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G2 - Zion National Park

A full day of Zion backcountry adventure to the Summit of G2.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 9.7 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  The most memorizing view, for first time visitors, of Zion National Park is waiting for the shuttle system bus and looking up!... more »

Tips:  Backcountry Route! Safely hiking backcountry routes depend on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant attention to ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Parking and Trailhead

Heading east on hwy-9 immediately as you emerge from the long 1.1 mile Zion Tunnel is a small parking lot and restroom facility on the right hand side. This is the parking lot for the Zion Overlook trail and also holds the only restroom facilities on this side of the park. If this parking lot is full, use the overflow parking lot further down the ... More

2. Hiking Gifford Canyon

Gifford Canyon is a common hiking area for people interested in a little more than an established trail. The wash is wide, with nice slickrock falls and fallen trees.

3. Dryfall and Exit from Gifford Canyon

Walk along Gifford Canyon until you find a very large sandy area below a massive dryfall that enters the canyon from a shear drop off on the East side (about 3/4 mile). Walk toward the solid red sandstone wall and continue up the creek bed (note: there is a wash that enters on your right hand side, at this sandy area, avoid this wash and stay with... More

4. Exit from Gifford Canyon

Hiking up this new wash for a short distance you will be greeted with a buttress wall about 30 feet high. Continue to follow the stream bed until you emerge onto a hillside of slickrock. Sparse trees and bushes dot the hillside. Toward the skyline to your right is a very prominent cliff and to your left is a series of cliff faces with pine trees... More

5. Shelf System Scramble

Continue to work your way higher until you reach the cliff and shelf system on the South side of the hillside. If you have really good eyes, you can spot a very large solid white boulder sitting on the red slickrock near a pine tree. This serves as an entry marker for the shelf system scramble. From here look for the wash running down from above... More

6. Sandstone Bowl

Upon entering the sandstone bowl avoid the temptation of hiking down into the bowl. Instead work your way along the inside rim, where the red sandstone meets the white rock creating a nice walkway. Once inside the bowl pick the easiest route to the top. The closer you are to the path the water takes the easier it will be to climb up and out (about... More

7. Cryptobiotic crust

Cryptobiotic crust can be found in this area, it is a dark, crusty-looking soil. Please do not step on it, it is alive and is a very important ecological base for desert environments.

8. Plateau

A nice walk awaits you upon reaching the Plateau. Head North-northwest. Looking back over your shoulder to the east you will see Twin Hoodoo Peak on your Right and Peak 6310 on your left (These are sometimes identified as Jenny Peak and Jenny's nipples). Only 1/4 mile separates the two peaks. The saddle between the two is part of the Parunuweap... More

9. East / West wash and Fan shaped Buttress

Continuing north-northwest follow one of the fault lines dropping from the plateau to the wash below. Use caution on the steep slickrock. Plenty of weakness and shelf systems allow for decent to the sandy wash below.

Looking at the large buttress that runs from top to bottom on Destination Peak, allow your eyes to move from the bottom of the... More

10. Destination Peak Ramp

From the fan shaped buttress, about halfway along the wall and look at the ledge system. You need to work the weakness in the face and arrive at the top to begin your descent into the East / West canyon.

The ledge systems provide ample footing, and the solid bushes on the left side allow for firm grip and good foot holds. The view from the top... More

11. Hiking the East / West Canyon

The East / West canyon is a pleasant hiking experience. Not a slot canyon, it becomes narrow for a short distance, but no technical use of ropes or rappelling gear necessary. Most of the hike is a wide sandy / slickrock class 1 stroll.

12. The Vortex

The north face of Gifford Peak contains massive slashes that run the length of the mountain. The Vortex is an opportunity to enter one of these slashes. Somewhat hidden, but easy to find if you are looking, the Vortex is a shear, narrow, canyon of smooth vertical rock. Cool and pleasant even in the heat of summer, this sandy side trip is worth ... More

13. Hepworth Wash

Upon exiting the East / West canyon, turn north following Hepworth wash. This large wide wash is easy hiking. Negotiate several easy dryfalls during this class 1 stroll.

14. Hepworth Arch

Tucked back against Destination Peak is Hepworth Arch. Easily seen and noted, from the large wash drainage on the hikers right, this blind arch is beautiful on the return trip as the setting sun lights up the surrounding red rock peaks and heightens the colors.

15. Hepworth Marsh

As Hepworth wash widens and slows, large grass and reed areas produce a marsh effect. Pools of stagnant water reside in the area, but should only be used with filtration and probably chemical cleaning. Use caution if hiking through the marsh. I noted several deep holes, covered with weeds, that would cause ankle problems if stepped into by... More

16. Bridge Mountain Wash

Looming large and to the west is Bridge Mountain. Follow the wash that enters Hepworth wash marshlands from the west toward the base of this beautiful landmark of the main Zion canyon.

17. Bridge Mountain Summit Ramp

A dead, fallen, and burned tree marks the summit ramp for Bridge Mountain. I used the shade and flat rocks to rest, eat lunch and stash a liter of iced water among the sandstone rocks and small trickle of water for the return trip.

18. Bridge Mountain / G2 Saddle

Continue hiking up the Bridge Mountain wash toward the saddle. To the hikers left is a bush covered hillside, follow one of the game trails up the steep sandy slope to the base of G3 cliff face for easier hiking. The saddle is loose sand and rock, hiking poles help make the climb easier with more stability and the use of upper body strength to... More

19. G2 Scramble & Crux

The scramble up G2 is class 3. Use the plentiful ledge systems and weakness to move higher. A singular cliff band runs the width of G2 and squeezes the assent to a couple of crux points along the way. The crux is a slab of slickrock 35' x 15', just steep enough for feet to slide with regularity. Good finger holds on the left hand side, lead to... More

20. Summit of G2

Above the crux the hillside turns to sand and soft footing. Steep, but still class 2, the west side of the summit holds a view of the mini arch before making the final push. The summit is obtained by moving to the north side below the summit and working through a ledge system clogged with bushes. Once on the ridgeline, move east to the summit... More