Trail review

Zion National Park East Rim guest trail review

This trail review was written by Becca Christlieb, an avid backpacker and explorer of the SW. She lives in Las Vegas and has visited a lot of the amazing places nature has to offer in that area. 

Zion National Park is one of my most favorite places in the world to visit. It has amazing beauty anytime of the year. We decided to hike some trails on the 14th of Feb. Usually, there is a significant amount of snow this time of year, but thanks to an unseasonably warm year in the Southwest, hiking Zion was PERFECT.

We decided to do a trail that was a little less traveled, and less-known, which was the East Rim Trail. 

Zion National Park east rim trailhead

Zion has a shuttle system in place that adds about 45 minutes to travel time to get to the trail head, but thanks to hiking in the off-season, we were able to drive straight to the trail head. 

We started hiking in the late morning and headed up a series of long switchbacks until we essentially made it up the top of the canyon wall. Ignoring the turn off for the Hidden Canyon trail, we continued with the long switchbacks and enter into a small slot canyon.

slot canyon
slot canyon

Hiking through the slot canyon, and across a bridge we came upon a trail marker.

zion national park trail marker

The trail for the East Rim isn't obvious, and there was a man sitting right next to the sign who informed us that the sign was not the correct turn off. (He was wrong.) After hiking up the wrong trail for about 3/4 of a mile, we realized we had received the wrong information, we headed back down the trail and hooked onto the actual East Rim trail. We then crossed over a volcanic field with cairns as trail markers. This part of the hike is relatively flat compared to the previous switch backs.

East Rim trail Zion National Park

The "flat" portion of the trail soon gives way to another switchback section. This time, it is wooded and view of the high white cliffs become more visible.

zion national park east rim

Finally, (and it is quite the climb), we reached the top of the cliff to even more amazing views. 

zion national park east rim trail

From here, the hike is very flat and easy. We chose to go further on the trail for about another mile and sat down for a meal of spaghetti. Having forgotten our utensils, we improvised with sticks and rocks. I broke the rocks down to a manageable size. 

backpacking cooking

The trail continues on for several miles to Jolley Gulch and eventually the East Entrance, but we chose to head back the way we came in. The views with the lighting on the way down were spectacular.

zion national park east rim

Thank you, Becca, for a wonderful trail review and some breathtaking photos. 



instructional article

Fire starters

DIY fire starters

Living in a damp environment makes you think waaay ahead about things like fire when you go camping. In the Pacific Northwest finding beautifully dry tinder is the exception, rather than the rule. Even during the summer months it can be challenging. These little cotton ball fire starters are very helpful!

You can find the full article here: http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/diy-cotton-ball-fire-starters/

I have made a version of these that I found very good. I prefer to mix in paraffin wax (or bees wax) and melt the petroleum jelly in with that, then soak the cotton balls and squeeze out the extra. You end up with a nice, compact little puck that is much less greasy and messy in the end. When you want to use it, you do need to fluff it up a bit to loosen up the small fibers so they catch fire more easily. These little babies will burn for 3-5+ minutes! Very helpful if you are working with soggy twigs to get a fire going.

We recently added the Colter Spark to our offering. It's an excellent ferro rod fire starter that pairs nicely with this fire starting technic. Get your Colter Spark here