Welcome back to my blog!  I’m recapping our trip across the country, in our camper.  We are now at Days 9 & 10.  Here’s the totals that we traveled for the whole trip:

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Zion National Park: Enticing, diverse, adventerous

  • Miles hiked: 17+ miles

After a relative “short” drive from Bryce Canyon, we arrived in Zion mid afternoon.  We were not thrilled at all with our campground choice:  Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.  Luckily we just spent the night there, and didn’t hang out at the campground, so it was fine.

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We spent our first afternoon at Zion on a short hike to Emerald Falls.  We didn’t really do a good job at reading the trail map because a “1 1/4 mile” hike ended up being 7.77 miles, according to my Garmin, and 6.14 miles according to Alan’s Garmin!  Either way, it was a good 90 mins of wandering around in the beautiful hills.

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From the gift shop we got some hiking poles.  So cool!  Well, Alan said he didn’t need any, but the rest of us got one.

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Zion does not allow car traffic on it’s roads, so you have to catch one of their super convenient shuttles.  This also means the parking lots fill up early.  We arrived at 8:30am and the lot was already full!  Luckily they have a bit of overflow parking and we found something within the park and didn’t need to park in town.  We thought these were a lot like the tour vehicle  in Jurassic Park, minus the dinosaurs 😉

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Since we only had one day at the park, I got some recommendations on which trail(s) to hike.  My friend said the best “bang for the buck” would be the hike to Observation Point (thanks Kim!).  It was an 8 mile hike, with an elevation gain of over 2,100 ft.  YES, 2,100 feet!  It took us close to 4 hours for the entire hike.  The first part of the hike had some carved rocks.

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Along the way up we had some small paths on our trail.  No big deal!  Alan was a little uncertain about them though…

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The views from Observation Point did not disappoint!!

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See the little tiny road down below??  Looks like a stream, but it’s the road we drove in on.

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I’m glad we started that hike early in the day.  I was feeling bad for the people we were passing who were just going up as we were heading down.  It was hot hiking up that steep incline!!

By the time we finished the hike, we were dehydrated!  We ran out of water pretty close to the end of the hike, and needed to drink something.  We headed over to the Zion lodge and sucked down some huge drinks.  Refreshing!!  We were all recharged to go hiking again!  The next hike was the Narrows.

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The Narrows is a really, really cool hike which goes through the river.  You head upstream and then turn around and come back.  We did not hike the entire thing.

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We weren’t prepared for that, but we were glad to have those hiking sticks.  It kept us from slipping into the water!  Oh, except Alan, who did slip in the water because he didn’t want one.  Guess what he bought right after out hike?  teehee

Several places rented “Narrows” gear – aquasocks, shoes, poles.  We just hiked in our shoes and socks.  We brought several pairs of shoes along on our trip, for these types of situations.  We were actually quite thankful to be getting our shoes cleaned off because they were filthy with dust and dirt from hiking!

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Zion was certainly a lot of adventurous fun for everyone.  We want to go back there for sure!

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Q:  Have you ever been to Zion?  What was your favorite hike there?

Q:  Do you hike with poles?  

I really like mine!  We did see people using ski poles.  I hadn’t thought of that!

4 thoughts on “Epic Road Trip – Zion!!”
  1. Hey – that path seemed a lot more narrow in real life! And I wasn’t afraid of falling nearly half a mile straight down, I was afraid of the sudden stop at the end!

  2. I would be nervous about that path as well, Alan! We don’t have poles fir hiking but we did see people with them when we hiked a mountain in Vermont a couple days ago. Did Zion suggest poles? What made you guys decide to get them for these particular hikes?

    Man, you really got to experience Zion! I’m glad you got to hike so much there. What did you like more, Zion or Bryce? I can’t wait to see where you go next! I think I am going to have to go back to your first post to see…
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Vermont Wrap Up Part 1: Appalachian Trail & MontpelierMy Profile

    1. There were a lot of people using poles, so when we saw them in the gift shop, we were sold! I think the extendable poles were the best choice over the old fashioned carved wood stick option because we could store them in the camper. We did see people hiking with ski poles! We all agreed that Zion was better than Bryce due to the larger size because that had a wider range of trail options and things to see. 3 more vacation posts to go! I’m having fun looking through our pictures again 🙂

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