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Re: Zion in April?

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  • llb7460
    Thanks for the great information! I will refocus my research towards Escalante. Lynda
    Message 1 of 14 , May 27, 2011
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      Thanks for the great information! I will refocus my research towards Escalante.
      Lynda

      --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "TomJones" <ratagonia@...> wrote:
      >
      > I'll take a crack at this...
      >
      > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, llb7460 <no_reply@> wrote:
      > >
      > > My family has to take advantage of my daughter's spring break (she is a teacher, not student so our schedule is rigid) for adventure trips. We backpacked in the Grand Canyon this spring break but we are looking for a different trip for 2012. Unfortunately, her spring break is April 2-9 and I'm concerned that spring weather will impact our options. I think that I have overwhelmed myself with my research! So here are my questions:
      > > 1. Will the Trans-Zion trek be doable that early in the season or will snow make it an uncomfortable choice? We are from the South so snow shoes aren't found in our closets!
      >
      > Ah, no snow shoes, so you will have to use skis. I'd take crampons for a couple of sections... so, no. Unlikely. It is possible in a very low snow year (1 in 10?) that this would be a reasonable thing to do that early, but it would also not be "good" then. The areas would be lifeless; much of the charm would be missing.
      >
      > > 2. Is there another multi-day trip that we should look at or are day trips a better option?
      >
      > Early April is just not such a good time in Zion. Try Escalante. Coyote Gulch CAN be superb in April.
      >
      > > 3. I read about the campground in Springdale (Ferber resorts) and got mixed impressions. Is that a place that we would want to have as a base camp for day trips? If not, any suggestions?
      >
      > Early April, unless you are hearty campers, you'd probably want a motel. The Park Campgrounds are generally nicer and less expensive than the crowded-in commercial campgrounds in Springdale, but then again, they would be unoccupied at that time of year. It will be below freezing at night, most likely.
      >
      > > 4. The canyoneering courses offered by ZAC look so fun but we need more time/adventure than just 3 days! Any suggestions for adding on to a canyoneering course would be appreciated.
      >
      > Thank you. Our Canyoneering Courses are designed to make you capable of descending canyons on your own. So, we highly recommend doing more canyons after your course, to solidify the stuff you just learned, so you might retain the skills for your next trip out in July 2012. Keyhole, Pine Creek, Subway, Orderville, Birch Hollow, Fat Man's and then into Spry and Behunin are the usual after-course suspects.
      >
      > > 5. Not sure that we want to invest in wet/dry suits. Any place to rent them or is that just gross? Are keens appropriate foot wear for canyoneering?
      >
      > The Canyoneering Courses provide all equipment including dry suits and shoes, and then after the course you can rent the same. Keens are not appropriate footwear for canyoneering.
      >
      > > 6. Should we look at another park such as Grand Staircase? Any suggestions?
      >
      > I consider Escalante (Grand Staircase) to be more "in season" than Zion in early April. That is where I go.
      >
      > > 7. We found our way in the Grand Canyon but do you suggest guided trips in Grand Staircase?
      >
      > Escalante requires a much higher level of self-reliance than the Grand Canyon. Things are not laid out and marked well. If you would like a guide, contact Rick at Excursions of Escalante http://www.excursions-escalante.com/ who leads both technical canyoneering trips (and courses) and backpacking trips.
      >
      > Coyote Gulch is a popular choice just because it is SO GOOD. Early April would be perfect, and is probably before everyone else's spring break... http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/0403coy/index.htm
      >
      > Of course, it could also be raining and snowing...
      >
      > Tom
      >
    • Eddie
      I have never been anywhere near Zion, or anywhere west of New Orleans for that matter. I am thinking about taking my 16 year old son out that way near the end
      Message 2 of 14 , Feb 6, 2013
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        I have never been anywhere near Zion, or anywhere west of New Orleans for that matter. I am thinking about taking my 16 year old son out that way near the end of April. Can some of you regulars give me some advice on places to camp. I plan to fly to Vegas, rent a car, and make a base camp somewhere near Zion. I'd like to take day hikes every day and return to camp at night. I have lots of questions, e.g. what kind of temps should I expect, how to fly with camping gear, where is a good base camp for that area, and is that time of year a good time of year to hike Zion?

