Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hiking Zion

We really did much of our sightseeing of Zion by hiking the trails. With the park Map and Guide in hand, we would catch the shuttle bus at the Visitor’s Center (which was a quick 10 min walk from our camper), get off at the appropriate stop, and hike for several hours….sometimes having lunch on the trail.


A number of the hiking trails were fairly straightforward. It surprised us to find a ‘hardened’ or mostly paved surface, like on this section of trail on the way to Angel’s landing…….


And some of the trails were pretty easy, not too steep… the trail to the Emerald Pools…….


Or this completely accessible trail, the Riverside Walk……


Other trails began to get a bit steeper and more challenging……This is heading up to Scout Lookout, on the way to Angel’s Landing.


Sections of the trail are built up along the side of the cliff face……


And make some pretty steep little switchbacks like here at ‘Walter’s Wiggles’.


Angel’s Landing is one of the most popular and certainly the most talked about hike at Zion…not particularly because it is the most spectacular…..but because the last mile of this hike becomes very challenging……It climbs up the red rocked cliff face in this picture, then crosses a narrow spine to the top of the whiter cliff just behind it (in the center of this picture). The flat topped cliff to the left of the picture is named the Great White Throne.


This section of trail climbs steeply. There are chains for hanging onto…..


But the footing can be very NARROW and the drop-off ….sheer. This is a picture that Fred took of his foot. This trail is noted to not be for anyone who is afraid of heights…….

I did not really feel drawn to this hike ….and I knew that I would not find it particularly enjoyable (that is a nice way of saying that I would be mostly terrified!). I did not feel that I would be missing anything….. so, I enjoyed the view from where I was, while Fred (who does not mind the heights) hiked on up just to see what ‘all the fuss’ was about.


This is Scout Lookout…….where I sat and waited for Fred to come back from the top of Angel’s Landing. (That is me, center right in this group of people, with a hat on. Fred took this photo from the top of Angel’s Landing. Pretty good zoom!)

While I sat at Scout Lookout, I listened to the bit of conversations going on around me….as people decided whether they would tackle the last mile…..Some people felt drawn to it….for the view…or for the challenge. Some with something to prove, or not wanting to miss anything, or just to keep up with others in their group. Some started up the trail…only to decide that it just wasn’t for them. Others made it to the top, and back…exhilarated with the accomplishment.

Later, while hiking a section of Hidden Canyon Trail……I encountered a bit of a challenging trail….


And managed to ‘hang in there’……getting through that section without any problem.

Zion certainly has something for everyone……and the beauty can be appreciated from the bottom…the top….and all the way in between!

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