A scenic but circuitous hike and scramble to some rarely visited Zion gems
View of "Jenny Peak" from above Gifford Canyon. The two points on the right are known as "Jenny's Nipples".
View of "G2" (left), "G3" (bump on right) and The West Temple (behind) from high ground between Gifford Canyon and Hepworth Wash. Our ascent route gained the saddle between "G2" and "G3" and traversed to the backside of "G2" where one short 5th class pitch provided access to the summit. "G3" was an easy scramble from the saddle.
The north face of "Gifford Peak". The vertical cracks cut deep into the mountain and are quite impressive.
"Destination Peak" as seen from the drainage between it and "Gifford Peak". The easiest route to the summit is reportedly 4th class.
A nifty slot that we passed through under the north face of "Gifford Peak.
CP walking into one of the deep, vertical cracks on the north face of "Gifford Peak". The entrance is hidden, but luckily CP knew where it was and could show it to us. It has been coined "The Vortex" by local hikers. Very cool!
Dwight took this picture from inside The Vortex. I'm standing at the entrance.
"G2" and "G3" as seen from Hepworth Wash. Finally, they seemed within reach.
Dwight scrambling up slickrock slopes toward the "G2" - "G3" saddle.
CP stands atop the seldom visited "G2". He thought that we were the 3rd ascent party, but Dwight found an arrowhead that implied otherwise!
Impressive Bridge Mountain towering over Zion Canyon as seen from the summit of "G2".
View west from the summit of "G2". The peak on the right is The Watchman.
Bridge Mountain and The East Temple as seen from the summit of "G2".
View east from the summit of "G2". "Stevensworth Peak" is in the foreground. Hepworth Wash is behind it. The row of peaks in the background are (left to right): "Destination Peak", "Gifford Peak", "Hepworth Peak" and "Roof Peak".
Dwight rappelling the crux on "G2". This short pitch is rated about 5.2 and although some may find it reasonable to climb unroped, most will welcome a rope for the descent. A convenient tree makes for a great rappel anchor.
Dwight nearing the summit of "G3". This unranked peak is a quick, easy scramble from the "G2" - "G3" saddle and provides excellent views. I measured it to have about 190 feet of prominence.
Starting the alternate descent northwest from the "G2" - "G3" saddle. The West Temple dominates the view.
The Watchman (left) and Smithsonian Butte (right) can be seen on the descent to the "G3" - Bridge Mountain saddle.
Bridge Mountain as seen from the southeast. The route to the summit is up steep, exposed, unprotectable slickrock slopes on the left side.
"Gifford Peak" as seen on our hike back to the trailhead. The route goes up the ridge that is visible and is just a scramble except for one short low 5th class pitch.
"Destination Peak" as seen on our hike back to the trailhead.