Posts in Zion
Fiddle Me This Canyon, Zion National Park, UT

Fiddle Me This Canyon

I was looking for good stuff going into Echo Canyon, and this is the good one. I looked seriously at a couple others that were kinda lame. But this one… starts with a 200 foot rappel, has a bunch of raps, a bunch of interesting features and, me still my beating heart, can be done without leaving anything behind.

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Full Conditions in Imlay Canyon, Zion National Park, UT

With the Angels Landing trail closed due to collapse, thus starting Imlay from Lava Point, it makes sense to do the full Imlay, as much as I am not as fond of the top half as of the bottom half. With thunderstorms almost every day in the previous week, it would be full, and fairly warm.  That huge flood on July 11th might have brought a few changes to the canyon, what would we find?

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2018 Imlay Canyon Gear Backpacks

I have been working on massaging the pack designs for about a year now – a year and a half actually – and finally finally got the pre-production samples in from the factory on July 13th. Yeah!  I am very happy with the work the factory does. There are a few small mistakes, all of which will be fixed in production, which is now underway, with the shipment expected to arrive the last week of September. While the line itself has not changed much, there are a few upgrades from previous years worth noting:

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Family Camp Canyon: Escape the Summer Heat. Zion National Park, UT

So it is a good idea to start early, and stay out of the sun.  So we did, mostly, by doing a canyon on the East Side, possibly the third intentional descent. Part of the research for the Zion: Canyoneering 2nd Edition.

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Kolob Creek Boundary near Zion National Park, UT

In researching the very fine book The Kolob Tragedy, I encountered an interesting rumor that, during the KT lawsuit, the Park had claimed officially that the rappel section of Kolob Creek was not in the Park. If true, this would mean that getting a permit to run Kolob would not be required, as there would be no technical canyoneering inside the Park.

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Surprises in Right Fork Canyon, Zion National Park, UT

The Right Fork is a wonderful Zion canyon, protected from popularity (for all but the swiftest) by requiring two or three days, thus being a ‘backpacking trip’, which canyoneers don’t do so much. As I looked back through my canyoneering diary, I realized it had been 10 years since I had Right Forked...

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Jacob Canyon rebolting in Zion National Park, UT

Shall we give Jacob a visit again?  The weather was temperate, but soon would be too hot for this south-facing canyon – yes.  One ‘benefit’ of working on the guidebook (Zion, 2nd Edition) which I “have been” for about 5 years (Bullwinkle: “This time for sure!”) is that I feel like certain things need to be ‘fixed’...

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Spring Wildflowers and Identification in the Main Canyon of Zion National Park, UT

What a difference 10 days make. Beautiful temperate weather here in Zion, and the flowers are out in the Main Zions Canyon. Not exactly a superbloom, but better than the last Flowerwalk for sure.  Cassy Brown joined me and we followed the same route, more or less, as 10 days prior - hitting the Emerald Pools are first, then over to Weeping Rock to check on the hidden riparian area, and get some better shots with the better light of a bright spring day. By Emerald Pools, in addition to what was found last time...

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Wildflowers in Main Canyon Hiking Trails of Zion National Park, UT

Kind of a crazy spring, here in Zionland. First very warm. Then cooler and rainy, as in very rainy. Went down to the main canyon to see if anything was out in the lower elevations, taking the Kayenta trail to the Middle Emerald Pool, then near Weeping Rock went to one of my favorite  riparian nooks. Not all that many things out, but many of the usual suspects were getting going. Also some species new to me, or at least that I had not carefully photographed previously...

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Shelf Canyon: Short but Fun! Zion National Park, UT

It's a small canyon. One rappel. Some nice narrows. I've done it twice now, and both times did not get much in the way of pictures. And stuck the rope, both times. My niece Rylin was in town, and we wanted to do something, something short. It was broiling hot. Shelf Canyon seemed like a good idea, though the scenic approach would be a bit on the toasty side, so we took the Upper Pine Creek approach...

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Heaps Canyon with Direct Finish Rappel, Zion National Park, UT

We went to Heaps... Heaps would be my favorite canyon in Zion, except that it is physically demanding a bit past my usual fitness level. Meaning, before a Heaps I have to bear down for two weeks, drink a bit less beer, do a few more runs or training hikes. So when Kip messages me on Tuesday "doing a Heaps this Saturday, you coming?" I briefly hesitate...

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Not Imlay: Downclimbing, Anchor Building, and Long Rappels! Zion National Park, UT

Back to Zion National Park's Not-Imlay Canyon. Rumor had it someone left a bunch of ropes hanging, so we organized a trip to go in and retrieve these things. The dangling rope was swung on by the numerous Narrows hikers... until it broke. Emergency over, but cleanup still required...

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Walker Gulch Zion - Scenic Short Canyoneering

It's hot down here. Anyone notice? I've been doing a lot of canyons, but my energy level is tanking. So how about something kinda short? Walker has been on the list to do for the new guidebook, and I had made an attempt a couple years ago in the fall, when we went down the East Fork only to discover that the East Fork does not get you to the cool big rap that is the big event in this canyon...(sigh)...

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Lower Echo, Descending and Ascending, Zion National Park, UT

Darn hot down here, it is, limiting choices to a few. But Lower Echo (Echo below the trail) is one that is deep and dark, with some water to cool off in. A short approach hike means, not so bad. But the penalty gets paid at the end - since the final rap out of the canyon is closed, one must fix ropes to exit the canyon. A while ago, I put in an anchor to improve the usability of the fixed rope...

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Parunuweap/The Barracks Canyon Summer Hike

On the fringe of Zion National Park lies the little sister of the famous Zion Narrows. Parunuweap Canyon holds the smaller East Fork of the Virgin River, rather than the North Fork that runs through the more famous (and popular/crowded) Narrows. Kat2 (Katherine H) from Hurricane was looking to go backpacking for the very first time - this seemed like a good choice. Flat, local, not too long, secluded, beautiful... 

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Zion Kolob Terrace Road Wildflower Identification

Memorial Day weekend. Zion is PACKED! I'm chillin, but decide to go for a flowerwalk. The wait at the East Entrance is 25 minutes...  I wanted to do the main canyon to look for hanging garden flowers, but there was no parking to be found so I ran away to the KT Road, hoping to get some good cactus shots...

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