As the shuttle crowded with Zion Canyon visitor's makes it's way slowly up the main canyon, the second stop is the lookout for Court of Patriarchs. The announcer says "This short 100 yard climb will take you to a lookout point for a beautiful view of the Court of Patriarchs. Including Abraham, Issac & Jacob". Before you get back on the bus, with eyes shaded, look up past the lookout, up, up and up the solid stone face to the summit of the mountain at an elevation of 6722 feet. If the view was good at 100 yards, what would it look like from up there? Welcome to the Mountain of the Sun.
Note: Due to the narrow confines of the canyons, my GPS unit did not record the entire trip. I edited out the wild jumps upon satellite re-link and deleted parts of the trip that overlapped the same area.
Special Thanks to Bo Beck and Tanya Milligan for their Zion National Park hiking guide. Their link can be found under "Other Links and Resources".
Backcountry Route! Safely hiking backcountry routes depend on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant attention to your surroundings. Your safety is your responsibility.
Average hiking time is at least 10 hours, the approach to this summit hike is long with lots of elevation gains and losses.
Take plenty of water (4 liter) I took 3 liter on a cool 70 degree day and took my last swallow just before exiting Pine Creek. I also stashed a liter at the base of the ramp so I wouldn't have to carry the weight up the mountain.
Sticky rubber shoes is a must for this hike, DO NOT attempt in plain tennis shoes, the slick rock scrambles require sure footing as the exposure can be deadly, sure footing is a MUST!
I recommend at least 80' feet of rope, although not a technical climb, the amount of webbing I saw is a good indication that most people felt more comfortable with some extra security.
Do NOT hike this trail if there is the potential for rain. Emergency bivouac gear is recommended.
Have plenty of energy foods! Bring a good camera!