Zion Traverse, UT, USA

Zion Traverse, UT, USA

25 May 2019

HIKING DISTANCE: 37.5 Miles
VERTICAL: +2,890' / -4,620'
TIME: 13 Hours 50 Minutes

Of course the original plan was to tackle the Zion Traverse in all its 48 mile glory; however, the East Rim Trail from the Weeping Wall was closed due to rockfall. While we were tempted to slip past the closure, we also recognize that closures aren't always put in place to protect hikers. Sometimes they're put in place to protect the trail. And given the popularity of Zion, we didn't want to set a bad example. Instead we opted to cap our traverse with a climb up Angel's Landing, which was a stunning way to finish a rad walk.

I loved sharing this experience and notice that I tend to push really hard and go really long when I'm on my own, but when I'm with someone my whole mindset shifts. I think I'm just psyched for the company and not really paying attention to pace. I feel more present with my trekking partner and with my surroundings. I take more breaks, look up more frequently, and generally feel more full. Tom is an old friend from my Open Sky days, and I felt deeply connected during our many diverse conversations today. One of the things that I most value in our friendship is the way he challenges me. He's not afraid to disagree and has a welcoming way of engaging healthy debate. We should all be so lucky to have such a friend.

I don't have too much to say about the traverse itself. From Lee Pass, it took longer to reach the classic Zion views than I thought it would, but the ponderosa pine forests we walked through were pretty in their own right. From Angel's Landing, it looked like the climb up the East Rim Trail would've featured sensational views of the main canyon. I'm not sure whether I'll come back to tackle the full traverse, but I know I'll be back when the East Rim Trail finally re-opens. Tom and I also talked about returning to tackle some classic slots this fall, which I'm sure to be giddy about all summer long. Zion is a truly special place. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it. The experience is worth battling the crowds.