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Zion, Coyote Buttes, Bryce Canyon looking for suggestions
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Joshua Zakkai
(jzakkai) - M
Zion, Coyote Buttes, Bryce Canyon looking for suggestions on 01/31/2014 15:29:46 MST Print View

This June my girlfriend and I will travel to South Western Utah. We’ll be spending 6 nights and 5 full days in Springdale, just outside Zion National Park. Our plan is to use Springdale as a base for day hikes in Zion and nearby areas.

We are trying to incorporate a mixture of shorter/relatively easy hikes with some longer more strenuous ones. Both of us are reasonably fit with a fair amount of experience, but we are more accustomed to the temperate conditions of Canada.

Our walking plans thus far, and contingent on permit lotteries, are:

1) the Narrows of the Virgin River in Zion from top to bottom
2) hiking to the Wave and back in Coyote Buttes North
3) hike the Left Fork of North Creek, passing through the subway, in Zion
4) Walk up to Angels Landing in Zion
5) Walk the Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon

I was hoping to get some suggestions/reactions to the day trips we’ve got our eyes on thus far. Alternative suggestions are welcome and encouraged, especially given our odds of securing relevant permits through the lottery system.

Thanks in advance!

S Long

Locale: Wasatch
Re: Zion, Coyote Buttes, Bryce Canyon looking for suggestions on 01/31/2014 21:39:00 MST Print View

I would highly recommend a technical canyon descent. I don't know if you have the gear, but you can hire a guide in Springdale. Pine Creek and Keyhole is a good duo to do in a day. You can get permits the day of (usually). Pine Creek especially has awesome photo ops. At the very least there is an awesome swimming hole if you park at the first turn out after the bridge and hike down to the creek (there is a trail behind the sandstone retaining wall on the downhill side of the road there). PM me if you want details RE: the hike.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Zion, Coyote Buttes, Bryce Canyon looking for suggestions on 02/01/2014 07:42:55 MST Print View

Good options for June, when it will be quite warm. If you're doing technical stuff (even the Subway) make sure you have the skills.

Other ideas:

Orderville from the top down (if you can't get the Narrows).
Drive up to Lava Point and hike the west rim out and back.
Buckskin Gulch.

Joshua Zakkai
(jzakkai) - M
Re: Re: Zion, Coyote Buttes, Bryce Canyon looking for suggestions on 02/01/2014 09:38:44 MST Print View

Thanks, David.

Yes, we are a bit apprehensive about trying out the Subway given our lack of experience with technical descents. But you've offered some interesting alternatives! I'm particularly interested in the West Rim Trail... it looks like it could be done in a single day. Any experience with this?

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Buckskin Gulch on 02/03/2014 10:06:11 MST Print View

+1 for Buckskin Gulch
This is one of the most amazing hikes in the world, and should be ok even in the heat of June.
Of course the others you list are must-do as well. Subway isn't that technical, but be sure you understand what's involved before you go.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Re: Re: Zion, Coyote Buttes, Bryce Canyon looking for suggestions on 02/03/2014 11:22:11 MST Print View

West Rim out and back is easily doable in a day, the part up on the mesa is pretty flat. If you care to pay, you could book the Zion Adventure Co shuttle up there, hike down to the valley, then take the park shuttle back to Springdale. With an early start you could tag Angels Landing at the end (which is nicer late when there are fewer people, pack a picnic and eat dinner up there).

By canyon standards the Subway is dead easy, but that hasn't stopped a remarkable number of people from hurting and killing themselves in it, mostly in really dumb ways. If you're a sure footed climber with a bit of multi pitch experience, the Subway is well within your grasp. If you've never rapped before, it probably still is, but you should go practice a bunch first.

Orderville might actually be a good shakedown for the Subway. There are 2-3 short downclimbs/handlines/raps which would give you a chance to practice. The hike of Orderville is quite a bit longer and harder than the Subway, but the little raps are easier (mainly because they don't involve running water.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
The Wave, possible alternates and summer hiking on 02/03/2014 14:44:44 MST Print View

For the Wave, I assume you know that your permit chances are very low. But on the lottery day, you can secure permits for Coyote Buttes South on the BLM website. Not as famous, also limited to 20 permits a day, but much easier to get permits for. Driving to the trailhead can be dicey, so give that some thought.

If you get either of the Coyote Buttes permits, I would reconsider your decision to use Springdale as a base for everything. You want a super early start if you're hiking this in June and it can be a slow drive to the trailhead. Best to camp nearby the night before.

I would also spend the night at Bryce. In the canyons, you want to be there for sunset/sunrise. Ironically, Zion's the one place where I wouldn't be broken-hearted about missing sunset/sunrise since you're not situated on the rim like you are at Bryce and the Grand Canyon.