        Any advice will be greatly appreciated,

        Thanks,

        Eddie
        Mobile, AL
      • tanya_o0o
        Zion has 2 public campgrounds on it s south end that are good and give you easy access to most hikes. The end of April is actually a very good time to visit,
        Message 3 of 14 , Feb 6, 2013
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          Zion has 2 public campgrounds on it's south end that are good and give you easy access to most hikes. The end of April is actually a very good time to visit, but be prepared for cold and warm weather both.

          --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Eddie" wrote:
          >
          > I have never been anywhere near Zion, or anywhere west of New Orleans for that matter. I am thinking about taking my 16 year old son out that way near the end of April. Can some of you regulars give me some advice on places to camp. I plan to fly to Vegas, rent a car, and make a base camp somewhere near Zion. I'd like to take day hikes every day and return to camp at night. I have lots of questions, e.g. what kind of temps should I expect, how to fly with camping gear, where is a good base camp for that area, and is that time of year a good time of year to hike Zion?
          >
          > Any advice will be greatly appreciated,
          >
          > Thanks,
          >
          > Eddie
          > Mobile, AL
          >
        • hwstockman
          And you can make reservations on-line for Watchman and South Campgrounds. Do it as soon as you have the dates down. Fortunately Easter Sunday this year is
          Message 4 of 14 , Feb 6, 2013
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            And you can make reservations on-line for Watchman and South Campgrounds. Do it as soon as you have the dates down. Fortunately Easter Sunday this year is March 31.

            --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, tanya_o0o wrote:
            >
            > Zion has 2 public campgrounds on it's south end that are good and give you easy access to most hikes. The end of April is actually a very good time to visit, but be prepared for cold and warm weather both.
            >
            > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Eddie" wrote:
            > >
            > > I have never been anywhere near Zion, or anywhere west of New Orleans for that matter. I am thinking about taking my 16 year old son out that way near the end of April. Can some of you regulars give me some advice on places to camp. I plan to fly to Vegas, rent a car, and make a base camp somewhere near Zion. I'd like to take day hikes every day and return to camp at night. I have lots of questions, e.g. what kind of temps should I expect, how to fly with camping gear, where is a good base camp for that area, and is that time of year a good time of year to hike Zion?
            > >
            > > Any advice will be greatly appreciated,
            > >
            > > Thanks,
            > >
            > > Eddie
            > > Mobile, AL
            > >
            >
          • Glenn Ray
            Echoing early comments - yes, the Watchman and South camping grounds are close to the Visitor Center and the shuttle can get you to all your day hikes (and
            Message 5 of 14 , Feb 6, 2013
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              Echoing early comments - yes, the Watchman and South camping grounds are close to the Visitor Center and the shuttle can get you to all your day hikes (and Springdale) very easily. South is first-come, first-served; Watchman requires reservations (www.recreation.gov).

              Regarding camping gear - if you want to haul it with you, just be prepared to check it in and pay the fees. A large, heavy-duty duffel bag with wheels is fine. However, you could also ship in advance. I did this last November and shipped all my gear to my hotel via UPS for about $45. More than the baggage charge, but it was nice not to have to deal with baggage check-in/claim and have to lug it around the airport. You'd still have to either ship it back when you leave or fly home with it. I believe you can ship directly to the Springdale Post Office, but someone else needs to confirm that.


              --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Eddie" wrote:
              >
              > I have never been anywhere near Zion, or anywhere west of New Orleans for that matter. I am thinking about taking my 16 year old son out that way near the end of April. Can some of you regulars give me some advice on places to camp. I plan to fly to Vegas, rent a car, and make a base camp somewhere near Zion. I'd like to take day hikes every day and return to camp at night. I have lots of questions, e.g. what kind of temps should I expect, how to fly with camping gear, where is a good base camp for that area, and is that time of year a good time of year to hike Zion?
              >
              > Any advice will be greatly appreciated,
              >
              > Thanks,
              >
              > Eddie
              > Mobile, AL
              >
            • jeff
              If you fly Southwest out of NO, you and your son can bring two bags each, no fee. Bag weight limit is 50 lbs. Camping equipment that you don t want to put in
              Message 6 of 14 , Feb 6, 2013
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                If you fly Southwest out of NO, you and your son can bring two bags each, no fee. Bag weight limit is 50 lbs. Camping equipment that you don't want to put in your bags would be stove fuel.
                If you're bringing a portable stove, you probably should plan on purchasing fuel canisters at the Vegas REI or a similar gear store in St George.

