Tag Archives: backpacking

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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ZAC Staff Backpack Grand Canyon

In an ongoing pursuit to further explore, appreciate and acquaint ourselves with the beauty and mystery of the Southwest, a backpacking trip in the off-season seemed both appropriate and necessary. Over the course of 4 days from January 7-10, 2014, four of us set out to conquer or be conquered by the great and vast landscape of the Grand Canyon. Upon our arrival at the South Rim (about a 5 hour drive from Springdale through Kanab and Page) we found ourselves eagerly greeted at the backcountry desk. Winter crowds and weather at the Grand Canyon are far more mellow than those in the Summer. Attaining the appropriate permits for our planned route was quite easy. Grand Canyon permits cost a bit more than those at Zion ($5 per person per night plus an additional $10 processing fee). Having acquired our permit, it was time to visit the viewpoints at South Rim. We participated in “ooohing” and “ahhhing” at the expanse that unfolded before us. We had one final logistical detail to take care of. Our beginning and ending trailheads for the trip were approximately 5 miles apart, so we stashed a bike in the woods near our destination. For our … Continue reading

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Kids Take on the Zion Backcountry

Michael Lanza, the Northwest Editor from Backpacker Magazine, recently gave us the heads-up on his website, TheBigOutside.com, and his family’s recent attempt at the Trans-Zion Trek. You can find the trip report, complete with photos and video, here. The video is especially endearing, as it features the Lanza kids having a blast in the Zion backcountry, working on a makeshift sandstone “workbench”, playing in the river, trucking up the West Rim switchbacks, and finding the infamous Cave of Horrors along the Angel’s Landing section. The Lanza’s Trans-Zion plan doesn’t work out due to unexpected controlled burns, but they still have a great time hiking and camping along the Hop Valley and West Rim trails. I don’t know how old the Lanza kids are, but I’d guess in the 8 – 10 neighborhood. How many parents would take their grade-school age kids backpacking miles from roads and civilization? I’m not sure, but THANK YOU to the Lanza family for reminding us that well-prepared kids can thrive in the backcountry, taking on 2 to 5-day trips with great enthusiasm and success.

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