The Panty Wall is a very popular crag for climbers due to its proximity to the park entrance. Yup, “Panty Wall.” Climbing crags and routes have strange names!
Red Rocks has a lot of terrific crags and this is one of them. One disadvantage to climbing within the park boundaries is that the road through the park is a one-way, 21km long loop, and parking at the crags can be a bit of a problem. For this crag, you park at the first pull-out. As a result, it is quite popular. Read More
Red Rocks is an amazing area in which to climb. With thousands of established and well maintained climbing routes, there are plenty of places to go, plenty of routes to absorb the climbers that flock to this area in droves, and plenty of places to play. There you can hone your skills, relax in some lofty perches with inspiring views and foster that love of getting on rock.
With a little research ahead of time, it is not difficult to find climbing crags in the Red Rocks area that can meet the variety of ability levels in your group AND keep you in the shade or in the sun. On hot days, shade helps to keep the rock “sticky.” On cold days you are wearing puffies, and the sun helps to keep fingers with feeling in them. The desert is strange that way… it can be very cold in the mornings and evenings and very hot at mid day and in the afternoon. It’s a place of extremes. Read More
“Where are you going?”
“What!? YOU are going to Vegas?”
We called our first trip to Las Vegas, years ago, the “Over My Dead Body” trip…. Everything I knew about Vegas seemed at odds with the way I choose to live my life. But Vegas, I found out on that first trip, has some wonderful experiences, some great people, and some incredible natural areas to explore. Read More
“Got the headlamps?” “Check.” “Coffees?” “Check.” “Puffies and toques?” “Yep.” We were up before the crack of dawn on our last day in Zion, ready for one last taste of adventure before we had to leave her for the climbing Mecca of Red Rocks in the Nevada desert.
Canyon Overlook lies on the east rim of Zion Canyon and is a hike with a little bit of everything. You climb up sandstone mounds, walk along sandstone ledges, travel under overhangs, peer down a deep slot canyon, travel across a catwalk hung over a chasm, walk through sand, and then come out to an absolutely incredible spot. Perched on the white sandstone top of the canyon wall, you look out across the vast expanse of Zion. And at dawn, it is truly majestic. Read More
Skip Angel’s Landing. Yup, that’s what I said. SKIP IT. This is a first for me… recommending that you NOT do a hike!
Angels’ Landing was the hike we most wanted to do in the park. It promised to take us 453m up to the peak of a narrow ridge line, holding onto chains where the drop offs on either side give thrilling exposure. We thought it would be super fun to walk on a fin of rock, suspended over the canyon floor, far below. Read More
Hidden Canyon is a fantastic hike that lets you romp and scramble and explore a small side canyon that’s perched high above the Zion canyon floor.
Hidden Canyon lies in the slit on the right hand side of the photo above. If you look carefully, you can see people along the surface of the rock, on a trail that is carved out of the rock face.
It’s accessible by a steep, switchbacked trail that climbs until it can go no further as a regular trail. It first becomes steps, laid carefully into the rock… … then it becomes a narrow sandstone rock path that leads to the cliff edge…… and then it becomes ledges, cut into the sandstone, with chains to hold, that go around and across a massive, curving cliff face.
Exploring this terrain, you walk through the creek, you climb over boulders, you squeeze through tight areas, and you balance on logs. It’s super, super, SUPER fun!
Close to the end of where you can go without climbing equipment, there’s a little arch … such an amazing feature.
See what it’s like to walk up on top of it… it’s like walking along the back of a giant worm in a horror movie!!
Just imagine… wherever you see a waterfall in Zion, falling from high above the canyon floor, there is a smaller canyon like this one, hidden out of sight. I love that the park’s founders decided to make one of these high canyons accessible (by carving trails into the cliff face) to us all, revealing a little bit more of the magic of this wondrous place.
As a warm-up hike our first day we did a short romp, up through a light rain, to the base of the waterfall that tumbled out of the Weeping Wall. The header image for this post shows it, near my hiking boot, seen from far above on the Hidden Canyon hike that we did in the park, later on that day. Read More
Zion National Park is a hiking Mecca in southwest Utah… one of those places that if you like hiking and scrambling, and if you LOVE canyons, you’ve just GOT to go!
The sandstone, with its deeply carved slot canyons and its incredible streaks of colour, is amazing to see… but the sheer size and scope of the landscape steals your breath away (or is that the step slopes you need to climb to see those vistas and take it all in!?)!!
We hiked 18km on our first day there… on what was supposed to be a half day hike, just to settle in… but we got totally caught up in the beauty and couldn’t stop going and climbing and exploring. The canyons are unbelievable!
Passing through the border crossing at Carway, Alberta, a rather wildwest US border patrol officer asked us what we planned to be doing, took a look at the bikes and the climbing gear, and asked us with such incredulity in his tone, “Now why would y’all want to be doing that?!” Those words set the tone for our vacation… not the usual… to Zion, Vegas and Moab. Read More