Category Archives: Camping

Lava Point Campground Open for the Season

On Saturday, the Park officially announced Lava Point campground is open for the season, meaning the road is reasonable for 2WD vehicles, downed trees have been cleared, and the pit toilets are ready for business. As Zion’s ONLY maintained free camping area, Lava Point campground is an awesome but little-known gem, the perfect place for escaping the Springdale summer heat. Not only does Lava Point offer free camping and great views, but it is only 1/2 mile away from the West Rim Trail trailhead, the starting point for many 5-star adventures, including Imlay Canyon, Heaps Canyon, and Right Fork of North Creek, and, of course, the West Rim trail itself. Lava Point is also just a few miles south of Kolob Reservoir, another sweet place to escape the heat and go swimming, boating, and/or fishing (license required). The advantage AND disadvantage to LPC is its mere six sites are first-come, first-served. Get there early in the day, and you’ll likely score a site. Arrive late, however, and your chances are… unknown. While the campground fills on most high-season weekends, your chances during the week are pretty good, even late in the day. Lava Point sits at 8,000 feet, so be … Continue reading

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Travel Journal: The Joy of Sleeping Under The Stars

Sleeping under the stars has inspired many poetic escapes into the wilderness, yet many nature lovers have never stripped away their tent or shelter and met the night sky on such intimate terms. Having recently been enjoying a number of starry nights on Wire Mesa, I thought I’d reflect on my love of sleeping out… I remember the first time I slept out under the stars on a late summer night, deep in North Cascades National Park. In short, I was terrified. In the early hours of the morning, I awoke to rustling, and saw shadowy, shapeless forms darting through my camp. I was alone and helpless, not sure if I should play dead, yell, or cry. I remained quiet, listening for sounds of aggression, or some indicator of what sort of beast was stalking me. The sound multiplied, and a pack – whatever had found me – was clearly arranging a strategic ambush. Still wrapped up in my sleeping bag, I managed to wiggle over to my backpack, and find my headlamp. Its light illuminated beady eyes watching me intently from the undergrowth. I held my breath waiting for it to move, and then something bolted in front of … Continue reading

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Zion on a Core Strand – The Frugal Traveler’s Guide

Climbing season is here, and I just hosted my first carload of weekend warriors, showing them around, getting out to some amazing multi-pitch climbs, and, of course, filling my living room with dirty but grateful climbing friends. I LOVE that more and more people are exploring Zion, but I only have so much couch space, so I feel obliged to pass on a few tips toward pulling off the dirtbag lifestyle here in Zion. LEAVE NO TRACE First, let’s discuss impact. There is a lot of room to be carefree, to find your own way, to get out into wilderness, but in order to maintain and protect such freedoms, we must act as stewards to our Parks and public lands. I have always liked the Leave No Trace motto, “Making your mark is overrated.” The reality is that to continue enjoying places like Zion, we need to recognize our potential impact, and respect the environment and others who are here to enjoy pristine wilderness. A minimum-impact guidelines to keep in mind: • Sleep only in established campsites, unless you are at least ½ mile away from any road • Walking only on established trails or drainage bottoms is key to … Continue reading

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