6 am, an hour before they opened, with the hopes of securing one of the non-reservable camp spots. We lucked out and snagged the last camp spot on the west rim. It wasn't exactly where we wanted, and would require us to hike an extra 5 miles that day (for a total of 22 miles), but we'd take whatever we could get at this point. We were determined to do the route.
There's not much more to say other than what has been said in the video. It was an absolutely fantastic trip, one of our top 5 for sure. We'll definitely be back to repeat it (only with different camp sites next time). We were proud of ourselves for hiking 50 miles in 2 and a half days. We can't think of a better way to see the park.
All that being said, we still need to hike keyhole, the narrows (we've only done 10% of that hike), and the subway from top to bottom. Zion is a great park, and it definitely paid off to get away from the crowds into the backcountry.
Steve and Tess love to explore nature, whether it be backpacking, packrafting, mountain biking, hiking, or just wandering. The more we explore, the more we realize just how little we've seen.