Zion National Park 2021- Epic Road Trip v3

Day 6 Epic Road Trip v3 – By 7pm we arrived at Zion National Park.  Our campsite was really just a parking spot in a gravel lot, but we did have a great view, full hookups for the camper and our neighbors were friendly.  No complaints here! After settling in to our campsite and having dinner, we took a walk to Zion park and through the small town of Springdale.  Utah is a bit hot, but the evening wasn’t too bad.  We are less than a mile to the visitors center in the park, and also into town.  Very conveniently located! 

We went to Zion first thing in the morning.  Well, not super early because I had heard about how crowded the park was in the early morning.  Everyone tries to get there early to avoid the crowds and if they just waited until 8:45am to go into the park, there were no crowds.  A perfect plan!  You have to ride a shuttle bus to get to the hiking trails in the majority of the park.  Our plans were to hike on the West Rim trail, which was near Angels Landing.  Once we got up there, we all decided to just go for it and hike Angels Landing!   

It was no joke when they said this was a strenuous hike.  If you’re not familiar, you climb up to the top of this mountain – using a chain for a guide!!  There are parts that are very steep and the chain is on your “inner side”, meaning you could slip and fall without the chain to catch you.  And since this is a popular hike, there were spots where we had to wait for other hikers to pass. Yes, pass over each other.  Crazy stuff.

Look past us… that’s where we are heading!

It was grueling, and oh so beautiful!!!  Very much worth the effort.  The hike took us almost 4 hours and my Garmin said it was 7.75 miles. Fun fact – you know I like to pride myself as being “fit”… but after this hike I was sore for 2 days!! yikes.

Here’s a super short clip of the view of the top…

After the hike we had lunch by the lodge under the huge historical tree.  I’d love to stay at this lodge some day.  

Dinner was tacos and beer to celebrate our accomplishment. Yum!!

We were in need of something a bit easier on our 2nd day, and it was hot, so we ventured off the beaten path to find some slot canyons.  

We also drove around and listened to our GyPSy audio tour.  A final hike for the day was at the canyon overlook trail.

After a week on the road it was finally time to do some laundry.  We headed to the laundry mat in town.

We were energized again and ready to hike on Day 3.  Today’s destination: the Narrows!  This is a hike that follows the river.  And by “follows” I mean, you walk in the river for 90% of the hike!  Some people rent equipment, but we just wore our Saucony trail shoes that have great grip and used our poles.  Hiking poles are a MUST for this hike.

There were a few spots along the river trail that got deep. I tried to keep my backpack dry!

We hiked for 3 hours out into the river and then had lunch.  Breathtaking views!!

Since we were going downriver on the way back, it was a little faster.  By the time we were about a mile before getting out of the river, it started to be windy, and we heard thunder.  Sure enough, by the time we got out of the water they were closing the hike due to flash flood potential.  Yikes! It was almost 5 hours of hiking and my Garmin said 14.66 miles (which could have really been off due to the canyons).

We had such a great time at Zion.  If you are considering it as a destination, we highly recommend it!

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