Zion National Park, UT. 14-16 Oct 2012
We arrived in Zion National Park late in the afternoon on Sunday. Upon arrival to the park we were greeted by amazing scenery and a pack of big-horned sheep roaming near the road. We had just enough time to drive through the park, find a place to park and watch the sunset. After the sunset we headed into Springdale, the town bordering the park, managed to find a cheap motel room and grabbed some dinner. We headed to bed early that night to rest up for the next two days of hiking.
We woke up early, got some coffee and headed into the park to hike. Before we started our hike we managed to luck out and get a camp site in the park for the night. We set up our site then headed off for our hike. Our first stop was an easy hike called The Emerald Pools which was only about 1.5 miles round trip. The trail lead us to the lower and upper Emerald Pool, with crystal clear blue water which flowed down into the canyon below. Once we completed this easier hike we were warmed up and ready to do a more advanced hike.
We decided to take the park bus to the top of the park and do a hike called the Hidden Canyon. The first part of the hike consisted of steep switch backs halfway up the canyon and the other half of the hike consisted of a narrow trail to the top with steep drop offs. At some points in the hike the trail was so narrow there were chains bolted into the rock wall to hold on to. The view at the top of the hike was worth the risk we took to get there. We took a break and enjoyed the view while we ate lunch. After lunch we explored the hidden canyon which was a more primitive trail, not maintained very well, and the trial required some rock climbing. After exploring the canyon a bit we were both tired and headed back down the canyon.
We finished the hike and went back to our campsite ready to relax and have some dinner. We made dinner that night and went to bed early, exhausted from our full day of hiking.
We woke up the next morning ready to hike one last time before we left. We chose the easy Riverside walk which was a paved path leading to the Zion Narrows, the northern point of the Virgin River, which runs through the entire park. Many advanced hikers choose to go beyond the paved trail into the Zion Narrows and wade their way through the gorge. The park equips the hikers who decide to do this part of the trail with water proof pants and shoes. We thought we could handle wading through the water in our normal clothes and our hiking boots…this was a huge mistake. We made it about a half a mile into the gorge before having to turn around because our feet and legs were numb from the cold water.
Once we regained feeling in our legs we left the park and headed to VEGAS!!!