Zion National Park Nov 2015

This is one of the best National Parks I have ever been to. The beauty was just breathtaking. The enormity unbelievable and indescribable.  The colors so vibrant and warm. I could not believe all this park had to offer. 

   We stayed in the town of Springdale which is basically right in the middle of the park. Such a nice quint feeling city. They have done such a nice job keeping urban sprawl in check and keeping it in a non intrusive way that blends well with the surroundings. 

We were only going to have one full day to take in the sights so we laid out a path of several short hikes that would give us a feel for the park had to offer. 

Since we were there in the off season the road up the main canyon was open for vehicle traffic and the shuttle service not operating. 

The first stop was Court of the Patriarchs. It’s a shirt little walk up a path to view some nice rock/mountain structures. 

 
When then went up the road a bit and hiked up to Weeping Rock. It was a nice short walk up to a cliff face that has water seeping over and through the rock formations. Sounded like a nice smooth rain shower. Beautiful and peaceful. 

 
We then headed to Riverside Trail. It is a mile long trail up the side of the Virgin River. Again such a beautiful walk. The cliffs so grand and the water so inviting. Since we were there in late November the air temp was pretty cool and the water as well. You can take a trail up the river at the end of this trail to view the Narrows, but we had to forgo it on this trip. Found out later you can rent waders and boots to walk up the trail and not freeze.    

    
    
 
We then headed back down the road and hiked The Emarld Pools trail. This is such a nice hike that is really 3 different hikes in one. You can easily walk to the lower falls which is a nice site. From here you start to make an upward ascent to the middle falls. It’s a bit more narrow and steep, but the views start to be unbelievable at this point. Not only is the immediate surroundings beautiful, but you can look out over the canyon and see the far side. Everything looks so “perfect” it doesn’t even seem real. From here the trail starts to go fairly vertical to get to the upper falls. Again it’s so beautiful. You are high in the middle of the mountain, but the cliff face still climbs hundreds if not a thousand feet above you. The scale is just so unbelievable and so breathtaking.    

    
    
 That was the end of our main hiking and it was fantastic. 

 There were lots of people getting ready to do rock climbing in the parking lots and pull outs, but we had failed to see anyone actually climbing. We stopped one last time to look for climbers and just as we were driving away I noticed a small white dot that seemed out of place at the base of the cliff. We got out the binoculars and found a gear bag. From there we found the rope and went upwards to find the climbers. We then looked further up the cliff and saw another group. And then looked further up the cliff and saw a another group. The white spec near the middle of the pic below is the second group of climbers that are in the middle of the verticalness of the massive cliff. Just across the road there were another group of climbers that you could see a little better, that’s the second pic below. Once you understood what they looked like on the cliffs you could easily spot the climbers. The cliffs were so massive they were mere specs. You’re mind kept thinking they would be bigger and more noticeable. 

  

 We absolutely loved this Park and regretted only being able to stay and explore one full day. We made the most of it, but still have much to see. 

  
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   
While the Grand Canyon scale is so much greater, we found this park to be more enjoyable because it was so much more accessible and inviting. The scale of everything is just enormous and beautiful and breathtaking. We absolutely loved it!!!!! 

As always Happy Fishing and Stay Trout Tough. 

Erik-

   
   

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