» Downhill All the Way

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by Diana Tolerico

I have been a full-time RVer for 14 years, primarily "boondocking," camping free without hookups, in the Western US. I am connected electronically with the world via satellite TV, cell phone and internet card. My batteries are charged by solar panels.

One of my favorite hikes in Zion National Park is this all-downhill 5.1-mile hike from high on the plateau down into the valley 2100 feet below. You start at an obscure trailhead at the eastern park boundary -

One of my favorite hikes in Zion National Park is this all-downhill 5.1-mile hike from high on the plateau down into the valley 2100 feet below.
You start at an obscure trailhead at the eastern park boundary -

 

 

Then walk 1/2 mile to a connection with the East Rim trail. We had a group of 11 WINs hiking, which required some rather complicated shuttling.

Then walk 1/2 mile to a connection with the East Rim trail. We had a group of 11 WINs hiking, which required some rather complicated shuttling.

 

The trail quickly opens up and the views are magnificent.

The trail quickly opens up and the views are magnificent.

 

I seemed to be always in the rear, which enabled me to take some good butt shots.

I seemed to be always in the rear, which enabled me to take some good butt shots.

 

Hurry up, Diana - stop taking so many pictures! I had done this hike a couple times before and didn't remember the trail being so rocky.

Hurry up, Diana - stop taking so many pictures! I had done this hike a couple times before and didn't remember the trail being so rocky.

 

And I had promised everyone that it was "all downhill," but there was a little bit of uphill.

And I had promised everyone that it was "all downhill," but there was a little bit of uphill.

 

More rocks

More rocks

 

Then whoa! Time for lunch. When you pass the turnoff to Observation Point, the trail becomes paved, sort-of, from work done by the CCC in the 1930s.

Then whoa! Time for lunch. When you pass the turnoff to Observation Point, the trail becomes paved, sort-of, from work done by the CCC in the 1930s.

 

A little easier to walk on, but still downhill.

A little easier to walk on, but still downhill.

 

We stopped for a photo when we entered Echo Canyon.

We stopped for a photo when we entered Echo Canyon.

 

This was everyone's favorite part.

This was everyone's favorite part.

 

Emerging from Echo canyon, you still have many steep switchbacks to negotiate, before arriving in the valley and the shuttle bus to the Visitor's Center. If you want to do this hike, pick up the free Wilderness Guide at the Visitor's Center. You must either have 2 cars, or a friend who doesn't want to hike to drop you off at the trailhead.

Emerging from Echo canyon, you still have many steep switchbacks to negotiate, before arriving in the valley and the shuttle bus to the Visitor's Center.
If you want to do this hike, pick up the free Wilderness Guide at the Visitor's Center. You must either have 2 cars, or a friend who doesn't want to hike to drop you off at the trailhead.