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Zion/Bryce/Grand Canyon Trip

Day 7 of 7

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Friday, May 22nd
Transept Trail, Ken Patrick Trail, Cape Royal Trail

It got as cold as 46 degrees in my tent, and that was without Ben in it (he opted for the car). Brr. But my sleeping bag was good enough. Still, I got up a bit after 6am and felt like I wanted to take a walk -- partly because I wanted to see the trail, and partly because I wanted to stay warm.

Our campsite in the North Rim Campground.

So I started hiking on the Transept Trail.

View of the canyon after sunrise

After breaking camp, we drove to Cape Royal Road. Ben dropped us off and we hiked the Ken Patrick Trail from Cape Royal Road to Point Imperial.

After that hike, we made the drive along Cape Royal Road to Walhalla Overlook and walked the Cape Royal Trail.

After enjoying the views, we started our long, 5 hour drive back to Las Vegas. Along the way we stopped at Nedra's Cafe (Highway 89A, Fredonia, AZ, 520-643-7591) for lunch.

Parting Thoughts

Each park has its own unique characteristics. I would have to say I like Zion the best, however. It's large enough and diverse enough that it merits at least another trip. I'd like to hike the Narrows sometime -- they were too cold, deep, and swift to hike at this time. And hikes to Angels Landing, the Kolob Arch and Cable Mountain would be nice. I especially liked hiking and camping out on the East Rim, where there was a great sense of remoteness.

Bryce Canyon is fascinating to look at, but it's a very small park and I feel like I've seen almost all there is to see there -- in just over a day. I had this sense like I was walking around in a museum -- nice to visit, but once is probably enough. There are so many other parks to visit. On the other hand, I did enjoy staying in the Bryce Canyon Lodge, and I can imagine just staying there and telecommuting would be cool. =)

I saw so little of Grand Canyon that it's hard to form an opinion about it. I would definitely like to hike to the bottom sometime, perhaps from rim to rim along the North and South Kaibab trails. I'm sure the park offers more than what I saw, but I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed. I guess my expectations were too high.

I also learned a fair amount about hiking and camping in particular. Useful things, like always bring more hiking socks than you think you'll need (Ben will appreciate that). Always wear a hat at high elevation. Keep your DEET securely packaged. etc., etc.

As I write this almost two weeks after returning, I have to say I miss it. Once you get drawn into the experience, you just want to be out there more.

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