Outfitter guides are not allowed to take folks climbing down canyons inside Zion National Park, so they do it at some locations outside the park. We hopped in our guide Shirley’s Xterra and off roaded to one of such canyon sites only to be snowed out right when we stepped out of the car and started gearing up.
“Ah, there’s stuff falling out of the sky guys.”
I’m from Southern California and have very limited experience with snow fall.
We had to cancel our adventure for that day. The second day we tried worked out just fine, and we had gorgeous blue skies.
The best word to describe the whole experience is “fun”, which was what everyone in my party kept saying as we hiked, climbed, rappelled, jumped, and slid through the canyon. It was like one of those playground mazes on a massive scale. Add on top of that all the breathtaking views and amazing rock formations, and you’ve got an awesome day enjoying the great outdoors.
Despite the sunny blue skies and warm sunshine, the temperature would vary at different parts of the canyon. When we were inside some shaded canyon parts, it got pretty chilly, so it’s important to layer your clothes to be able to adjust to the changes.
Another important piece of gear to have is good shoes, hiking ones preferred, but anything with good grip. It makes a world of a difference and could save your neck. Even though there weren’t any serious climbs, a little slip in rocky terrain could do a lot of damage. We had helmets on and all that, but still, better safe than sorry. My LOWA hiking boots are the best shoes I’ve ever had in my life. Not only are they water proof, the grip on them is amazing.
I didn’t have a backpack on, but in retrospect, it would have been better to have one on as some cushion protection for your back just in case of a fall while rappelling.
Also, be sure to bring snacks and a bottle of water and monitor your bathroom needs. We ended up being out and about for almost six hours, so be ready to adjust accordingly.
The canyoneering wasn’t all just playground for big kids. I also learned about the plants in the area, such as the Indian Paintbrush.
There was also a tree that smelled like butter beer.
Our guide warned us that there would be a dead deer on our trail, so I was expecting a hulking carcass of a large dead animal, but instead, we saw this poor baby deer that had apparently died somehow in the canyon.
Next up, Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park.