My family and I recently took a trip to Utah, ready to immerse ourselves in nature. On the first day, we headed to Zion National Park. The park offers hiking trails of various difficulty through beautiful untouched surroundings. There is a $25 entry fee per vehicle, which is valid for an entire week.
The park has a very convenient shuttle system that arrives at each stop every 7 minutes or so. It even goes in both directions. Best of all, the shuttle is absolutely free to use. The shuttle system cuts down on traffic from cars during the peak summer season and is a great service, taking you to popular trailheads so you don’t have to get there yourself.
We did the “Emerald Pools” hike, which was listed in the brochure as an easy-moderate hike, although upon further inspection, only two of the three pools are “easy” to get to. The third is considered “moderate”, and man, it totally killed us! In fact, my mom had to stop halfway because she was so tired and she couldn’t go on. To be fair, we stupidly went hiking during the afternoon – the hottest and sunniest part of the day, and the heat was intense. My brother and I reached the last pool, but to be honest, none of the pools were spectacular to look at or anything. Maybe we didn’t go during the right season? Oh well, it was good exercise nonetheless.
After lunch we went to the Weeping Rock trail, a very short 30 minute (round trip) trail that leads to a section of the canyon through which water seeps out of the walls. This happens because the canyon consists of different layers of rock. When the snow melts and the water goes into the stone walls, it absorbs into the porous first layer, then hits the more dense second layer, and seems to seep out of the walls “sideways”. Yes, I actually read those information signs. Nature is awesome!
A star attraction here is “Angel’s Landing”, a strenuous four hour hike which takes you to the very top of a huge rock formation. There are parts of the trail which are so narrow and steep that you have to hold on to chains to get across. There have been fatalities on this trail. I didn’t attempt the Angel’s Landing, but not because I’m scared or anything! Of course not!
All in all, I would recommend Zion National Park for nature enthusiasts, hiking lovers, or those who want to get some good ol’ fashioned exercise in and breathe in the fresh mountain air while they do it. Ohh yeah!
After we went home, I ate an entire pan of lasagna for dinner, eating up all of the calories I burned today. Go me.