Zion National Park, Part 7: East Rim Trail and Backcountry Exploring off Kolob Terrace Road
The East Rim Trail in Zion was a new hike for Tom and I as well as Terry. Beginning from the park boundary, the trail is an 11 mile walk towards the east rim of the main canyon, though side trips can be taken out to Observation Point and into other sections of the park. Beginning in sandstone, we ascended a thousand feet to Jolley Gulch, a couple miles of (mostly burned) ponderosa forest, past Stave Springs, and towards Echo Canyon, leaving off almost where we picked up the trail when we hiked to Observation Point last spring.
The following week Abbs and I took an exploratory journey on the (other) western side of the main canyon, stopping to overlook La Verkin Creek Canyon near where we had hiked in last year. We also took a jaunt nearby across slick rock and pinyon pine before continuing our drive up the road – and up in elevation. After awhile we found some lovely petrified dunes and sandstone overlooking Hop Valley and hiked around there a bit enjoying the cooler temperatures and shade from the tall ponderosa pines.