We're hiking to Zion

Trip Start Aug 06, 2009
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Trip End Sep 03, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Utah
Friday, August 28, 2009

Zion National Park, UT to Bryce Canyon, UT

Took advantage and slept in, letting the sun rise enough to warm the canyon walls.  Since I arrived late last night I missed the details of the canyon on the way down to the floor but I’ll take the tour.  They allow bikes on the canyon floor but they really discourage cars and push the use of the buses to see all the formations and trails. These actions save on wear and tear of the canyon as well as keep the traffic congestion to a minimum.

Jump on the bus and head to our first stop, Court of the Patriarchs.  It’s a really short 10-minute trail that gives you a great view of Sentinel rock and the three patriarchs.

Next stop, the Emerald Pool Trails at Zion Lodge.  This trail is made up of three separate hikes that will lead to a small, medium and large pools with waterfalls.  Found some friends along the way plus this incredible view of the north side of the canyon. 

Listening to the pre-recorded messages it becomes apparent that there is a biblical theme to the major formations; The Great White Throne, Alter of Sacrifice, The West Temple and then it’s explained that the naming was done my early Mormon settlers, one in particular Nephi Johnson.

One of the cooler hikes is a one mile stretch along the Virgin River that leads up to the Temple of Sinawava, one of the early Paiute Indians.  It’s definitely worth the hike because once there the shoes come off and the river is at your beckoned call.
The total tour of the canyon floor takes about three hours; if you walk the trails then it turns into a whole day.  I decide to call it a day, plus the fact the heat is drying me out says its time to head to Bryce Canyon.  Exiting the canyon reveals some beautiful layers in the rocks, unfortunately there is no place to stop so I use the shoot and drive method once again.

Bryce Canyon is about an hour away and shares a lot of the same geological plates with Zion.  The entrance of Bryce is named Red valley due to the sheer amount of red sandstone.
One inside the park there are multiple view points around the canyon and I chose Sunrise point as a start, simple because it has an incredible amount of “hoodoos”.  The hoodoos are the pillars of rock that have been left by erosion.  Sunset gives them one look but I’m sure that in the morning there will be a completely different feel.

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