Zion is so crowded these days that it can take me two hours to get to the Eastern portion of the park, and then there is often no parking anywhere once I get there. So, last summer I spent most of my time hiking around the edges of the park and exploring, among other things, the Kolob Terrace. This was the beginning of a habit i developed that is still ongoing, to explore all the open slickrock areas of the Kolob Terrace.
I climbed over another rise of sandstone and encountered this canyon. That meant turning back around and walking along the backside of the rocks on the left, trying to avoid chaparral and sand gorges.
Temperatures were already getting hot in the valleys because I waited a little bit late in the year to get started. To adjust to the heat my first jaunt was from higher up, where spring was not yet over. Pine Valley Peak is a prominent white pyramid visible from far away in nearly every direction and is very close to the Northgate Peaks trailhead. I decided one day to explore the base of it and see how far beyond it I could get. This little hike ended up being a loop for me. I came out on the road hundreds of feet lower and quite some distance away. Before I even had time to mentally settle in to the long walk back up the road I was offered a ride from a stranger, despite me looking for one.
It took me along time to get around Pine Valley Peak because there is a deep sand gorge that snakes along the bottom of it. The gorge has near vertical walls overhanging with roots so it must be crossed before it gets to that point. Skirting the gorge means trudging through thick brush and scrambling along crumbling steep ledges.
Looking back at the West Temple afterwards I decided I really needed to try and find a way to all the wild looking rock landscapes in front of it. A year later, I did just that.