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May Honeymoon North-South West Rim Tail Backpacking - Itinerary Feedback

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Rob B · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0

Hey folks,

Getting married in early May, and have picked backpacking Zion for our honeymoon.

We were up on the 5th last month for permits and got some but not all of our hoped for pathway.

Given we only have two solid permit reservations on West Rim Trail in hand, I was hoping to get feasibility feedback on this itinerary.

Biggest questions are:

1. What is the likelihood that we will be able to get the below two permits on walk-in? How early do we need to be?
2. Assuming the two walk-in permits may be secured, is the overall hike sound good / reasonable?
3. If not, what alterations would you recommend given the permit reservations we do have?

May 6th
 - Arrive Vegas airport, 7pm, ready w car rental 8pm
 - Rent Car, drive to stay Desert Pearl Resort or other Springdale area place (2hr, 50 min drive)

May 7th
 + Get up early head to Zion Canyon Visitor Center:  
   - Get Walk In Permit for Lava Point Overlook for 5/8-5/9
   - Pick Up Reserved Permits for West Rim Campsite x (5/10-5-11) and East Rim (5-11-5/13)
 - Shop for food in Springdale for the trip
 - Stay at Desert Pearl Resort or other Sprindale area place

May 8th
 - Get up early, head to Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Get Walk In Permit for West Rim campsite 7
 - Leave car at South Entrance,
 - Get shuttle or ride to Wildcat Canyon Trailhead
 - Hike Wild Canyon Trail to Lava Point Overlook
 - Stay Lava Point Overlook

May 9th
 - Hike to West Rim Campsite  7
 - Stay Night

May 10th
 - Hike to West Rim Campsite x
 - Stay Night

May 11th
 - Hike to East Rim
 - Stay Night

May 12th
 - Hike somewhere else in East Rim
 - Stay Night

May 13th
 - Hike out to Shuttle
 - Get car head out
 - Catch flight leaving Vegas 7:50pm

Chris Haines · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 5

I'm assuming that by Lava Point Overlook you're talking about the Lava Point Campground. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but the Lava Point Campground is first come, first serve, meaning that you need to be there on the day you're staying there and can't get a permit for the following day (as in if you want to stay there on May 8th you'll need to be there on the 8th and they won't give you a permit before). The other two Zion campgrounds are reservation only. The other thing to be aware of is that it can get pretty cold up there at Lava Point, especially at that time of year. Sometimes it can even snow, so be prepared.

For backcountry reservations (like the one you have for the West Rim on the 10-11) they'll only issue the permits as early as the day before unless you're a Zion Express member. So you'd have to get them on the 9th.

As far as getting a walk in permit, make sure you're there early. And I mean really early, otherwise you probably won't get the permit. Zion has become like Disneyland in the last few years. Make sure you have a backup plan in case that doesn't work out. The West Rim trail is great, but in my opinion two days is kind of excessive to be on the trail, especially if that's all you have planned for both days. It can easily be done as a single overnighter. I'd suggest getting a campsite or hotel somewhere else for the first day (when you're planning on getting the walk in permit) and  checking out some other hikes in Zion. It'll be crowded but beautiful. Either way, you guys will love it!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern Utah Deserts
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