“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”- Theodore Roosevelt
Hello! Sorry for the lack of a blog yesterday, but hopefully today will make up for it.
Today was day 1 of 2 in Zion National Park. I had high expectations for Zion, because I have heard so many good things about. I have to be honest, my initial thought was deciding whether or not I was at a theme park or national park. This was the view I was welcomed with.
I was even told in the parking lot that I was lucky that I got a spot, and I got there a little before 9! But once I boarded the shuttle and began the drive out to where I was hiking, my opinion quickly started to shift. I compare Zion to being the Yosemite of Utah. For me, it had the same feel driving by the massive cliffs, with the river running next to me.
There is something I also appreciate about Zion. The fact that no cars are allowed to drive on the roads after a certain point. It keeps a sort of peace within the park, and people have to either walk or take the shuttle to get to where they are going. This may have been the reason for the lines at the beginning of the day, but as people started to dissipate, you got the feeling that there were a lot fewer people around you.
Now to the hike! Today I hiked to Observation Point. This is an out and back 8+ miles round trip hike. And it is straight up for the first half, a little over 2000 ft. I was huffing and puffing but the views were unbelievable. Here are the first views I got of the canyon just a short way up the first set of switchbacks.
After reaching the top of first set of switchbacks you reach some relatively flat ground for a short bit. But in that time you get to walk in some slot canyons.
And even though (or at least you are hoping) that you have climbed higher than you have) you are still surrounded by these massive canyon walls.
You then get to the second set of switchbacks which take you to the top! This part gets a little scary if you are not a fan of heights as the trail is pretty much carved into the rocks!
Once at the top (at least of the switchbacks) there is just a short walk out to the point itself which gives you amazing views of Zion.
This also gave a great vantage point at the trail behind me in the rocks.
After a short break at the top to get some energy back in me, I headed down. Let’s just say I was relieved to be working a different muscle group. It also gave me some time to enjoy what was around me, and not so much the struggle to get to the top. It was amazing to see some of the views I missed, the cactus flowers, and of course watching the other hikers on their way up.
Once again another amazing day on this amazing trip. Zion did not disappoint, and while I was a little off-put about the crowds at the start of the day, the trail was not crowded and people were out there doing the same thing I was, enjoying the beauty of nature around them.
Tomorrow I am back in the park to take on The Narrows, and I may also try and take a look at the Emerald Pools. Another thing I may start doing is writing separate posts about some things I have been thinking about and throwing them in a different section for those people who want to read them. I am still thrilled to be exploring all these places and cannot wait for the days to come. As always I hope all is well where ever you are, and happy adventuring!