This page exists as an alternative to the multi-section, 35-page main trip report - something in which you might yet want to commit to investing your time. On this page, you'll find the alternative: a succinct set of forty or so images along with a bit of text to give you an overview and a few highlights.
If you've come here and are looking to read the main trip report, this isn't it! Please go here
Principally, we visited two areas in southern Utah on this trip - Zion National Park, and the Escalante region of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
We first visited Zion, a small but very popular national park. We had good luck, getting into the park for free (National Public Lands Day) and getting a free campsite.
The highlight of our visit to Zion was an off-piste, mountaineering scramble up a desert peak called Lady Mountain.
We had hoped to do a watery canyoneering descent of Zion's Left Fork of North Creek - a.k.a. "The Subway" - but were unable to, due to the inability for us to win the last minute permit lottery (which we tried to do three times, but to no avail). Instead, we did several other short and easy (but scenic) day hikes.
The 2013 US federal government shut down then forced us to leave Zion NP early. We high-tailed it east, headed for the Escalante area - but not before stopping and doing a bit of very scenic hiking at Red Canyon.
Once in the Escalante (parts of which were fortunately free from shutdown closure), we "re-did" two unfinished routes from a 2006 trip to the area. First, a great loop route that visited Phipps Arch, then climbed over some amazing slickrock on the way back (in 2006, we were unable to finish the loop due to some fresh snow that had made certain sections too slippery).
After Phipps Arch, we tackled another fail-to-complete from 2006: the tight and long slot of Egypt 3. A long, muddy but ultimately fantastic day.
With the completion of Egypt 3, Roland and Stephanie departed home. Arn, myself, Jenn and Kyle two more days exploring non-closed park areas. First, Kodachrome Basin State Park.