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Zion National Park - Mid May
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Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Zion National Park - Mid May on 03/20/2010 19:08:30 MDT Print View

I'll be heading to Zion National Park and hiking from Lee's Pass to The Grotto over 4 days. Looking for some feedback on my gearlist which is located under my profile.

Items in red are yet to be purchased/built.


#1 (May 16)- Lee's Pass - La Verkin
#2 (May 17)- La Verkin - Wildcat Canyon
#3 (May 18)- Wildcat Canyon - West Rim
#4 (May 19)- West Rim - The Grotto

I spoke with the ranger there and she told me to bring crampons?

Any feedback would be great.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 03/20/2010 19:09:26 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
zion list on 03/20/2010 20:18:26 MDT Print View

No freakin' way will you need crampons. It's possible you might see some snow patches in the higher elevations, but I think that unlikely. You could easily have temps well into the 90s during the day. [Clarification: The only steep and exposed parts of that hike are on the last day, down switchbacks that are either low elevation or south facing. Postholing, perhaps. Crampons, no.]

On that note, shorts might be welcome. Personal preference.

I think you're right to bring a warm bag and not much insulating clothing. Days temps should be comfy and night temps cool, but the days will be nice and long by then.

3 liters ought to be enough water. Should be loads of stuff flowing up there that time of year.

I don't think bugs will be an issue at all. Maybe if you camp near streams, so probably fine to have just in case.

A minimal pad should also work fine. Lots of nice pine needles to sleep on.

Edited by DaveC on 03/20/2010 20:27:34 MDT.

Michael Richey

Locale: Southern Utah
crampons? on 03/20/2010 20:19:45 MDT Print View

I live just outside of the park and we've got 300% of normal snowfall this year, so yes, do expect to see quite a bit more snow than normal.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Wow - AWESOME list! on 03/21/2010 11:17:21 MDT Print View

Wow - AWESOME list!

minimal advice:

1 - Nix the case for the E+lite, no need.

2 - Bug bivi probably not needed in May in Utah, take a bug head-net (lighter, under 1 oz) a multi-use tool as a stuff-sack.

3- About the T.P. - there is a way to get the weight to zero.

4 - I've spent a LOT of time in Zion. Are you planning to walk in any rivers? If so, a simple pair of gaiters helps to keep sand out of your shoes while walking in the muddy water. Not required, but a nice addition. Dirty Girl gaiters are the lightest.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: zion list on 03/21/2010 13:13:16 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info. I didn't think I needed my crampons but the ranger told me to carry them just in case.

I figured it would be hot during the day and cold at night. By the time it gets cold, I'll be in my bag so didn't bother with much insulating gear, however, I did purchase the MB Ex light for chilly mornings/evenings.

I wasn't sure if there were any bugs there, but I know you guys have snakes and spiders so I figured I would bring a bug bivy to keep them off me at night.

Thanks again.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Wow - AWESOME list! on 03/21/2010 13:19:34 MDT Print View

Hi Mike, thanks for the input.

1 - I just looked at the sunrise/sunset times - plenty of light that time of year. I'm going to swap out my E+lite for my Photon Ex Micro.

2 - I was bring this for the snakes/spiders. do you usually just sleep under a tarp? No bivy or anything?

3 - I know you hate seeing TP on the gearlist! but it's coming with me. :)

4 - Actually, I'm not sure of how much water I have to walk in. From my research, there are a couple of river crossing, but my understanding that it was just a few. As I learn more about the trail, I may a\dd them if there is extensive wet sections.

Thanks Mike!

Edit: Updated my list. Swapped Elite out for Photon.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 03/21/2010 13:25:07 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Zion Hike on 03/21/2010 13:29:58 MDT Print View

Steve - you are asking for help with your gear list? Riiiiight. We should be asking you for help with ours!

Have a great trip.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
water on 03/21/2010 15:32:51 MDT Print View

"4 - Actually, I'm not sure of how much water I have to walk in. From my research, there are a couple of river crossing, but my understanding that it was just a few. As I learn more about the trail, I may a\dd them if there is extensive wet sections."

Your research is correct, good chance of keeping your feet dry unless LaVerkin Creek is really going strong.

Little gaiters for sand is actually a pretty good idea anyway. Lots of sandy trails on your trip.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Zion National Park - Mid May" on 03/21/2010 16:44:29 MDT Print View

Dang! How could I possibly have anything to say in regard to a gear list like that!? I'm stealing that list and saving it in my vault. :) I just hope you plan on posting a trip report with some images. Cheers.

Greg Lewis
(gpl916) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Zion National Park - Mid May on 03/21/2010 17:14:06 MDT Print View


That is a nice list. I love the format.

