So this summer I’ve decided to stay in the US and travel over to Utah to check what my friends have told me is one of the most beautiful national parks in America. As soon as I arrived I saw exactly what they were talking about. Below is a collection of my entries from the week I spent in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Zion National Park.
Day 1: Angel’s Landing
Once we drove through the tunnel and down some of the switchbacks we were surrounded by the giant canyon walls that surround most of the park. It wasn’t long until we got to our camping spot and began setting up. Since it was early enough when we arrived, we decided to pick a hike to go on. We decided to check out Angel’s Landing — one of the more difficult hikes, but a staple of Zion National Park. After grabbing some snacks, water, and our gear, we hopped on the shuttle and made our way over to the base of the hike. On our way up we saw some hikers coming down who looked absolutely exhausted. And for good reason, too. One of them told us to go slow and enjoy the view. Another told us they hope we brought plenty of snacks and water because the hike would take at least 4-5 hours!
We started making our way up and after a while could see what the two hikers we talked to were talking about. Angel’s Landing is a great way to see almost the entire park. Since we started hiking around 11, the sun was beating down on us pretty much the entire hike. There were areas where we were in the shade, but doing the notorious switchbacks was not fun in the sun. The food and drinks were a HUGE help for keeping our energy up for one of these canyon tours! Signs adorn the toughest (and scariest) part of the hike which basically tell hikers that people have died on the following parts of the hike. Climbers have to use a chain to hold onto as they walk across the slim path of the mountain top. If you’re afraid of heights, I’d skip this part because as you look over your back, you see a straight drop to your potential death. Fun stuff!
It’s all worth it when you finally get to the top of the mountain. It’s definitely an incredible feeling of accomplishment standing on the “landing.” Looking on either side of you, you see the incredible canyon scenery. Can’t wait to explore some other hikes and see what Zion has in store for us!
Day 3: Emerald Pools
What an amazing place this is! I’m so glad I’ve had so many friends tell me about this place. I can’t believe it took me so long to get out here. Zion National Park is such a great place to relax, hike, go on some canyon tours and check out some incredible nature. We spent most of yesterday walking around the park area and hanging out by the nearby river. It was nice to hang out by the shade and be lazy — especially after the Angel’s Landing hike we endured the day before. When it would get too hot, we’d just dunk into the river and sit out in the sun.
Today we kept on the same lazy mentality but took it up a notch and headed to the Emerald Pools hike. It was a great way to spend the day since the hike was relatively short and simple — about two miles. I’d have to say my favorite part of the hike was the lower emerald pools. Walking under the waterfalls, the lush vegetation… It felt good to be out of the campsite and walking around on a short hike. When we got to the upper emerald pool, we had ourselves a nice little picnic and relaxed while we looked out across the canyon.
It was a good thing we left so early in the day, since there were so many families and large Canyon Tours groups heading to the hike by the time we started heading out. I would definitely recommend this hike for first time Zion visitors and families traveling with the elderly or small children as most of the hike is easy to walk.
Day 5: The Narrows
As if Zion could not get any more wonderful, yesterday we tackled the very beautiful, wonderfully famous “Narrows” hike. If you’ve heard anything about doing canyon tours in Zion National Park I’m sure you’ve heard someone talking about this hike. Like it’s name suggests the Virgin River Narrows (most of the time just called “The Narrows”), is a hike where the canyon walls cascade above and surround you for the entire hike. Most of the time you’re walking through water and, depending on the time of year you decide to take the hike, sometimes have to carry your bag over your head since the water gets so high! Unbelievable.
One of the best parts of the hike is that you don’t have to worry about the sun. Since the canyon walls are so high, there’s hardly any direct sun light. Again, depending on the time of year you decide to hike the Narrows, this could be somewhat of a problem if you’re afraid of cold water! If not, there’s nothing to worry about as this hike is a great deal of fun and has some of the most beautiful scenery in the park and in the world. If you’ve ever gotten a post card from Zion, it was probably taken in this hike. So much fun!
Day 7: Weeping Rock
For our final day in Zion we decided to take it easy and head over to check out the Weeping Rock hike, another easy, family-friendly hike that works for all ages. This hike is also another one of the “must see” canyon tours in Zion National Park.
After the shuttle ride it was a short hike over to the alcove where we sat and check out the canyon scenery. Another beautiful place to be in Zion. It was a great way to spend our last day in this amazing place. I know I will definitely be returning!