We woke up early to a dark sky. It looked like it was going to pour at any moment. Instead of making coffee and breakfast, we decided to pack up and try to get a move on before the rain hit.
It drizzled for a few minutes, but no major rainstorms. None of us were really prepared for a down pour so we were quite relieved.
We were making really good progress until we got just above Angel’s Landing. Apparently this was the day they decided to remove all of the poop from the bathrooms at the top of Angel’s landing. The rangers strapped barrels of poop onto a helicopter and then toted it off. The parker rangers blocked the trail while this was done as they did not want anyone walking under the helicopters. This meant Avery and I had to wait for 1-2 hours.
Finally around noon we were allowed to continue down the trail. This part of the trail is heavily traveled by tourists and paved.
By the time Avery and I reached The Grotto (where we crossed the main canyon road), we were exhausted, and we had wasted a lot of time because of the trail closure. To make matters worse, the weather was starting to look pretty foul. We decided to cut our trip one day short and not hike the last 8 miles on the East Rim Trail. Instead, we took the shuttle into town and had a nice cold beer and real food. Later that afternoon, a few heavy rain storms passed through. While I am sad we didn’t hike the entire Trans-Zion, I believe we made the right choice to stop when we did. Our entire trip came out to around 38 miles!
This was a loooong day. By far the hardest day of the trip. We started the day on the La Verkin Creek Trail and quickly turned onto the trail Hop Valley. We came across some fairly large mountain lion track so we decided not to waste time and quickly hurried along to Hop Valley.
It seemed like we were in Hop Valley forever, but we finally exited… only to find ourselves in the hot sun surrounded by more cows.
Shortly after this last photo we found a spring where we were able to re-supply water and then setup camp. At the end of the day, I think we hiked somewhere between 12 and 14 miles, a lot which was up hill.
We arrived in Springdale, Utah around lunch time and picked up our backcountry permits at the Zion National Park Visitor Center. We were a little nervous as we had to get walk up permits for two of the four nights of our overnight trip, but luckily they had some left so we could start hiking the next day.