                If you go online now to reserve your rental car, check back every few weeks to see if the price goes down. You can always modify your rental agreement to get the better deal.

                How long will you be in the Zion area. If for a week, you may want to consider driving up to Bryce Canyon NP for a day.




                --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Eddie" wrote:
                >
                > I have never been anywhere near Zion, or anywhere west of New Orleans for that matter. I am thinking about taking my 16 year old son out that way near the end of April. Can some of you regulars give me some advice on places to camp. I plan to fly to Vegas, rent a car, and make a base camp somewhere near Zion. I'd like to take day hikes every day and return to camp at night. I have lots of questions, e.g. what kind of temps should I expect, how to fly with camping gear, where is a good base camp for that area, and is that time of year a good time of year to hike Zion?
                >
                > Any advice will be greatly appreciated,
                >
                > Thanks,
                >
                > Eddie
                > Mobile, AL
                >
              • Shaun
                As others have written there are two campgrounds in the park that would meet your requirements. One is first come first serve and the other you can reserve in
                Message 7 of 14 , Feb 6, 2013
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                  As others have written there are two campgrounds in the park that would meet your requirements. One is first come first serve and the other you can reserve in advance. The first come first serve south campground can be popular and unavailbe on weekend. I'd recomend getting a reservation first.

                  I'd recomend making your last minute outdoor purchases from The Desert Rat in St. George. Store GM is Bo, nice guy, great source of beta for hikes, and a contributer here.

                  If you are bringing a stove you can not fly with fuel. TSA is stickler on no fuel vapors with the stove & canisters. You can always ship this in advance if you worry about it becoming a donation to the TSA gear pile. UPS stores & USPS usally will hold a package for you.

                  weather for that time of year can very significantly. But I would say it is a great time of year. It is transitioning into summer (but not too hot), but a winter storm could happen (but not too cold). Some hikes could be out of season. Most likely the narrows will have a spring runoff fload & higher shadded elevations could be under snow. You could possibly experience 80 or 90's in the day and freezing at night. But don't let that discourage you as the rapidly changing weather can create beautiful scenery.

                  enjoy your trip

                  --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Eddie" wrote:
                  >
                  > I have never been anywhere near Zion, or anywhere west of New Orleans for that matter. I am thinking about taking my 16 year old son out that way near the end of April. Can some of you regulars give me some advice on places to camp. I plan to fly to Vegas, rent a car, and make a base camp somewhere near Zion. I'd like to take day hikes every day and return to camp at night. I have lots of questions, e.g. what kind of temps should I expect, how to fly with camping gear, where is a good base camp for that area, and is that time of year a good time of year to hike Zion?
                  >
                  > Any advice will be greatly appreciated,
                  >
                  > Thanks,
                  >
                  > Eddie
                  > Mobile, AL
                  >
                • hwstockman
                  My apologies, South Campground does not NORMALLY require reservations. But let me relate my experiences from April 2011... I called ahead to the NPS office to
                  Message 8 of 14 , Feb 6, 2013
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                    My apologies, South Campground does not NORMALLY require reservations. But let me relate my experiences from April 2011...

                    I called ahead to the NPS office to see if South were likely to be crowded if I showed up on Thursday. They told me "No, there will be lots of open spaces" so I drove up on Thursday to find...

                    There were lots of open spaces, but with signs, "reserved for overflow from Watchman." It turns out that the NPS had allowed lots of folks to reserve spaces at Watchman, assuming the mods at Watchman campground would be finished by April. The mods were about 2 months late, so the NPS simply co-opted spaces in South for the folks who had reserved Watchman. No one in the main Zion NPS office had any clue this was going on.

                    Usually, if you show up at South off the weekend, there are spaces, but take advice from the NPS with a very large grain of salt.

