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Re: TR: Zion East Rim

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TR: Zion East Rim
December 29, 2015 11:24PM
Hey Folks!

My friends and I decided to go for the East Rim Trail in Zion NP after the 12/17 storm. Boy were we rewarded with splendid views!
There wasn't enough snow along most of the route, mainly just 3-5 inches, so it was just microspikes instead of snow shoes. Temperatures dropped into the negatives at nights ...but the morning views were worth it!

Drive into the park. The eastern portions of the park still had a bunch of snow!

Decided to see how warm my layers were before embarking on our journey! *Also wanted to see act out a hollywood scene...*

Lunch break on the trail....LNT philosophy might have been violated....but I can assure you the snowman did melt!

Campsite for the night

Frozen Stream

Microspikes proved useful!

Echo Canyon

Frozen river

Overall it was a blast hiking through Zion after a fresh dusting. Hoping to get back out there to do the West Rim next time but for now...Off to Arches!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/30/2015 12:39AM by KevinD.
avatar Re: TR: Zion East Rim
December 30, 2015 04:18PM

Temperatures dropped into the negatives at nights

Hope your sleeping bags were up to it. I start feeling really cold when it gets into the teens.
Re: TR: Zion East Rim
January 03, 2016 03:54PM

Temperatures dropped into the negatives at nights

Hope your sleeping bags were up to it. I start feeling really cold when it gets into the teens.

Hey Eeek,

We were using 0 degree bags so those barely kept us warm. The significant other was doing relatively fine as we had filled our nalgenes up with hot water and left them in the bags. Me on the other hand...well one of our water bladders leaked over night and the water froze underneath my sleeping mat. Couldn't figure out why my whole back was chilly all night till the morning!
Re: TR: Zion East Rim
December 30, 2015 05:49PM
Thanks for the pictures, Kevin. I was in Zion a few years ago and am anxious to get back. I was just staying in Springdale (the town immediately outside the park) and doing day hikes but I did go through Echo Canyon on the way up to Observation Point. Really beautiful place and definitely in the top 3 or 4 NP's I've been to so far.

FWIW, I also did several miles of the West Rim trail when we were there. We had started up to Angel's Landing (Zion's version of Half Dome insofar as it's one of those "been there-done-that-got the T shirt" hikes) but the final stretch of that trail is WAY too exposed for me to have felt comfortable with the hordes of inexperienced people on it. I discovered the West Rim trail pretty much by accident as we were turning around to go back down. It's too far (at least for me) to do as an out-and-back in one day but I'd love to go back and do the entire trail at some point...the crowds almost completely disappear once you fork off from the Angel's Landing trail and both the views and the vast expanses of slick rock are fabulous!

Arches is also fabulous and, if you're backpacking, I'm sure you can find some more isolated stretches but doing the "official" trails, I found much of it to be over-crowded. Hope you have better luck in that regard!
Re: TR: Zion East Rim
February 11, 2016 08:28PM
Hey David,

We wanted to try for observation point but it was just too late in the day to go for it. Due to the extreme cold of the previous night, we stayed in our sleeping bags till 11... hahah. Have you considered doing the west rim as an overnighter from Lava point and stopping by Angels landing from there?

We only managed to do day hikes at arches around landscape arch and had a blast. In the future, if conditions permit, I'd like to try some trails at Capitol Reef!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2016 08:29PM by KevinD.
Re: TR: Zion East Rim
February 13, 2016 11:27AM
We haven't done any overnight stuff yet. We usually fly in from the East Coast and so have to limit how much gear we bring with us (not that we actually own the gear for overnight stays). We're in the process of relocating to California and, once we're settled in there, we hope to buy the requisite gear and start honing our overnight backpacking skills in Yosemite (hopefully with the help of some of the kind folks on this board! I find the notion of doing my first overnight in the Yosemite wilderness without the guidance of someone experienced a bit daunting eye popping smiley

As for the NPs in Utah, we've been to all of them (although, if you count Canyonlands as 3 distinct parks (Island in the Sky, Needles and The Maze), we still haven't ventured into the Maze). I love all of them but, if I had to pick one favorite, It would be Zion (of the 18 or 20 US NP's we've been to so far, I think Zion comes in second on my overall list (in case you have to ask, Yosemite is number one by a landslide (hmm...maybe not the best choice of words!)). That much said, I DO love them all and I think Capitol Reef is a really terrific little park. There's a good chunk of the park that you can't get to unless you're doing multi-day backpacking trips (or have a high-clearance 4WD vehicle). We've done most of the day hikes in areas that are accessible via a typical rental car and found them quite wonderful. Minimal crowds, beautiful views and a real variety of landscapes to choose from...all the more impressive given how small an area they all fit into.

If you're just day-hiking (as we were), food choices in the area are VERY limited, especially if, like my wife and me, you don't eat red meat (it seemed that the majority of restaurants in town give you a choice of steak, steak, steak, prime ribs, hamburger or steak). We stayed in a lovely cabin just outside of Torrey when we were there but only found 1 restaurant we liked (Cafe Diablo on the western edge of town) but we liked that one a LOT and, once found, we were happy to go there for dinner every night (when we go on our trips, we pick up some breakfast and salad stuff. We go out for dinner most nights, order enough that we have leftovers to bring home. The next day, we'll make breakfast in our room and then mix the leftovers up with some salad fixin's and that'll be lunch on the trail. The only problem we had with Cafe Diablo was that the food was SO good that it sometimes took a LOT of discipline to have leftovers to bring home!

FWIW, we also really liked Castlerock Coffee & Candy on the eastern edge of Torrey and managed to stop there for breakfast, afternoon snack or just a cup of coffee a number of times.
Re: TR: Zion East Rim
February 13, 2016 11:55AM
Ill have to check out this Cafe Diablo when I stop by Capitol Reef! For Zion, I have particularly enjoyed getting a post-hike meal at Mimi's cafe. Fulfilling breakfast! There's also a pretty good mexican place too across the street.

If you need help getting some good prices on gear, just message me when you arrive here in Cali !

Re: TR: Zion East Rim
February 13, 2016 03:45PM
I agree that Cafe Diablo is great and they have fantastic customer service. We got into town minutes before they were closing and while they said that they couldn't seat us, they gladly offered to do take out for us. Really liked the food and would go there again.
Re: TR: Zion East Rim
January 10, 2016 10:25AM
Thanks for the trip report. We like to go to Zion for Thanksgiving when we can and it has only snowed a few times over the years.
Re: TR: Zion East Rim
February 11, 2016 08:26PM
If you need an AirBNB place outside of the park, I have a few recommendations. I'm always stunned by the price difference in AirBNB when compared to California! We stayed at a place in hurricane that only charged $35 for the entire basement/lower lever of the house! 3 bedrooms/2br. Was a nice and cozy place to stay before venturing into the below zero conditions.
Re: TR: Zion East Rim
February 12, 2016 05:02PM
Thanks for the offer but we always like to stay at one of the cabins in the park when we are there. We usually only go for a few days and like the convenience of being right there in the park and not having to drive in each day.
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