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The Ultimate Guide to Zion Traverse Backpacking

Backpacking the Zion Traverse Trans Zion Trail 101

You’re heading to Zion National Park and you want something a little more off the beaten path? The Zion Traverse, also known as the Trans-Zion Trek, is a set of trails that traverses the entire park. It’s typically done from north to south so you’re going downhill-ish for most of the hike, but if you wanted to get extra miserable, you could do it in the reverse direction. Read on for my tips on planning a successful trip across Utah’s first national park.

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Day Three on the Zion Traverse: Potato Hollow to Zion Valley

Backpacking the Zion Traverse West Rim March 2017

After yesterday’s wet and soggy ordeal, we decided that today would be our last day. Jeff’s feet skin was peeling. I was doing fine but I couldn’t leave my adventure partner behind. We both had about 3L of water left to finish the last leg of the trail from Potato Hollow down into Zion Valley. From there, we’d take the bus out to the Court of the Patriarchs trailhead and hitch a ride back to my rental car up at the East Entrance.

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Day Two on the Zion Traverse: Hop Valley to West Rim

Zion Traverse March 2017 Conditions Wildcat Canyon West Rim

Two words: wet feet. If the previous day’s theme was sandy shoes, today’s was wet feet. Missouri Howell and I woke up just before sunrise in our little incognito BLM bush patch. It was a slightly restless night of cowboy camping, complete with the brightest shooting star I’d ever seen. Today we’d be hiking to Campsite 7 on the West Rim, located in a little section called Potato Hollow. Today would also be the most miserable day of the trip.

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Day One on the Zion Traverse: Lee Pass to Hop Valley

Zion Traverse Trans Zion Trek March 2017

Late last year, Jeff approached me with the idea of a Zion trip during his “spring break”. It happened to coincide with my birthday–a day that I believe shouldn’t be spent working if possible. Zion was a place I’d never been, so naturally I was all in. We tossed around the idea of the Zion Traverse (also known as the Trans Zion Trek) along with the Narrows and the Subway. As the dates came closer, the Narrows closed due to snowmelt, leaving us with drier options.

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