Category Archives: Escalante

Staff Rendezvous in Escalante: Coyote Gulch, Spooky and Peek-a-Boo

As the busy summer season approached for us here at Zion Adventure Company, the idea of doing a two day backpacking trip with eight staff members in an area outside of Zion felt like an unrealistic prospect. This, however, is exactly what eight of us accomplished Wednesday, April 30th and Thursday, May 1st out in Escalante (about 2.5 hours East of Zion). We spent two quality days backpacking through Coyote Gulch and literally running through both Spooky and Peekaboo Canyons all of which can be accessed down the infamous “Hole-In-The-Rock” Road. For four of us, the trip started a couple days early as we traveled out before the rest of the group to do the technical canyon, Neon (a popular route in the Escalante area for both backpackers and canyoneers). The rest of our group arrived at Water Tanks the following morning around 9:30am fully energized and amped after their 5:00am departure from Springdale. Before hitting the trail, we savagely consumed several strawberry banana muffins Rich had baked, jokingly trash talked one another for a few minutes, refilled our water from the cars and car spotted our second vehicle at the Forty Mile Ridge Trailhead. We set out for Coyote … Continue reading

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Staff trip to Neon Canyon

First time down Neon Canyon. The ZAC Neon crew consisted of Elana, Hayley, Erin, and Robby. We had a quick breakfast and an early start. It was a cool, windy morning with a stunning desert sunrise. We crossed the Escalante River at the confluence with Neon in cold knee-deep water and exited the canyon on a popular social trail. After some rim walking, we arrived at the north fork of Neon in 2.5 hours from the trailhead.  As we were exploding gear from our packs at the “first rappel”, we saw a short stemming section just up canyon from our yard sale.     We finished packing up and walked in above the sweet side drainage. It reminded me of the brief pods encountered in Shenanigans (north wash) but in a shallow canyon. The side canyon ran into a fault and we were onto to the short, sweet, and easy, stemming section- it was maybe 15 ft off the deck.  Continuing down to Neon proper we traveled through a wonderfully tight and sculpted canyon. Those in the group lugging behemoth Heaps packs found this section to be very physical. Shortly we were into Neon and the water, it didn’t take … Continue reading

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Guest Blogger Myra Yanke: Adventures in Zion and Beyond

Once upon a time, I thought a Rick Steves guidebook was the key to adventure.  This is the story of how my horizons have broadened since then. August 2007: I come back to America from my second trip to the Jungfrau region of Switzerland and rave to my parents about the fabulousness of my trip. I shake my head sadly when they counter with descriptions of their second trip to southern Utah. Why are they so insistent on staying in America, land of Wal-Mart and McDonalds? There’s a whole world out there! August 2008: I come back to America from hiking the Haute Route, Chamonix-Zermatt, and rave to my parents about the fabulousness of my trip. Glacier hiking! High-mountain hostels! I shake my head sadly when they repeat that I really should try Utah. Staring at a bunch of rocks? I think not. May 2009: I board the plane to Las Vegas with my parents, hoping I won’t be too bored over the next 17 days. The itinerary: Bryce – Moab/Arches National Park – Havasupai – Zion. I reason that by going, I’ll be strengthening my position that my parents should get passports. I’ll be able to say “I’ve been … Continue reading

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Trip Report: Battling Bugs Near Choprock & Neon Canyons

Just back from Neon/Choprock area. Near the river, the green flies are swarming and totally vicious. I cannot recommend camping anywhere near the river, in fact, we planned to stop at Fence camp to pump water and could not. Up above, the Cedar Gnats are similarly swarming and biting. Very difficult. We found a few places with enough wind to keep them off us, but in general with a 20 knot wind we were being devoured. The river is up about a foot from two weeks ago. We found a crossing just upstream from Fence Canyon where we just barely made it across without being swept off our feet. So, waist deep and flowing strong. Doing the direct line (bee line) to the mouth of Neon, you can walk upstream a bit and there is a crossing there which is among the shallowest. At this point, though, it still might sweep you off your feet, so I would recommend drybagging your gear. The river is fairly warm at this point. We “pack-rafted” from Choprock down to Neon, and it was great fun. The river is deep enough to only bounce painfully off the bottom once in a while. The temperature is … Continue reading

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Coming to a Theater Near You?

Came across this very fun video from canyoneer, Forrest Kleinman. Much more entertaining than most canyoneering videos I’ve seen… Makes me excited for the inevitable feature film. Check out Forrest’s complete pictorial trip report from his recent trip to Escalante.

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