Northgate Peaks

12 October 2020
Wildcat Canyon Trailhead to Northgate Peaks and back
(4 miles, +500/-500 feet).

Today was definitely my favorite day of our short trip to Zion.  We hiked to the Northgate Peaks through a lovely ponderosa forest and had great views of Russell Gulch, the Left Fork, Pine Valley Peak, and the eponymous domes at the end of the trail.

Pine Valley Peak
Starting point for descents to Left Fork and the Subway
Russell Gulch
Nice view up to the West Rim Trail on the ridge, where we were yesterday
Northgate Peak west
This is pretty cool!
Northgate Peak east

I was here before on my Trans-Zion trek, but last time I didn’t realize that it was possible to actually hike along the narrow stripes that run parallel to the ground.

Hey, look at that!

I asked Jay if it was okay for me to give it a try, and he said “sure!”

A closer look

The line is pretty narrow — 6 to 12 inches in most places, and it leans outward.  The exposure is not too bad at first — a stumble would not lead to a severe fall.  But it gets steeper as you go around, and soon I was having a very hard time with a class 3/4 move to get past a steep sandy part with a sheer 50 foot drop below.  I climbed up to a tree above it and managed to avoid that section, but it was scary enough that I decided not to come back that way.

The views at the little outcrop between Northgate Peaks were magnificent!

Northgate Peak west

On the way back I dropped down into a gully and then followed that back up to my starting point.  It was all easy class 2, and soon I was back with Jay and on my way back to the car.

One Comment Add yours

  1. What an amazing road / trail trip!


    Liked by 1 person

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