Hiking Zion National Park

Zion National Park Travel Blog

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My car is parked way down there

What a difference 2 days can make! We went back two days later and found a completely new park. The temperature was in the 70's and it was bright and sunny, with only a slight chance of rain. The rangers recommended that we not hike the slot canyons, as the previous week's snow was melting and there was still a chance of rain.

After being in the car for over 3 hours we decided to stretch our legs on an easy hike, and chose the Canyon Overlook. It is a nice hike, only about a mile, but ends with a spectacular view of the valley, including Mt. Carmel Tunnel, the Tower of the Virgins, the Beehive, and the Great Arch. The Great Arch is not yet an arch, but will be in a few million years. It was a great way to start the day!

After we were stretched and warmed up, we headed over to Zion Lodge to hike the Emerald Pools.

Beautiful view!
The Emerald Pools are divided into the Lower, Middle, and Upper Pools, and the hike is a little over 3 miles. The Lower Pool is the most accessible, with a partially paved path. The pool is surrounded by a rocky overhang and has the most tourists, even in the off season. Further up the Middle Pool wooshs by the trail and into the ground. This is where most of the hikers stop, as the trail becomes rough. There is a fair amount of rock scrambling, as well as some sandy places that can be tough to maneuver. This leg of the hike definitely calls for some stamina, but it is worth it. The Upper Pool is tranquil but surrounded by huge boulders that fell off of the massive rock walls that surround it. As water trickles down from the rim into the cracks along the wall, it expands and contracts with the weather, causing the cracks to widen until the rock falls off into the pond below.
We sat, alone, for about half an hour listening to our surroundings and enjoying some peace before heading back down the trail.

We hiked back to the lodge, stopping by the trailhead to watch a small herd of deer grazing, and enjoyed the view of the Great White Throne, a huge monolith that is visible throughout most of Zion. Because it was winter, we were in a different time zone and with the sun setting the park was about to close, not leaving us enough time to start another hike. With a 3 hour drive ahead of us, we headed back to Las Vegas.

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My car is parked way down there
My car is parked way down there
Beautiful view!
Beautiful view!
The Great White Throne
The Great White Throne
The overhang at the Lower Emerald …
The overhang at the Lower Emerald…
Upper Emerald Pool
Upper Emerald Pool
Great White Throne
Great White Throne
Zion National Park
photo by: rsvpme