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Zion Canyon Days 1 & 2

Before starting this post let me say that I have started a new blog. www.wanderlustcanuk.com I do intend on eventually stopping this blog and working entirely on that page. If you like my posts please follow me at that page.

I have used Las Vegas as a hub to get to many of my choice vacations.  My favourite by far was the trip to Zion Canyon in Utah.  About two and a half hours north east of Las Vegas is the beautiful, majestic Zion Canyon.

The Canyon is 16 miles long and runs through what is known as the Narrows.  The rim of the canyon is desert.  But down within the canyon the eco system changes drastically. Here is a riparian zone which is supported by the flowing waters of the Virgin River.
The park has many different hikes and walks that one can take.  Pictures from the road do not do the beauty of the region any justice.  We hiked as many of the trails that we could.  Some were closed due to ice on the trail as we were there in January.  I have included the itinerary that my husband and I used when we visited the canyon.

Day 1:  Land in Las Vegas at 1:30PM, take shuttle to car rental.  Drive Vegas to La Verkin Utah. (We chose accommodations outside of the park to save money.)  We had intended on entering the park for a few hours at sunset but an accident on I - 15 turned our 2 hour drive into almost 6.  We are the kind of people who just roll with it, so we sun bathed on the hood of the car and watched the Air Force do some practice runs while we waited to be able to move.

Day 2: 7:30 AM Breakfast, in the park by 9:00 AM.  Entrance to the park was $30.00 for the two of us and the pass was good for 7 days. It includes an information sheet with a map and information on each trail.  If you are staying in Springdale you can take the city shuttle to the entrance and then switch to the Zion Canyon Shuttle.  Depending on the time of year driving your own vehicle may not be an option.

Hike Canyon Overlook Trail - This trail has one of the most phenomenal views.  It’s a short hike and the trail is fairly unstrenuous.  The head of the trail is a parking lot just through the mountain tunnel on Mt. Carmel Highway.  The information sheet says that it is an hour long hike.  We completed this in less than fourty five minutes.

Hike Emerald Pools - This hike takes you through three separate trails.

The Lower Emerald Pools: is a short walk.  Only around a half of a mile.  It is surrounded by lush vegetation and comes to an end as you walk under a cliff with two waterfalls cascading over it.  This trail is easy and elderly people or families with young children and strollers can enjoy it with everyone else.

Middle Emerald Pools: Past the two waterfalls and Lower Emerald Pools is the trail to Middle Emerald Pools.  This trail is a bit more strenuous past this point.  You will follow a staircase that comes around on top of the cliff that the lower waterfalls flow over. Here are the streams and pools that feed the waterfalls.

Upper Emerald Pool: This trail is a fair uphill stretch.  It’s a short hike but fairly strenuous.  The Upper Emerald Pool is worth the hike.  The pool is located at the base of an enormous cliff.  When we were there a waterfall was cascading down.  January was a chilly time to be there as you can see there was snow at the base but the beauty of the landscape was mesmerizing.  If a person so desires the Kayenta Trail will lead you to the pools as well.  This trail starts at the Zion Lodge.

Expect to take around 2 to 4 hours to complete the hike, depending on how fast you hike and how long you take to look at things.

Lunch: You are going to need to re-fuel, either pack a lunch and take it into the park with you like we did.  Or choose one of the many places to enjoy a meal in the area.

Weeping Rock Trail:  Weeping rock is a short but steep hike. Stand under the cliff as water seeps through the eroded sandstone formation.  The water that has seeped through from above and caused the eroding is the now “weeping” out of the impermeable layer.  It takes around 30 minutes round trip to see this phenomenom.

Riverside Walk:  There are two main roads which travel through the canyon.  Zion Canyon Drive and Zion - Mount Carmel Highway.  Follow Zion Canyon Drive to find the Temple of Sinawava. Here is where you will find Riverside walk.  This easy going walk is paved and wheel chair accessible.  The end of the trail is the beginning of where the canyon runs through the Narrows.
To explore the Narrows further you will need to hike upstream.  You can hike a mile or so in.  Your trail is literally the river so be prepared with excellent foot wear.  We did not explore this trail very far as the water was cold and it had been snowing that day.  The trail also requires a much more physical hike.  It is important to remember that any exploration of the Narrow’s needs to be done safely.  Be aware of high water levels.

We then returned to La Verkin for dinner, and a good nights sleep so that we could hike again in the morning.

Look forward to tomorrow for another post on the next few days we spent in Zion.

Until then Let there be adventure.

Posted by Wanderlustcanuk 13:25 Tagged desert canyon utah waterfall zion

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