It seems obvious but it is worth mentioning. once you're inside the park itself, there aren't many spots to fill or refill your water bottles and believe me, under the hot Utah sun you'll need every drop. The park rangers recommend at least one litre a person. You do not want to find yourself in the middle of a long hike without water as dehydration is a real concern.
Some of these hikes are not to be taken lightly. They can be both long and strenuous so a certain level of physical fitness is required. One thing to watch out for is the drop-offs. Those deathly afraid of heights may want to re-consider the Angels landing hike as the top 0.5 mile portion is full of narrow passages and areas of unsure footing. In a lot of spots the park has installed a chain to hold onto while manouvering the more tricky strecths. This was not meant to disuade anybody from doing the hike, just to let them know whats in store. The very top of Angels landing is definately something to strive for
Many people come to Zion to climb its magnificent canyon walls. What many novices do not know is that these are not routes for the beginner or for the faint of heart. Zion's sandstone walls have a tendency to crumble, creating a dangerous condition for the unsuspecting climber. Make sure to check conditions on any route you plan to climb before heading out.
In much the same way as the canyon walls are subject to crumbling, cliffs and overlooks found alongside trails are capable of crumbling without notice. Its a good idea to do as the sign says and stay on the trail at all times. There are plenty of photo ops in this park and no need to risk life or limb for that great shot.
The Flashflood-warnings in The Narrows should not be taken lightly. Yes, it will be a pitty if you, because of that, would miss the beauty of this part of Zion, but better not risk as it is quiet possible that we (the world) will have to miss out of you!
For years, we have all been told of the importance of water. The general guideline has been to drink 2 litre of water each day. For a person who is not living an active lifestyle this may be enough, but if you are physically active, you need more water than that. That is especially true if you are hiking in the Zion National Park area due to the fact the average temperature is much higher than other areas and the landscape goes up and down.
Water is essential for everyone, especially if you are hiking. Water helps almost every part of the human body function properly. Our bodies are almost two-thirds water, and proper hydration is essential to keep your body functioning properly during the hike. Some of the things water does in the body are:
* The brain is 75% water; even moderate dehydration can cause headaches and dizziness;
* Water regulates body temperature, which is especially important here in the area where the temperatures can be so brutal;
* Water carries nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body
* Blood is 92% water;
* Water protects and cushions vital organs;
·* Water converts food into energy (which is something you will need on a 3 to 4 hour hike…);
* Muscles are 75% water, and you will use many muscles on a trail as you climb above the desert floor.
Near the lodge is a lovely meadow, a popular spot in the evening. At sunset, the shadows grow longer... and deer may come out of the trees. We were sitting on a bench, enjoying the view. Suddenly we saw a small black thing in the middle of the green. And we heard a proud dad tell his baby son: 'Look, a skunk!' 'Skunkilyyyyyy!' the boy yelled, running after the furry animal, and dad proudly accompanied his son in his attempt to cuddle a new pet. The skunk who did not like that at all.
Note: There ARE skunks around, and they don´t like to be cuddled.
Also, be careful with the deer. They may come out at dusk, they may go to where they expect food - but do not feed them nor approach them from behind. If you feed them, they won´t be able to find themselves enough food later on, and when approached from behind, they react in a terrified manner, kicking. And the paramedics get some more work.
This is a great trail until you get to the final leg of the Angel's Landing trail. My son and I went past Scout Lookout and encountered the cables for a bit. The cables are not placed correctly to ensure your safety. The rock is littered with sand, making it very slippery. Nothing but sheer drop offs. We saw people trying to go up the final accent to Angel's Landing wearing sandals, thongs and no shoes at all.
My son was 22 years old and I was 50 at the time. Both in decent shape and aware of of suroundings and the danger. My son didn't want to go any further. I too felt it was unsafe. We spoke to two Rangers afterward and they told us about how many people have fallen to their deaths climbing Angel's Landing. It is a National Park and you are responsible for your safety they said.
I would recommend hiking up as far as you are comfortable. If you have kids with you pay extra attention to them and their safety. I feel there are great views all the way up to Scout Lookout. Enjoy Refrigerator Canyon and get a great workout going up the 21 switchbacks at Walter's Wiggles.
I just felt I should warn people about the danger at the end of this trail for visitors.
I'm a bit cocky like everyone else and the SW manages to constantly remind me I'm vulnerable.The government has chosen to let us roam the area without constant safety reminders, I like this.
People die or are injured on a daily basis in this area so there's a few things you need to remember:
Hydrate: drink the water before you need it and carry plenty.
Know your limitations: Before attempting a specific hike or climb be sure you can get back. Don't go up an easy looking hill only to find no way down. Happens quickly!
Watch the edges: in most places there are no guard rails. People fall! Aug of 2006 a young lady fell to her death from Angel's Landing, I think she was an outdoor person, maybe too comfortable!
Watch where you grab: Spyders, snakes and scorpions hide in cracks and crevasses!
I find it amazing how ill equipped people are these days. If you are not used to hiking or even walking on something other than concrete or yard sod, keep that in mind and be prepared! Many people were obviously unprepared for what were mild to moderate hikes.
Please also keep in mind that our Park lands are dedicated so they may be preserved. Do not leave trails or screw them up in any way. This includes littering. A no-brainer one would think but it is apparent even in such otherwise pristine lands.
There is a long tunnel on the main road through the park. If you are driving a large vehicle inquire ahead of time. Sometimes the tunnel is one way so expect delays.
There are a number of warning signs in the park. You should obey them. They are there for your safety and to protect the park for future generations of visitors.
This sign means:
"Falls from cliffs on this trail have resulted in death
•Stay on the trail
•Stay back from cliff edges
•Observe posted warnings
•Parents-watch your children"
When visiting the park in an RV, check with the entrance gate or visitor center before driving through the tunnels. Many vehicles are too big to drive through.