                    --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Shaun" wrote:
                    >
                    > As others have written there are two campgrounds in the park that would meet your requirements. One is first come first serve and the other you can reserve in advance. The first come first serve south campground can be popular and unavailbe on weekend. I'd recomend getting a reservation first.
                  • Glenn Ray
                    Dangme, I m glad you mentioned Southwest. They might be a good option for me on my next trip out there. Longer drive to the airport from where I m at, but
                    Message 9 of 14 , Feb 6, 2013
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                      Dangme, I'm glad you mentioned Southwest. They might be a good option for me on my next trip out there. Longer drive to the airport from where I'm at, but saving the bag fees might make it a wash. Thanks.
                      -Glenn

                      --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "jeff" wrote:
                      >
                      > If you fly Southwest out of NO, you and your son can bring two bags each, no fee. Bag weight limit is 50 lbs. Camping equipment that you don't want to put in your bags would be stove fuel.
                      > If you're bringing a portable stove, you probably should plan on purchasing fuel canisters at the Vegas REI or a similar gear store in St George.
                      >
                      > If you go online now to reserve your rental car, check back every few weeks to see if the price goes down. You can always modify your rental agreement to get the better deal.
                      >
                      > How long will you be in the Zion area. If for a week, you may want to consider driving up to Bryce Canyon NP for a day.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Eddie" wrote:
                      > >
                      > > I have never been anywhere near Zion, or anywhere west of New Orleans for that matter. I am thinking about taking my 16 year old son out that way near the end of April. Can some of you regulars give me some advice on places to camp. I plan to fly to Vegas, rent a car, and make a base camp somewhere near Zion. I'd like to take day hikes every day and return to camp at night. I have lots of questions, e.g. what kind of temps should I expect, how to fly with camping gear, where is a good base camp for that area, and is that time of year a good time of year to hike Zion?
                      > >
                      > > Any advice will be greatly appreciated,
                      > >
                      > > Thanks,
                      > >
                      > > Eddie
                      > > Mobile, AL
                      > >
                      >
                    • Shaun
                      Clarification on my reservation comment. I d recommend getting an advance reservation for the watchmen campground. that is the only way to guarantee you have a
                      Message 10 of 14 , Feb 6, 2013
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                        Clarification on my reservation comment. I'd recommend getting an advance reservation for the watchmen campground. that is the only way to guarantee you have a spot. Or else you will have to snag a spot at the south campground which is first come first serve.

                        also there are some good restaurant options in springdale if you choose to eat out instead cook your own food.

                        --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Shaun" wrote:
                        >
                        > As others have written there are two campgrounds in the park that would meet your requirements. One is first come first serve and the other you can reserve in advance. The first come first serve south campground can be popular and unavailable on weekend. I'd recommend getting a reservation first.
                        >
                        > I'd recommend making your last minute outdoor purchases from The Desert Rat in St. George. Store GM is Bo, nice guy, great source of beta for hikes, and a contributor here.
                        >
                        > If you are bringing a stove you can not fly with fuel. TSA is stickler on no fuel vapors with the stove & canisters. You can always ship this in advance if you worry about it becoming a donation to the TSA gear pile. UPS stores & USPS usually will hold a package for you.
                        >
                        > weather for that time of year can very significantly. But I would say it is a great time of year. It is transitioning into summer (but not too hot), but a winter storm could happen (but not too cold). Some hikes could be out of season. Most likely the narrows will have a spring runoff flood & higher shaded elevations could be under snow. You could possibly experience 80 or 90's in the day and freezing at night. But don't let that discourage you as the rapidly changing weather can create beautiful scenery.
                        >
                        > enjoy your trip
                        >
                      • jeff
                        Plus if you need to make changes to your SWA flights to include getting a cheaper sale fare, there is no change fee.
                        Message 11 of 14 , Feb 8, 2013
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                          Plus if you need to make changes to your SWA flights to include getting a cheaper sale fare, there is no change fee.

                          --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" wrote:
                          >
                          > Dangme, I'm glad you mentioned Southwest. They might be a good option for me on my next trip out there. Longer drive to the airport from where I'm at, but saving the bag fees might make it a wash. Thanks.
                          > -Glenn
                          >
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