You’re heading to Zion National Park and you want something a little more off the beaten path? Try backpacking in Zion! 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.
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.
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.
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.
It was the last day of our little trek. After a night of little sleep and lots of Kovas’ snoring, we all woke up at the buttcrack of dawn to pack up. I was psyched. It was crappy diner food time. Day one had been an ordeal. Day two was less so. Day three was our shortest day. Nothing could go wrong on this day where we were retracing our steps from Wilder Lake to the Highline Trailhead, right?