Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zion Trip and Grafitti Traverse in Red Rock

This weekend we did a lot of hiking and scrambling. We drove to Zion National Park in Utah, on Friday and hiked Angel's Landing. This easy and fun hike is also one of the most popular hikes in Zion. The hike starts off as a paved trail and climbs to the back of Angel's Landing. From there it's a classic ridge ascent that looks very scary. Chains have been installed to assist novice hikers. Stats: 5 miles - 1,500 elevation gain

We camped at Watchman Campground in Zion so we could get an early start on Saturday for the Bridge Mountain hike. The route is 7.5 miles, with 3,000 feet elevation gain and takes around eight hours to complete. Kelly, Mike, Kathy and I set off on the route around 7 am. It was just getting light at that time. We moved quickly and I found all the key landmarks on the approach to Bridge. It's a few miles to the start of the climb. There's lots of exposure on some crappy rock as the route makes its way to the peak.(See video below).
We were on the peak before 11 am with perfect weather. I was the last one on the peak according to the register and that was two years ago! This hike is uphill both ways! There's a lot of elevation gain on the hike back to the trailhead. We were back to the cars before 2 pm and back in Vegas around 5pm.

Sunday morning came and we were off to hike Graffiti Traverse route in Red Rock Canyon. This hike follow the route to Rocky Gap Boulder and then ascends Graffiti Ridge to the famous Graffiti Traverse. (See the video below.) It was a great hike and the newbies did well considering the amount of climbing and exposure on the route.

I will be staying in town for awhile now and hiking some more of the classic Red Rock hikes.

Notes: I will be publishing a panorama from Angel's Landing later this week.The Rocky Gap Boulder hike will be updated with waypoints later this week also.