We had more time in Zion May 23. We did not get an early start as we had arrived late the night before driving from Lake Powell with dinner in Kanab. Via shuttle bus we started up the east Rim/Observation Point route at 11:30AM. We met lots of people on their way down. This trail is on the east side and shaded all morning. Fortunately it has somewhat of a north aspect and the Zion Canyon walls are so sheer that the 1,000 climb from the valley floor is still ~2/3 shaded midday. It was in full sun mid-afternoon on the way down but with some breeze and we didn't mind the warmth at that time. Panoramic view of the West Rim partway up.
We also got a direct view into a tall but narrow gash in the rock north of Weeping Rock.
After the steep part the trail is in Echo Canyon for a short time.
The website guides instruct not to enter the slot here.
So we stayed on the trail another 1/4 mile or so.
We met two sets of hikers coming out of the slot. They liked it but warned that it was wet and cold. With the late start we got into the recommended entry about 1PM.
The water becomes neck deep just beyond me. It helped that the water was clear enough to see the bottom. Last year in Egypt 3 any water was opaque and muddy, though fortunately not too deep.
Just beyond that first pool. The exit was another one of those cases that was easiest by helping each other out.
The slot rapidly becomes much taller, though at midday light is still reaching the bottom here.
One more deep pool here.
For a few feet it was safest to tread water and hold the pack above my head to keep it dry. Several items were in the red dry bag attached to my pack just in case. This pool was colder than the first one, so we were somewhat chilled afterwards.
Next was a shallow stepping stone pool followed by a 10 foot climb via some logs that had wedged into the slot many years ago.
Here at the top of the logs I stepped in some thin debris covering a hole which my whole leg went through, fortunately only sustaining a bruise and road rash.
That was the only real climb in this part of Echo Canyon. The walls towered above us but the bottom was mostly gravelly with just a few boulders.
We took a lunch break in one of the few spots where sun reached the bottom to warm up. Farther up the canyon becomes narrower and darker.
Liz was still cold and wanted to turn back if we encountered more water. The first water was colder yet but less than knee deep so I went ahead to check it out.
Just beyond me was more water that went waist deep and then around a blind corner so I knew we were done. Map shown below with the short section where we were in the Echo Canyon slot marked in black.
It may have been possible to get out the side canyon to the north to the East Rim Trail at the confluence not too far beyond us, but we were not sure of that.
So we retraced our route, down the logjam and back through the 2 deep pools. I'm moving a pack through the last pool here.
We were out of the slot at 3:30.
On the way down a view of the Organ and Virgin River Big Bend.
Weeping Wall is now illuminated.
After bus shuttle, cleanup and change clothes we drove to Las Vegas for the evening.
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,318K in 2010-11
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12