In August 2013, my family and I were exploring Kolob Canyon in Zion’s National Park. We traveled to the South Fork of Taylor to find Namaste Wall. We parked right off of the road next to the trail head. The trail head was clearly marked so we started down the path. As we walked, we saw a clearly defined trail veering to the south, so we followed it. As we continued on the trail it appeared less clear, but we persevered. The alleged trail we found rolled through steep, sandy hills and we started to hear rattle snakes. We hurried to get out of that area and came across a stream. There were a few rocks which we used to hop across the stream. While crossing we found a decaying bird and several dead bugs. After a successful crossing, we searched for the trail amongst several paths leading into the small canyon. By then we had been walking for an hour along a supposed 45 minute trail. Our hopes in finding Namaste Wall were dwindling. Nonetheless, we trekked on. The path we followed was through a grove of trees that had dropped their flowers. Every part of the ground was covered in dusty, white petals. The flower petals in combination with the sand made it taxing to walk through. Another 45 minutes of walking passed and we came to a clearing. The petal saturated floor ceased, opening to soft, tan sand. The beautiful canyon stood tall above us, exposing large huecos (pockets) to climb. After escaping rattlesnakes and bounding over deceased creatures, we made it to Namaste Wall.
The towering canyon walls were marvelous. We set up to climb “1/2 Route” 5.10+, which is one of the five routes along this wall. Due to the approach taking twice as long as we had calculated, we had to pack up after only three people tried this climb.
As we entered back into the grove of trees with the flower petal flooring, we found a few hikers. We stopped to say hello and starting discussing our journey to the Namaste Wall. They told us they had no trouble on their way and pointed us to the path that they had followed. This path was drastically different than what we had encountered. The trail was clearly marked and groomed; we were in disbelief. As we followed this route back, we found that it was a lovely, easy walk. There were no snakes to run from, no streams to cross, and no dead birds. True to the guidebook, it only took us 45 minutes to get back to the car.
The purpose of this story is to warn you of the misleading false trail to Namaste Wall. As you pass the trail head sign, stay to the north! There is a path that heads uphill and to the north, this is the correct trail! Do NOT follow the trail downhill to the south. We realized that this is just a trough shaped by water.
Do you have any crazy stories about getting lost? Comment below!