A few days ago we mentioned that we were looking for a hike going up what is called Shelf Canyon on the east side of Zion NP . After exploring a number of canyons in that area, Shelf Canyon continued to elude us. Although this hike is fairly short and supposedly not tremendously exiting, we are determine to find it. So after some more research, we headed back to the area today confident that we knew where it was.
A web site that claimed to have located the canyon posted a picture of the beginning of the hike showing the parking area just east of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. We found that spot and were confident we were headed into Shelf Canyon.
The sandy wash soon turned a bit rocky, but nothing we didn’t expect.
But this trail as many downed trees and bushes, something we did not expect.
At times we had to crawl through the bushes, lowering our confidence that this was Shelf Canyon.
Although we hiked through some interesting terrain, after a bit it was obvious we were again in the wrong canyon.
So we turned around and headed back down the wash, sliding down some large rocks we had just climbed up.
Crawling back under some of the trees provided some interesting moments. Is the hiker below resting or did he catch his pack on the trees and fall down? He’s probably just resting!
Returning to the highway, we scampered up the rocks to gain some altitude, looking for a good spot for lunch. We found one on a flat rock pile overlooking the parking area.
On the ride back out of the park we stopped at the Visitor’s Center to ask a ranger about the location of this elusive canyon. The ranger we spoke with knew the canyon and showed its location on a park map. It turns out that it is the canyon we hiked on our very first attempt to find it, but we must not have gone far enough up the canyon. Guess where we’re going tomorrow?
Pam has been following a blog written by Amanda and Tim, a young couple living full time in their Airstream travel trailer. They had written that they were going to visit Zion and hoped to stay in one of the campgrounds inside the park. So as we drove through the park, we kept an eye out for an Airstream in case they were able to find an open site. Amanda had mentioned in her blog that they might stay in the same park we are in if no site was available in Zion. When we returned to our motorhome, we were surprised to see their Airstream just a few sites down from us.
Pam sent them an email and within minutes they were headed our way. We invited them in and had a nice visit sharing experiences about life on the road. Both of us are headed to Moab soon, so we may cross paths again there. Check out their blog, Watson’s Wander.