Favorite thing: Hike Angel's Landing. Photo: On the last stretch to the summit. Sept. '96. The last .5 mile follows a steep, narrow ridge. Chains have been added for your safety. This is no place for those with a fear of heights.
Favorite thing: Hike to Angel's Landing. Photo: View back into Zion Canyon on the very steep ascent to the top. Oct. '99. This is one of my all-time favorite hikes anywhere. Look for lizards, cactus, and yucca plants during this hike. There is a 1,500 foot elevation gain in 2.5 miles. Bring plenty of water and a healthy snack or lunch (for a picnic at the top). I recommend starting early in the day (8am) as it is cooler for the climb and there are fewer people on the trail. A hat and sunscreen would also be smart.
Favorite thing: Hike the Canyon Overlook Trail. Photo: At the turn around point of this easy 1hr round-trip is a spectacular view of lower Zion Canyon and Pine Creek Canyon. This trail is located just east of the long tunnel. There's a parking area on the south side of the road and the trail begins on the north side.
Favorite thing: Drive the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. Photo: Another pic from this dramatic drive on my very first time in Zion - June, '94. Believe it or not - but we totally missed Zion Canyon and didn't even realize that it existed. We were on a day trip from Las Vegas to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I wouldn't recommend doing that - you miss a lot!
Favorite thing: Drive the Zion-Mt Carmel Highway. Photo: Taken from one of the many pull-outs on this scenic road. Sept. '99. Outstanding works of man and nature compete for attention along this route. The road, completed in 1930, was considered an 'almost impossible project,' an engineering marvel of its time. Built across rough up-and-down terrain, it connects lower Zion Canyon with the high plateaus to the east. Two narrow tunnels, including one 1.1 miles long, were drilled and blasted through the cliffs to finish the construction job. As you travel from one side of the long tunnel to the other, the landscape changes dramatically. On one side lies Zion Canyon with its massive cliff walls. On the other side of the tunnel is slickrock country. Here rocks colored in white and pastels of orange and red have been eroded into hundreds of fantastic shapes, etched through time with odd patterns of cracks and grooves.
Favorite thing: Hike in the Narrows. Photo: a short day hike into the Narrows, '99. The most famous backpacking trip in Zion is through the Narrows, a 16 mile journey through canyons along the North Fork of the Virgin River. In places the canyon walls are only 20 feet apart and tower hundreds of feet above you. The hike requires wading and sometimes swimming the river. It is usually done from Chamberlain's Ranch (outside the park) to the Gateway of the Narrows Trail at the north end of Zion Canyon to allow hikers to move with the river current. The 16- mile trip takes about 12 hours, and camping for a night is recommended. This hike is limited to June to October, and may be closed from late July to early September because of flash flood danger. The few miles at the north end of Zion Canyon can get very crowded with hundreds of day hikers.
Favorite thing: Springdale has plenty of gift shops, restaurants, art galleries, even a Giant Screen Theater. Next door to the Bumbleberry Restaurant, home of the famous Bumbleberry Pie, is The Bumbleberry Theatre, Indian Crafts and gift shop. There is also a clean laundromat which is useful if your traveliing light as we did.
Favorite thing: The Pioneer Internet Cafe is the place to get online. They have good coffee and chai and the rate is low. The Croissants were yummy and the women are friendly.
Favorite thing: Hike Angel's Landing. Photo: View from the summit! Sept. '96. Check out that narrow ridge below. That's the way up!