The Grandeur of Zion
Zion National Park Travel Blog› entry 10 of 12 › view all entries
From Bryce Canyon Natinal Park it is just a couple of hours over to Zion National Park. I came over from the east and came over the Mount Carmel Highway. The landscape is diferent than anywhere in the region and is interesting in its own right. There are beehive slickrock domes and then the road goes through a tunnel at Mount Carmel and then heads down into Zion Canyon country. I head into the park in search of my campground to set up shop for the two days I will be here. Zion is a small area really and sinse a lot of people are coming here there is a mandatory bus system to keep traffic and parking at bay. It seems to work pretty well and makes things easier for viewing things.
After I found my campsite in the campground city I took the bus to the end of the canyon and worked my way through a few of the attractions. I go for a walk along the River Walk trail at the end of the canyon. This trail leads you to the Zion Narrows area which is famous for being a cool hike in the river. But this year the water levels are very high and they are not allowing river hiking. I don't have all that much time on my trip so that helps me narrow down my options anyway. This hike is a nice opening to the park as the 2,000 foot walls loom over you as you hike on the trail. Next I hike down the canyon and see Emerald pools. It is afternoon so the light is darker but it is still a nice spot.
The next day I take the bus up to hike up to Angels Landing. Angels Landing is perched a the top of the rim and of course you need to hike all the way up there. It is a steep trail with LOTS of switchbacks. The switchbacks themselves are impressive. But pace yourself and it is not all so bad. Towards the end as you make your way out to Angels Landing the trail takes you up the knife edged monument out towards Angels Landing. There are chains along the way to use as handrails. Take it easy and it is not so bad. You feel like you are perched up on top of the world when you get there with views up and down the canyon.
Hidden Valley trail is across the valley from Angels Landing and is a little shorter of a hike. But the last half mile or so it takes you along the edge of a cliff on ledges. There are chains up against the cliff to make you feel better. It is a rush of excitement to head up this trail. When you get to the end it is not all that exciting of a Hidden Valley. It is just a small canyon which is perched on the edge of the cliff you just climbed up. It is a spectacular hike nonetheless.
After my hike I go view a little bit of the visitor center which is rather nice. Sinse I am nearing the end of my road trip I have to start heading my way back towards home. Great Basin National Park in Nevada is on my way there.