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Zion in April. Critique my Itinerary.
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Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Zion in April. Critique my Itinerary. on 02/03/2013 11:35:51 MST Print View

My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Zion NP the first weekend of April. It’ll be my first time there so I wanted to get a little bit of input from ya’ll. When I started my research on the park, I quickly realized the rules were a little more complex than that of Canyonlands or Arches (where I typically go in the spring).

-I’d like to drive down on a Thursday night and make it close to Kolob Canyons entrance. Car camp somewhere off the interstate.

-I hope to obtain a permit for one of the campsites close to the Kolob Arch trail for Friday night. We’re pretty strong hikers so I suspect we’ll be able to make it back into the Bear Trap Canyon area during the day and do some exploring.

-Saturday morning my plan is to hike south on the Hop Valley Trail to the trailhead off of the Kolob Terrace Road. I’ve heard there are numerous outfitters that will shuttle vehicles so I was hopeful that I’d be able to find one that would drop my car off at the trailhead there.

-Saturday afternoon I’d like to drive to Zion Canyon junction where I’d leave my car and get on the shuttle. I’m hopeful from here that we’d have enough time to get dropped off at the Grotto, hike up to Angels Landing then backtrack out and up to the West Rim plateau where I’d hopefully have a camp permit for.

-Sunday morning I’d like to hike out and get back down to the Grotto. Perhaps during the day I was thinking we could chill in the park and bump arms with other tourists and check out some of the other sights in Zion Canyon.

-Sunday evening I’d really like to drive out on HWY 9 and join HWY 89 to get back East. I’d also like to find a decent hotel to stay in Sunday night for the lady and I. I’ll be driving out Monday morning back to Colorado.

Does anyone have suggestions on how I might add/subtract or alter my trip?

Is there a reasonably priced and recommended outfitter that might shuttle my car?

Suggestions for car camping the first night?

Suggestions for hotel-ing it up on Sunday night?

Mike Schasch
(MSchasch) - F
I've got some ideas on 02/03/2013 21:48:11 MST Print View

I live/work in Zion so I know the area very well.

1. You could easily simplify your trip by hiking straight through to the Grotto. Start at Lee Pass - see the arch - go through hop valley - take hop valley connector to wildcat - wildcat to west rim - hike down west rim (take the quick side trip to angel's landing - grotto. This will be 40ish miles total and you won't have the beastly uphill to camp on west rim, you'll have a pleasant stroll DOWN the west rim.

2. My work (zion adventure company) and other places offer a shuttle for your hike, you leave your car at our shop - we shuttle you to Lee Pass or wherever - when you finish at the Grotto take the free park shuttle to the free town shuttle back to the shop.

3. Car camp the first night at cole pits wash off the side of the road on the way into town.( 7.3 miles south of the south entrance gate. Look for the Coalpits Wash sign)

Make sure to pick up a trails illustrated map of Zion, that will have all your hiking junctions and mileages listed.


Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: I've got some ideas on 02/04/2013 08:14:18 MST Print View

Hey Mike,

Thanks for your ideas and the name of the company!

I had looked at that thru possibility earlier, but then read that Horse PP was pretty dull.

How much water do you suspect will be over through Wildcat Canyon and over to the Horse Pasture Plateau that time of year?

Edited by timdcy on 02/04/2013 08:45:04 MST.

Mike Schasch
(MSchasch) - F
ideas on 02/04/2013 08:59:38 MST Print View

The scenery is not the most spectacular through the wildcat area, but you are in some pretty dense woods, which is a nice change while you hike. Some of the views from the upper west rim (horse pasture plateau) are THE best in the park in my opinion.

Water can be found flowing out of "blue creek" just before you start the west rim. I recommend filling there because sawmill spring, potato hollow, and cabin spring are usually a bit tuff to fill water out of unless you use a pump filter. The only water I can remember between Hop Valley and Blue Creek are small snowmelt creeks that may or may not be flowing.

Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Zion in April. Critique my Itinerary. on 02/04/2013 10:40:32 MST Print View

>> Suggestions for car camping the first night?

Last year my girlfriend and I were heading to Kolob Canyon, but got a late start and realized we weren't going to make it to the permit office before it closed. So, my girlfriend got on google maps and started calling anything related to "camping" in that area. First couple places didn't pan out, but eventually she got this really nice woman named Gail on the phone, who ran 'Red Ledge RV Park & Campground', it is a tiny RV park with some car camping lots. They were full to capacity, but said we could camp on her lawn if we weren't too picky.

It ended up being a lot of fun, as they have a hot tub, fire pit, and a gas grill for guest use. It is setup in a way reminiscent of a small back yard, but after a soak in a hot tub, you stop caring about your surroundings. This place, I think, is the closest car camping you can get to Kolob Canyon.

Red Ledge RV Park
15 N Main St
Kanarraville, UT 84742
(435) 586-9150

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: Re: Zion in April. Critique my Itinerary. on 02/05/2013 14:09:21 MST Print View

Thanks for tip, Mike! I'll check it out.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: ideas on 02/08/2013 13:38:26 MST Print View

Hey Mike,

Again, thank you for the recommendations on Zion. I’m going to hike thru from Lee Pass to the Grotto.

The question I have though, was to ask if Zion Adventure Company could pick up my car at the Lee Pass TH and shuttle it to your shop for my pick-up a few days later?

I would like to avoid driving my car all the way down to Springdale the morning of my trip only to be shuttled right back north to the Lee Pass TH.

Thanks again for your input!