Wednesday, 31 October 2012

#2 Scout Lookout, Zion

#2 Scout Lookout, Zion, USA.

Distance - 4 miles (6.44 Km)
Ascent - 400m

Most countries would be happy with just one spectacular national park, but oh no the USA has to be different!  Zion might not be as famous to travellers from the UK but it is another great place for day walks.  The walk up to Scouts Lookout forms part of the walk to Angels Landing, whilst walking 0.5miles to Angels Landing seems like an easy extension to the walk it does involve walking along a ledge with no fencing and a 500m drop... not for me!

The weather over the last couple of days had been poor, but despite low cloud it had stopped raining.  As with most National Parks there was a quick and easy shuttle bus around the canyon floor which dropped us off yards from the trailhead (Start of the path).  The first mile or so was along the valley with gentle climbs and easy walking.

I found the next section tough, a number of switchbacks lift you up approx. 200m within a short distance.  Luckily there are plenty of great view points for a rest...I mean to take pictures...

The Path is up there...
The first hard climb (for me) breaks out in Refrigerator Canyon, which as the name suggests is in shadow for most, if not all day.  It was a cool day anyway but I appreciated it efforts at cooling me down.  Climbing gently it can be hard to tell how far there is to go, my estimate of about 0.5 miles was about right but as usual I forgot about the 150m of climbing left!

Walters Wiggles
Walters Wiggles are probably the best named section of the walk!  21 short switchbacks that never seem to end!  They do the job of gaining height quickly without quite inducing a heart attack!
Scouts lookout is a flat (ish) area before the next climb to Angels Landing.  This is where I stopped, the extra climbing and distance wasn't that daunting, it was the exposure with long drop off's on both sides.  If it had been quieter I might of gone for it, but it was busy and queues formed at bottlenecks.  It only takes one person to be impatient to rush you through and lose any enjoyment.
Scouts Lookout towards the climb to Angels Landing.

After a deserved food break it was off backdown by the same path.  The sun was now breaking through, and I was glad it had held off until I had made it to the top!  Another brilliant walk.

The View down.

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