Thursday, May 24, 2012

Downhill All the Way


One of my favorite hikes in Zion National Park is this all-downhill 5.1-mile hike from high on the plateau down into the valley 2100 feet below.

You start at an obscure trailhead at the eastern park boundary -


Then walk 1/2 mile to a connection with the East Rim trail. We had a group of 11 WINs hiking, which required some rather complicated shuttling.


The trail quickly opens up and the views are magnificent.


I seemed to be always in the rear, which enabled me to take some good butt shots.


Hurry up, Diana - stop taking so many pictures! I had done this hike a couple times before and didn't remember the trail being so rocky.


And I had promised everyone that it was "all downhill," but there was a little bit of uphill.


More rocks -


Then whoa! Time for lunch. When you pass the turnoff to Observation Point, the trail becomes paved, sort-of, from work done by the CCC in the 1930s.


A little easier to walk on, but still downhill.


We stopped for a photo when we entered Echo Canyon.


This was everyone's favorite part.


Emerging from Echo canyon, you still have many steep switchbacks to negotiate, before arriving in the valley and the shuttle bus to the Visitor's Center.

If you want to do this hike, pick up the free Wilderness Guide at the Visitor's Center. You must either have 2 cars, or a friend who doesn't want to hike to drop you off at the trailhead.

11 comments:

The Good Luck Duck said...

Aha! The old "two cars" gambit. I wondered how you managed an Escheresque all-downhill trail.

Kimbopolo said...

Wow! Eye-popping scenery.

Gaelyn said...

Spectacular looking hike. And nice that you didn't have to return uphill.

Happytrails said...

How awesome!!

Pam and Wayne said...

Adding this to my must-do list! What amazing views...I would've been so far at the back of the pack I would've needed a different shuttle bus back!

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

Those downhills looked pretty uphill to me. The WINS were still talking to you after the hike? :cO

ladynomad said...

I so hated to miss that gathering. Someday I really am going to get to visit Zion. Someday, but not this year so far. See you soon I hope.

Roadrunner said...

Wish I could just WALK without pain. Enjoy reading your blog, and wonderful pictures.

E Squared and Mui said...

Pinning this, just in case it doesn't jump out at me on the trail list when we finally make it to Zion.

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Great, hope to get there this fall!

Sondra said...

Zion is such a beautiful park...we hiked to the Emerald pools and it was on MEMORIAL DAY...the most crowded day of the yr the bus driver told us. Awesome hike Diana.