I want to see Zion earlier in the morning, and it’s worth the effort. After a short drive from our campsite along the Virgin River on BLM land, we take our choice of RV parking and enter an eerily empty visitor center plaza. Sunlight hasn’t yet reached the canyon floor, making a stark contrast between the bright side and the dark. We exit the shuttle alone the Weeping wall stop and start up the trail in silence.
This trail is on the opposite side of the canyon from Angel’s Landing, and offers a much better sense of what the side canyons can be like, full of slots and pools and hanging gardens. The trail up to the rim is blasted out of the sheer sandstone walls to make a path that confounds sensibility, but drops you pleasantly on the canyon rim with stupendous views. On our descent we begin to encounter the crowds that will surely occupy the trail for the remainder of the day.