I’m not a fan of lines. I just don’t have the patience for them. Some things are worth waiting in line for, but if I can avoid it at all, I will. One place that’s worth waiting in line for is the main canyon of Zion National Park—and it’s popular enough now that you’ll have to. As this spot has become more crowded, I’ve been pulled towards the wilderness areas of Zion. That’s what led me to the first section of the Trans-Zion Hike—better known as Lee’s Pass to Hop Valley.
The wilderness areas of Zion National Park are anything but crowded, and that’s just perfect for me. All that solitude comes with a price, though. Backpacking is a beautiful way to travel and see an area, but it’s a lot of work. From start to finish, it requires more from you. Gearing up, keeping pack weight under control, carrying that load every step of the way, and planning out a route make it much tougher than just hiking or car camping.
Despite all that, the peace and solitude you can find is incredible. It’s one of the things that makes all that work worth it. The landscapes your eyes will see are the real treats though.
This section of Zion blew me away. The views were incredible, as anyone familiar with Zion would expect. In fact, the views were so good that my pictures don’t come close to doing them justice. It was a very inspiring trip—being in such a beautiful place, going at a slow, methodical pace, drinking in the area and internalizing it.
When I start explaining to people what is so appealing about backpacking in Zion, I realize quickly that it’s a tough to explain. It’s so easy to see the challenges and negatives and so difficult to understand the positive aspects that I understand why so many people live their whole lives without ever experiencing it.
I know it’s not for everyone, and I know most people won’t seriously consider entering the wilderness areas of Zion with the intention of staying overnight in the middle of nowhere. All I can say is you’re missing out! On your next trip to Zion, be different from the crowd. Pick up a backcountry permit online and see this part of the world in a new way. You won’t regret it.