August 25, 2017

A Day In Zion National Park

My husband and I got an America The Beautiful annual park pass and we started enjoying visiting some new national parks. This called for a stop at Zion National Park!

While we only spent one day at Zion, we made the most of it! We based ourselves in Kanab Utah, filled up on water and snacks, put on those hiking shoes, and had an amazing day!

Zion has a mandatory shuttle system to reduce traffic congestion and make the park as accessible as possible since so many people (and rightfully so!) want to be there. The shuttle is free, runs frequently, and offers a nice place to rest your feet between hikes. Of course it is a crowded ride, but ultimately run very well.
3 HIKES, 8 MILES, 6 HOURS
In just one day, we managed to tackle 3 hikes and 8 miles over the course of just 6 hours, and we admit to not really planning out our route until we arrived. You may be surprised at what your can accomplish!


Angel's Landing
3.5 miles RT | 3 hours | 1,500 feet | Strenuous | Shuttle Stop: The Grotto

Angel's Landing is one of the two most popular hikes at Zion National Park. Knowing this, we got to Zion at *** and made sure this was our first hike. This was the most difficult hike we tackled. Some people stop before they get to the last half mile. This is because there is a scary scramble over a ridge that requires you to hold onto support chains. You are high up and it is not for the faint of heart. It is such a fun rush! I am so glad that we went as early as possible because it is a well traveled hike, however the scramble is hard to have two way traffic. As it got later in the day, it seemed there were too many people coming up.
Before you get up to the ridge there is a part of the hike called Walter's Wiggles. It is a series of 21 switchbacks that made me want to cut off my calves.
I made this sound so great...but I promise, once you get up there, you will be sweaty and vindicated once you reach the top. There is also the reward of an incredible view!

This hike will be most enjoyable for the physically fit. I consider myself to be of moderate fitness level, so I took it slowly, and managed to complete it in 2.5 hours. So give it a shot! You can always turn back!

Riverside Walk
2 miles RT | 1 hour | 60 feet | Easy | Shuttle Stop: Temple of Sinawava

After Angel's Landing, we wanted an easier walk The Riverside Walk is a short, easy trail that leads to the Narrows. The Narrows is a walk between the canyon and of Zion's most popular hikes. You have to hike through the river and so sometimes The Narrows get closed due to high water levels. We knew we were not going to be able to complete that hike in only one day, so we completed the Riverside Walk so we could see the beginning of The Narrows.

Emerald Pools
1.2-2.5 miles RT | 1.5 hours | 100-400 ft. climb | Easy to Strenuous | Shuttle Stop: Zion Lodge

Lastly we completed the Emerald Pools hike. There are three levels of the Emerald Pools trail: the Lower, Middle and Upper Pools. The level of difficulty of this hike depends on whether you choose to do the full trip. Should you choose to hike up to the Middle or Upper Pools.

This is the one trail we probably could have done with out, but it was because it rained the weeks leading up to our trip, leaving the pools a deep, muddy brown instead of their normal brilliant, remarkable green. Furthermore, it was the last hike of the day, and we were a little spent. The sun will do that to you!
Zion was beautiful. I would absolutely love to come back and spend more time there. Maybe tackle Canyon Overlook Trail, Observation Point, The Narrows, The Subway, Kolob Arch...the possibilities are endless!


What's your favorite hike in Zion National Park?

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