I have been looking at your web site- there's some nice stuff on there.

You have inspired me to make a few more items. I made a Sil Nylon tarp, a pack, and a down quilt earlier this year. I think I will have to make all of these in Cuben now! Especially a winter quilt.

Thanks for the inspiration.


Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
WOW! on 03/21/2010 17:17:14 MDT Print View

Sleeping outside without a true tent is WHY I go to Zion! Enjoy the stars. Bugs are pretty much zero in May.

Also - Some of my canyon trips involve my feet in the water for a lot of the time. I didn't research your exact route. But, as the other commenter wrote, it can be very sandy. If you don't have gaiters, you'll be just fine. But, they are helpful.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Zion Hike on 03/21/2010 17:42:29 MDT Print View

No flying bugs - but you can have scorpions and snakes.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Zion National Park - Mid May on 03/21/2010 18:09:52 MDT Print View

I'll try to bring some small gaiters - probably worth it to keep the rocks/sand out.

Eugene, definitely putting a trip report together for this one. I plan on taking tons of pictures and video.

Greg, thanks! MYOG is crazy addictive, then again, so is hiking.

Mike, David...I'm not a fan of those creepy crawlies, I really don't do well with things like that. The bug bivy is coming with me! :)

I just had a thought...maybe I should bring some sunscreen. Right?

Edited by Steve_Evans on 03/22/2010 08:24:43 MDT.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
sunscreen on 03/22/2010 09:18:40 MDT Print View

I would. When I was there in late May a few years ago, it was easily into the 90s and quite sunny the entire time. Early morning hiking was quite nice!

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Zion National Park - Mid May on 03/22/2010 12:18:14 MDT Print View

Hello Steve,

Been thinking about your trip lately, as I have a photo of my 21 year old daughter ( also in my avatar) on my desk taken at the top of Angels' Landing when she was 8. I think you'll make it no trouble ;) and definitely worth the time.

I've been snowed on @ May 10 give or take a week at between 7500 and 8000 feet MANY times. Might want that ex-lite.

You're also likely/certain? to get fried by the sun.

It's a beautiful time of year! in an amazing place. Have fun!

Oh by the way there are rattlers down lower in hot sunny places. Yikes!

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Zion National Park - Mid May on 03/29/2010 02:38:25 MDT Print View


Great gear list. I doubt you'll have any bug problems, and I bet you won't see any snakes at those elevations in May. I'd leave the bug bivy at home... or in my case I don't even own one :)

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Steve... on 03/29/2010 06:17:26 MDT Print View

What's with the insanely heavy Ti Pot at 1.89 oz... I mean c'mon Where's the Heiny pot at 1.2. This is a killer list. Lemme know how you like the Ex Light. I got the UL Inner with the hood because I happened to get a good deal on it. It still seams fragile, and scares me to wear when I'm doing pretty much anything.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Zion National Park - Mid May on 03/29/2010 07:58:52 MDT Print View

I'll echo.. It's highly unlikely that Mid May will have snow. Yes, it's been a heavy snow year, but I'm pretty positive that there is less than four feet up there now and it's melting fast. But then again, last May saw a large, freak snow storm.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
weather on 03/29/2010 15:41:30 MDT Print View

i was in Zion last may (actually, that's where my avatar picture was taken). you may get some chilly or wet weather, but there wasn't any snow anywhere.

Be aware, there are a lot of bugs in the spring. i wouldn't backpack in there with something kind of shelter that wasn't bug proof, but i really don't bugs being able to get to me at night.
i see you have a bug bivy indicated on your list, and i would be interested in how its designed at 2 oz.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Zion National Park - Mid May on 03/30/2010 07:48:35 MDT Print View

Cola: My Exlite was delivered late last week. It's coming with me, don't worry. Oh, and thanks for reminding me of the rattlers! :)

Nick: You're a tougher man then me. I know you guys sleep out in the open. But honestly, I think it's a mental thing, I need some protection from those snakes! Knowing my luck, I'll wake up with a family of rattlers on my bivy.

Gary: I should replace that heavy thing shouldn't I. ;) The jacket seems fragile, but I really only plan to use it while sitting around at camp. My large came in at 6.1 oz, which is crazy light.

Jack: Thanks for all the help on my trip planning. if I get a big dump of snow, I kind of just plan to "deal with it".

Ted: I'll be bringing my bug bivy. I'm going to have it built next week. I calculated the fabric sizes so the weight is just an estimate. It is essentially a cuben fiber/no-see um bag. I'll post some pics when it is done.

Thank guys!