Zion – Day 4 : West Rim Trail, Part 2

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.

day4_sunrise2

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.

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Avery walking down one of the switchbacks carved into the mountain. It is a straight drop off to the right. 
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Further down the mountain.
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If you look closely, you can see the line where the trail cuts across the mountain. 

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.

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But we ran into our friends Jason and Rick again!

Finally around noon we were allowed to continue down the trail. This part of the trail is heavily traveled by tourists and paved.

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More switchbacks
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Virgin River flowing through the valley

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!

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