From most nature junkies I spoke to, they mentioned that Zion National Park was their favorite park and Utah was just their favorite state for nature. I think mostly because it feels like you’re on a different planet here. I kept referring to it as being on Mars. After my visit in Zion, I completely understand why this was everyone’s favorite. It was a perfect three-night trip.
Zion National Park Background
According to their website, Zion is the first National Park of Utah. Located in Southwestern Utah by Springdale right along the Colorado Plateau, Mojave Desert, and Great Basin regions. Zion canyon shows off its steep red cliffs with the Virgin River running right through the valley of them carving the sandstone. Known as an “oasis” in Utah, it provides breathtaking views of wildlife and plants you normally wouldn’t find in Utah.
Info on the Park
Campground fill really quick here, so if you want to camp inside the park, I highly recommend making a reservation ASAP. I camped right outside the western park entrance, which was way cheaper and had a ton of availability. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name, but it’s right before you enter the park on the western entrance.
Along with camping, parking fills up really quickly at this park too. The whole park is on a shuttle system since the canyon isn’t that big. You park your car at the main visitor center and jump on a shuttle to the different destinations.
Things I Accomplished
I spent three nights camping right outside Zion National Park, which means I was able to spend two fulls days and some change total inside the park exploring. Arriving a bit later in the evening, the first day I just did the scenic drive and checked out a couple of lookout points. The next two days was when the real adventuring was to begin.
One of the most notorious day hikes in America. Lately, I’ve seen a lot of social media buzz around this hike? The biggest reason, you go 3/4 mile holding onto a chain to climb to the top. At first, I thought this was going to be a lot worse than it was. Upon arrival, I found it to be pretty smooth. However, I did see a careless girl fall over right into the chain. If that chain wasn’t there, she would have been gone.
I started early morning conquering this trail with a lady I met from Chicago who parked right next to me. This was a pretty strenuous trail, 5-mile round trip where the first half is practically uphill the entire way. After going slowly uphill, you come to numerous switchbacks which will tire you out before you get to the first lookout. Once you make it to Scout’s Lookout is where the fun begins. The last 3/4 mile is narrow pathways and chain rails.
The hardest part of the trail is the heavy traffic on the chains. I could not stress going as early as possible as you can. On my way down gave me a bit of anxiety because you’re trying to pass people or vice versa where all you have is a chain.
After my long hike up Angels landing, I decided to spend a couple hours doing the Emerald Pools train which was very easy and scenic. To reach all three pools, lower, middle, and upper, it was about a 3-mile roundtrip hike. I took a very leisurely pace on this trail.
I spent pretty much my entire second day hiking up the narrows, which is the second most famous hike it seemed in Zion national Park. It was November when I was here so I had to wear a wetsuit on top of the shoes. Luckily in November, the water levels were rather low it wasn’t such a bad hike. I personally did find much appeal to this hike. I enjoyed the other short walks I did a lot more.