Zion National Park (NP #46), Utah

Zion National Park (map / wiki) is split into two areas, Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyon. 

 

Zion Canyon is the larger of the two, and it contains the park’s two most popular attractions: Angels Landing and The Narrows.

 

Angles Landing is a relatively short but undeniably epic hike. The last half mile from Scouts Landing out to Angels Landing is narrow and crowded, with sections of certain death fall exposure. Be ready to be patiently terrified.

The Narrows is not much of a trail at all. If you follow Zion Canyon to the end of the shuttle loop and continue hiking upstream you will reach The Narrows. The trail eventually falls into the virgin river, and visitors are permitted to continue upstream by wading further into the shear cliff slot canyon.

 

I didn’t do either of those things this time around, but I thought I’d give you a quick description of Zion’s main attractions.

 

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Pine tree in the Checkerboard Mesa area.

 

Angels Landing was closed for repair, and I didn’t have the energy for The Narrows. I opted to hike Observation Point, and that worked out just swell.

 

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Observation Point is the highest peak in the center of this picture. It is stained red.

 

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This is further up the hike to Observation Point. That slumped rock sheet to the right of this picture is the main subject in the picture above, and Observation Point is at far right with the red stain running down its cliff face.

 

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View from Observation Point.

 

Back in town I celebrated with some pizza and beer.

 

There are some funny drinking laws in Utah. For one, you can’t only buy alcohol at a restaurant bar. They require that you eat something too. This may sound like a drag, but it actually causes bars to have super cheep deals on appetizers to avoid letting the law discourage people from coming in for drinks. Also, draft beer can not exceed 4%. So brew pubs end up canning their own beer at 6% or 8% only to have their bar tender crack them open for you 50 feet from where they were brewed. Yet you’re allowed to buy beer from a convenience store 24 hours a day.

 

If you’re looking for some free camping near the park I suggest driving south from Rockville. There is some open BLM land across the Virgin River.

 

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This was on one of the park shuttle buses.

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