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  • Writer's pictureTrail Guide Joe

Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks!

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

 
 

Saturday October 21st, 2017

The journey begins! As many trips begin, day 1 was a travel day. First up was an early morning flight into Phoenix, AZ which was followed up by a flight into St George, UT. Not long after leaving St George, heading towards Springdale, the scenery began to show almost immediately! Mesas rising out of the desert all around; it immediately became apparent what this trip would have to offer! Natural beauty would not be in short supply.


Sunday October 22nd, 2017

For the first official day of the trip, we headed into Zion National Park and embarked on the first official hike of the trip. The first trail to be tackled was The Watchman which was a great introductory trail featuring the ups and downs, twists, and turns that are to be found among many of the other trails in Zion. Following the hike around The Watchman, we headed further into the canyon and took a second hike up the Emerald Pools trail. This trail was a much more strenuous hike climbing higher in elevation to each of the lower, middle, and upper pools. To round out the day, we made our way to the Temple of Sinawava and hiked the Riverside Walk trail to the start of The Narrows where we would make our hike the next day. After that, it was back to the inn for the night to prepare for the adventure awaiting us the next day!


Monday October 23rd, 2017

After some quick research the day before, the plan for the second day at Zion was to attempt the hike through The Narrows. Being late October, the water of the Virgin River was more than cold but, with the proper gear from a local outfitter, the cold water was rather bearable. The sights and sounds of the many passages that make up The Narrows made the cold water worth the while! Before hitting The Narrows, we hopped off for a quick peek at Weeping Wall, a feature of the park where you can see water seeping from the rock wall high above and flowing down to the base. It's crazy to think about how that is able to happen!


Tuesday October 24th, 2017

The third day of the trip took us out on the Mt Carmel Highway where we continued out of the park to visit Kolob Canyons, the northwest section of Zion National Park. Mt Carmel Highway took you through a lengthy and dark tunnel to the eastern side of the park. Along the way, you got to see, up close, the many layers of rock that make up the area. Kolob Canyons features impressive finger like canyons of beautiful red rock that easily merit a day of their own for proper exploration! With a few short hikes, we were on our way back to the main section of Zion.

That night, we headed back into the park for an after-dark treat in the form of stargazing! If you think you have seen the stars, wait until you see them out here!

 
 

Wednesday October 25th, 2017

The fourth day of the trip brought us to one of the biggest hikes in Zion, the Angels Landing trail! Angels Landing is so high and so narrow, it was thought only angels could land there! This trail did not disappoint! As we climbed higher and higher, we reached Scout's Overlook where we took a quick break before finishing off the rest of the trail to the top of Angels Landing. Although a shorter hike than that from The Grotto to Scout's Overlook, Angels Landing is short, steep, and mildly (or more) terrifying! You are holding on to a chain as you ascend though there are sections where no chain exists. At one point, the trail is also only 36 inches wide! Not for the faint of heart, this trail is well worth the wear and tear on your nerves if you can make it!


Thursday October 26th, 2017

On the fifth day, one of my personal favorites, was the hike up to Observation Point! The view here was incredible as you could gaze straight down the entire length of the canyon that makes up Zion National Park! Much higher and longer than the trail to Angel's Landing, the view here has no equal. If you have the time, do it!


Friday October 27th, 2017

The final day of the trip, day six, took us to a second National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park! Although it is not technically a canyon, Bryce Canyon does feature many unique structures and scenery! With plenty of hikes suitable for both day and night, you could easily spend more than a few days exploring the whole of the park! After a few hikes and more exploration along the whole canyon, we wrapped up the trip to Zion and Utah!


Saturday October 28th, 2017

On day eight, we left Springdale once more heading back to St George to catch a flight to Denver before connecting to a flight that would land us home. Longer travel days are never fun, especially when flying, but that doesn't have to ruin the trip by any means!

Just watching the world outside the window can help you forget the trip is nearing an end.


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