|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – October 2008
Trek empty terrain all the way from the Grand Canyon to Zion.
Staying hydrated. The Hayduke links water sources (one every 20 miles on average), but the 38-mile section from Yellowstone Mesa (near Colorado City, Arizona) to the East Fork of the Virgin River (south of Zion NP) is completely dry.
Advanced scouting and supply caching. Thru-hiker Ryan Choi buried five-gallon plastic buckets along the waterless 38-mile stretch (at Yellowstone Road and Pine Spring), then wrote detailed descriptions, took photos, and entered corresponding waypoints into his GPS. Another valuable resource is the Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife Water-Catchment Map Book ($35, azgfd.gov), which catalogs the state's "guzzlers"–troughs and springs that traditionally provide water for wildlife and cattle but work fine for parched hikers, too.
From Jacob Lake, Arizona, take AZ 67 south 43.7 miles to the Grand Canyon's North Rim Visitor Center. From St. George, Utah, take I-15 seven miles north to UT 9. Merge right, and head 18.4 miles to Kolob Rd., which leads 15.2 miles into Zion's Kolob Canyon Visitor Center.
Check hayduketrail.org for current beta and maps. Read Hayduke Trail: A Guide to the Backcountry Hiking Trail on the Coloado Plateau ($20, University of Utah Press). And contact Deep Desert Adventures (deepdesert.com) for resupply and shuttle assistance.