Zion National Park Things to Do

  • Checkerboard Mesa
    Checkerboard Mesa
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    A well earned drink at 6508 feet
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    Heading upriver in drysuits
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Most Recent Things to Do in Zion National Park

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    GATEWAY TO THE NARROWS

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Along the Gateway to the Narrows trail

    The hike of the Narrows is Zion's most popular backcountry outing. Covering 16 miles one-way - and you normally only go one-way down - the way requires hiking permits from the Visitor Center even for dayhikes. You first have to find your way to Chamberlain's Ranch - at the end of an 18 mile dirt road off UT 9 east of the East Entrance. To hike the Narrows you have to be well-prepared - much of your hike will be in the water - up to chest deep. Flash floods are a major hazard so be well attuned to weather conditions. All-in-all, this is what Crete's Samaria Gorge hopes to be, only here you won't have to share the experience with thousands of others off the bus! http://www.nps.gov/zion/ZionNarrows.htm

    If you don't have time or desire to do the Narrows, you can get a taste by hiking the Gateway to the Narrows trail. This is an easy flat 1.6 mile trail going along the riverside from the Zion Canyon road end at the Temple of Sinawava. Springs abound along the route as you meander to where the canyon walls come ever-closer together.

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    ANGEL'S LANDING

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Angels Landing looms high above the Virgin
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    From the Grotto Picnic area along the Zion Canyon road - just north of Zion Lodge - the West Rim trail takes off. In just under 2 miles you ascend 1000 feet to Scout Lookout. Here is where the rougher trail to Angel's Landing takes off - another mile out and 500 feet up, grabbing cables anchored intothe ground as you go. This part of the trail is not for the acrophobic as you are 1500 feet straight up from the North Fork of the Virgin River, you are center stage in Zion's glory! This is not a trail to try if the weather is wet or icy. The visual rewards are great, but not that great.

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    MORE ANGELS

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Final summit ridge of Angel's Landing

    The climb to Scout Lookout passes through 21 short switchbacks - Walter's Wiggles. Your sweat is compensated for by grand views up and down the Zion Canyon. Scout Lookout - at the top of the Wiggles, is as sheer as the Landing, offering a great view of the way ahead up the ridgeback of the monolith. Footing can be hazardous when condition are wet. Chains help with the footing for the final ascent.

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    Shuttle to Zion Canyon

    by Easty Updated Apr 4, 2011
    Zion Canyon Road (Rte 9 Section)

    Zion National Park does not allow cars onto Zion Canyon Scenic Drive during the summer months. You must take the shuttle. The shuttle takes about 2 to 3 hours according to the information we had. We opted not to go on the shuttle. But for those of you who read this page, I wanted to make you aware this was available. To pick up the tram, you must park in Springdale (a town near the southern entrance). I believe that there is a small fee for it plus the fee for admission to the park.

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    Take a Hike

    by Basaic Written Oct 22, 2010

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    Middle Emerald Pools Hiking Trail

    There are a wide variety of hiking options available to you at Zion National Park. Something for everyone. There are easy .4 mile hikes, paved hikes, and 14 mile backcountry hikes. I have written tips on several trail on this page, in the sports section.

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    River Access

    by Basaic Written Oct 22, 2010

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    Access to River

    There are several places to gain access to the river along the Riverwalk Trail in the Temple of Sinawava. You can take some good photos here. Please use the authorized access points and not the ones closed for revegetation.

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    A Deepening Canyon

    by Basaic Written Oct 22, 2010

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    Deep Canyon
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    As you walk farther along the river you get to a narrower canyon. Here the canyon is constantly getting deeper, not wider. This is because the river cannot carve out a wider path through the tough Navajo Sandstone. As you approach the Narrows, the cliff walls are only about 20 feet apart. Eventually, the river will carve down through the snadstone to the softer mudstone below and the canyon will begin to widen.

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    A Widening Canyon

    by Basaic Written Oct 22, 2010

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    Wide Canyon

    The walk along the lake leads you through two types of canyons determined by the type of rock the river is cutting thorugh. As you begin your walk along the river heading upstream, you see a wide canyon where the river bends and curves. The walls of the canyon continue to erode and widen. Here the soft mudstones and siltstones called the Kayenta Layer are rapidly eroded away, undercutting the tougher, harder Navajo Sandstone above. This rock then splits off and flows downstream ever widening the canyon.

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    Temple of Sinawava

    by Basaic Written Oct 22, 2010

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    Temple of Sinawava

    The Temple of Sinawava is a wide canyon at the end of the shuttle route. There is drinking water here if you are running low and bathrooms. Most of the places in Zion National Park were named by the early Mormon settlers or other religious leaders, for people from the bible. The Temple of Sinawava pays tribute to the Southern Paiute who were here before any of them. Sinawava is a the Creator in Southern Paiute beliefs. He is represented by a kind of part man part coyote creature. This is a another good place to see the Great White Throne, and to take a hike along the river.

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    The Great White Throne

    by Basaic Updated Oct 22, 2010

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    Great White Throne

    The Great White Throne is one of the largest standing monoliths of Navaho Sandstone in the world. It stand about 2500 feet over the North Fork Virgin River. If you cathch a photo at the right time the sunlight emphasizes the white of the rock. I was there at the wrong time of day; but the sight was beautiful anyway. The Great White Throne is popular with rock-climbers.

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    Angel's Landing

    by Basaic Updated Oct 22, 2010

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    Angel's Landing
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    I think the small outcropping pf rock near the top is Angel's Landing and not the whole mountain (Photo 1 shows the mountain and Photo 2 is a closeup of the outcropping). It does look like a place only an angel or a bird could land but I understand there is a trail up to it. I did not take it because I neither had the time nor the energy for the 5.4 mile strenuous hike. Pretty though.

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    Big Bend

    by Basaic Written Oct 22, 2010

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    Big Bend
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    The next stop along the shuttle route is Big Bend. At this spot you will see three interesting formations, Angel's Landing, The Organ, and The Great White Throne. The views here are spectacular and there are some interpretive signs to explain what you are seeing.

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    Weeping Rock and Creek

    by Basaic Written Oct 21, 2010

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    Weeping Rock
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    Small amounts of water, too small to form a waterfall, seep through the soft rock here causing the rock to appear to weep. The water causes the face of the rock to be constantly wet providing a unique habitat for a variety of plantlife. The water then forms a small creek which joins other creeks to form a stream then finally a river. The trail leads under an outcropping of the "Weeping Rock" so be prepared to get a little wet.

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    Weeping Rock

    by Basaic Written Oct 21, 2010

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    Vertical Gardens
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    The next stop on the shuttle route after Zion Lodge and the Emerald Pools Trailhead is a picnic area called "The Grotto". After that is Weeping Rock. The trail to the rock has a number of signs along the way explaining about this unique environment. The large amount of water seeping down the side of the rock causes a variety of plantlife to cling to the vertical rock (Photo 1). One of the plants that grows in abundance here is the Maidenhair Fern (Photo 2). This abundance of water also comes together to form a stream. Tall trees like Cottonwood and Velvet Ash grow along the stream (Photo 3).

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    Lower Emerald Pool Falls

    by Basaic Written Oct 21, 2010

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    Lower Emerald Pool Falls

    The Lower Emerald Pools are fed by the Lower Emerald Pools Falls. This falls was formed when the softer rock below the harder rock on the ledge wore away causing a 100 foot drop. Rainstorms or melting snow can increase the flow of the water from a trickle to a roaring cascade.

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Zion National Park Things to Do

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