ZION NATIONAL PARK


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This picture (with no visible humans in it for once) shows Zion looking north through the Virgin river valley from the switchbacks coming down out of the tunnel from the east entrance. All the main hikes as well as the campgrounds and visitor's center reside at the bottomm of Zion canyon.

We took a hike up to Emerald Pools, as well as a very good ranger guided hike up the Angel's Landing trail. This follows a narrow canyon to the top of a cliff (~1000 ft. [300 m.] vertical climb). At that point, the ranger departs, and you have the option of continuing all the way up to Angel's Landing or not. (Actually, I think that the Angel's Landing trail ascends the fourth peak on the left in the picture shown here). If you are timid or scared of heights, do not attempt this trail. The Park Service has installed steel chains along the way (the last 1/2 mile) for hand holds. Some sections of this trail have widths of less than four feet total and have vertical drops of over 600 feet on either side. You traverse these areas while climbing over bare rock. Zach and I successfully traversed the trail to the end. I must say, I have never used more care when hiking than during this one, as I tried to ensure that both Zach and I had safe footing and grip at all times. Deanie got a few hours to paint, while we scared ourselves silly.

We also took a short hike up the "Narrows". After the first mile, you then hike in 2" to 2' deep water for the rest of the way. If you attempt the whole 12 mile hike, the Park Service requires you to start at the top and come downstream and estimates that it will take 10 - 12 hours. We went about 1/2 mile upstream in the water.


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Copyright 1996, 2001, All Rights Reserved, Marc J. Zeitlin