SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Backpacker Magazine – November/December 2005

From the Grand Canyon to Canyonlands: Hiking At The Speed Of Sound

Seven national parks in 7 days--starring a ragtop, Red Bull, and one scary rabbit.

by: Peter Flax, BACKPACKER Executive Editor

Zion National Park, Nick Driggs/Utah Office of Tourism
Zion National Park, Nick Driggs/Utah Office of Tourism

©Jackie Ney

My leading candidate was my preternaturally cheery friend Jackie, a talented photographer with an obvious joie de vivre and an outdoorsy wardrobe. Of course, I didn't know then about her robust fear of wild animals or her balky right knee, but hell, everyone's got their share of baggage these days.

Before we could do so much as a shakedown dayhike, we blasted out of Vegas with the top down. I had a big overnight planned for our first stop in Zion. In retrospect, I'd say the trip down the Hop Valley Trail to La Verkin Creek was a challenging adventure: a long trek through a lush, grassy canyon flanked by red rock and an ever-changing sky, an unexpected improvisation descending a dry streambed, a scenic campsite nestled above a tumbling creek. Or, for variety's sake, there's Jackie's version: a 14-mile slog under alternating skies of menacing thunderheads and blistering sun, a missed turn that led to pour-overs and scraped flesh, perilous interactions with bite-sized lizards and a head-hunting hummingbird, and a swollen creek that required fording. We returned to our car the following morning, exhausted, triumphant, and maybe a little frazzled. One down, six to go.

Now that it was in our faces, the daily schedule seemed all-consuming. Drive like David Letterman to the next park. Settle backcountry arrangements. Purchase food and fill water bottles. Talk through logistics and potential wildlife encounters. Hit the trail. Eat dinner as the sky purples. Sleep like a stone. Hike out. Ingest 240 milligrams of caffeine. And then repeat--again and again and again. Our itinerary was a convoluted clockwise loop that would take us from Zion to Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Petrified Forest, and finally, the Grand Canyon.




Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Montana has nasty insects!
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: Tallgrass
Trailhead Register
High Summer Heat
Posted On: Aug 29, 2014
Submitted By: TIMOTEO
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions