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Zion National Park Bus Trip

May 3 - May 7, 2023

Join San Diego Sierra Club's experienced leaders as they take you to explore the majestic area of Zion National Park. Base camp participants will also spend one day at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Zion National Park features some of the most scenic canyon country in the United States. Within its 232 square miles are high plateaus, a maze of narrow, deep, sandstone canyons,the Virgin River with its tributaries, 2,000-foot Navajo Sandstone cliffs, pine- and juniper-clad slopes, springs, and waterfalls supporting lush and colorful hanging gardens.

We will travel in a chartered, air-conditioned bus up to Zion National Park, spending four nights either at Watchman Campground or backpacking with the group of your choice. We’ll enjoy hiking, campfires, starry nights, and good company. We offer both base camp and backpack trips of varying difficulty for participants. Base camp participants will be able to choose which hike they would like to do each day.

This tent-camping trip is for adults only who are in good health and are physically fit. Participants must provide their own meals and camping equipment. Upon registration, you will receive an email confirmation and information about an optional pre-trip meeting to meet your leaders and ask questions (highly recommended for first-timers). A handout will also be available with suggestions about what to pack, weather, safety tips, etc. Look forward to having you join us!

For questions, contact the Coordinator, Bonnie Ferri, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Visit our Trip Rating System to determine which Backpacking Trip or Day Hike is right for you.

Please, read our RESERVATION & REFUND POLICY before you sign up for the trip.

Space: Limited to 55 participants (including leaders and assistants)
Cost: $380
Registration is NOW OPEN: The lottery is now completed and you will be sent an invoice if you were placed on a trip. If you were not placed on a trip because, you did not get your first choice and did not select a second option. You will receive an email to see if you would like to be on the wait list for that trip or would like to select another trip that has space on Monday, April 9th, 2023.

Pre-trip Meeting: Zoom Meeting. Link to be sent to attendees.

Departure: Wednesday May 3, 2023 at 8:30 am
ReturnSunday, May 7, 2023 at approximately at approx. 10:00 pm

Bus Camping Trip to Zion National Park

Trip Rating: A variety of difficulty from easy to strenuous. Please see individual hiking and backpacking trips below.

Trip # 1

All hikes on Trip 1 may be altered due to group interest, weather, and other factors. Day hikes are limited to 11 participants (including leaders).

Type of Trip: Base Camp / Day Hikes
Leaders: Kat Lineback, Sonja Sweeney, Leslie Shultz, Ruben Garcia, Kristi Anderson, Alice Fichandler
Event capacity = 22 including leaders and assistants 

Each day, your leaders will offer some fascinating hiking adventures of varying difficulty levels. Since these will be on a space-available basis, sign-ups will be announced at the campground on the evening before the hike. Should you decide to stay in camp instead, you can take the shuttle and go to the visitor center, restaurants or place of your choice. See below for some of the Day Hikes that will be offered.

Watchman Trail and Riverside Walk:
The Watchman Trail starts from the campground and is a 3.3 mile/350ft gain trail up to a viewpoint with a beautiful view down Zion Canyon.

The Riverside Walk hike is a paved, flat 2.2mile (RT) hike along the Virgin River which takes you to the 'end of the road', where the river takes over. A beautiful view of the canyon walls and vegetation, and is enjoyable.  

Scout's Lookout and Weeping Rock, stop at the museum:
Scout's Lookout hike is a roughly 4.5 mile (RT) steep trail to the starting point of Angels Landing. You will see 'Walters Wiggles' and we will eat lunch at Scout's Lookout, then head back down. Beautiful views all the way up, and a very nice hike.

The Weeping Rock hike is a quick, half mile hike to a 'raining' cliff. It is a short but steep paved trail. Come see the water as it has seeped through the rock over how many hundreds (or thousands?) of years. 

The Hat Shop in Bryce:
The Hat Shop hike in Bryce is a 4-mile (RT) moderate hike down into the canyon and back up with a 1380 ft loss and gain. We will see fanciful formations created by nature! After the hike, we can go get lunch in one of the restaurants, or if open, do a leisurely hike along the Rim Trail of Bryce with its beautiful views. Perhaps we can watch the introductory film in the Visitor Center before we go.

Other possibilities are:
Emerald Pools and from there take the Kayenta Trail over to the Grotto or Scout Lookout from the Grotto.
In Bryce, the Peekaboo Loop trail, if open.  If not, then the Queens Garden trail and/or  the Fairyland trail.

Please note. Due to the amount of snow in Zion National Park, some or all of the backpacking trips could be cancelled.

Trip # 2

Type of Trip: Backpack - Strenuous
Name of Trip: Canaan Wilderness Backpack
Leader: Mike Fry   Assistant: Tanya Ingorvate
Trip Rating: S9E
Event capacity: 12 including leader and assistant

Number of Backpack Days: 3 days 2 nights; Number of Backpack Miles: 18 approx, 9 miles per day. Number of Day Hike Miles: 7

Description: Strenuous backpack to Canaan Mountain from Rockville. This is just outside Zion NP, in the Canaan Mountain Wilderness (BLM). The destination is the White Domes, which resemble The Wave. Check out this YouTube Video:

Trip # 3

Type of Trip: Backpack - Moderate
Name of Trip: Hop Valley to La Verkin Creek
Leader: Doug Grover          Assistant: Bonnie Ferri
Trip Rating: M7C
Event capacity: 10 including leader and assistant

Number of Backpack Days: 3 days 2 nights, Number of Backpack Miles: 7 per day, Number of Day Hike Miles: 1.2

Description: Moderate backpack downhill to La Verkin Creek campsite 8. Day hike to Kolob Arch, the 6th longest natural arch in the world.

Trip # 4 

Type of Trip: Backpack - Moderate
Name of Trip: East Rim
Leader: Rob Baum   Assistant: TBD
Trip Rating: M6C
Event capacity: 8 including leader and assistant

Number of Backpack Days: 3 days 2 nights, Number of Backpack Miles: 6Number of Day Hike Miles: 6 or 11

Description: Backpack from East Entrance to Stave Spring and back. Camp 2 nights. Day hike to Cable Mtn and/or Deer Trap Mountain. Both have incredible views.


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