How Beautiful If Nothing More...Than To Wait At Zion's Door...
Zion National Park Travel Blog› entry 3 of 8 › view all entries
After watching a string of Volkswagon Bugs caravan on the freeway, I knocked out for a good half to an hour.
As we drove past small towns of southwestern
Before heading into
We jump into the cars and drive up to the park but we were stopped by park rangers who were directing us to park along the
We hopped onto the the shuttle bus, the only vehicles allowed to traverse
RJ, BiG, and Sheila were the first ones to reach the Middle Pools. The Middle Pools area was completely shaded and really cool in climate. The pools are called Emerald pools because of the abundance of green algae growing in them...at the time of our visit, the pools looked more like puddles...oh well, they were still pretty to look act. Nhi, RJ and I ventured off the trail following the stream that feeds the Middle Pools, the Behunin Canyon watershed.
Just a bit aways from the Middle Pools I found a large sized boulder which I climbed up.
Nhi urged us to follow the stream so we can touch the walls of the canyon. Sal and Jenn decided to sit this one out and rest on a rock amidst the slow flowing stream. RJ, Nhi, BiG, and I scouted ahead for the best route forward with Sheila right on our heels and Nancy followed our shouts of "Marco" or "Polo". We lent each other a helping hand up through the steep parts, gingerly stepped on rotted logs, warned our fellow TravBuddies of loose rocks, viewed cute waterfalls as they eroded rock faces in very cool patterns, shimmied through tight crawl spaces between rocks, ducked under tree branches, and scaled huge rock boulders as far upstream as we could but the closer we got to the canyon wall, the steeper the route and the looser the rocks underfoot.
We hastily made our way back down and met up with Sal and Jenn. Together we hiked down to the main trail where we were at a crossroads...shall we call it a day and head back down or take the trail to the Upper Pools? Forward and up we went. The trail to the Upper Pools consisted of fine sand littered with rocks of varying sizes. The trail was seemingly precarious at times because it traversed the cliff's edge...so close that I could see where we were earlier in our off trail exploration. Hiking up on the sand was tough but the little kids running up the trail motivated me to keep on going.
At the Upper Pools, the sandstone cliff faces towered over us majestically...it was amazing. It must have a really dry summer because the Upper Pool looked shallow even though its a collection point of the Heaps Canyon watershed. While we waited for the others, RJ and I scrambled up a boulder-ridden slope for a bird's eye view of the pools. So much for peace and quiet...the area was noisy with hikers and their kids screaming, crying, running around, and throwing sand...especially at Nancy...hahaha! Once the others arrived we took the opportunity to take a group photo...or 5 or 6!
With hunger pangs echoing in our bellies we head back down to the Middle Pools area. Once there, instead of heading back the way we came up, we decided to head down the trail that led to the Lower Pools. This time trail was hard packed dirt with sandstone stairs and stepping stones. The trail continued downward hugging the rock face underneath an overhang from which low flow waterfalls were cascading down into the Lower Pools.
After the falls the trail wound downward through a forested area. Offshooting from the main trail was a short foot path up to a red sandstone wall with artful-looking people sized nooks and crannies. You know what happened next...we got snap happy again! We continued back down and at last we crossed the footbridge. RJ and I took the liberty to soak our tired feet in the fast flowing Virgin River while we waited for the rest of the crew.
Tired and weary, we boarded the shuttle bus at Zion Lodge. To my dismay, the shuttle was packed with other hikers wanting to leave the park so the shuttle was standing room only. It was a struggle to hold onto the overhead bars...in fact my arms were cramping up but I had to hold on even tighter or be thrusted forward knocking down everyone around at every bump the shuttle drove over.