Zion National Park

A few weeks ago I posted some of my favorite camping spots in a “Best of the West” post. If you read it, you may remember Zion National Park being on the list. In May, J and I decided to swap our annual Yosemite trip for Zion National Park for a change of scenery. It was SUCH a great trip. The weather was perfect — hot enough to enjoy being in the cold waters of the VIrgin River but not so hot that you have to plan your hikes at 5 am — and the park was just gorgeous.

If you go, be sure to hike the harrowing but SO rewarding Angel’s Landing. It is not for the faint of heart — the last mile or so goes up a tiny narrow ledge with a chain. My other favorite hike is through the Narrows, which is a river hike named for the closeness of the sandstone cliffs on either side of the river…sometimes as narrow as 20 feet. The Narrows make for a beautiful and memorable hike. The water is rather chilly — it was around 50 when we hiked — and I highly recommend wearing closed toes shoes and taking either a walking stick or trekking pole to keep your balance. We also took out bikes so that we could explore the park that way (they don’t allow cars to drive through most of the park) with the only catch being that you have to pull over every time a shuttles comes behind you as they won’t pass a moving bike.

Being the talented and professional photographer that he is, J took some rather gorgeous photos that I’m excited to share with you. Marrying a photographer definitely has it’s benefits. 😉

All photos ©2014 Jason Ward. Please do not use without permission.      051714_Zion_0032051714_Zion_0028

View heading up Angel’s landing. See the tiny dots of people to the right? They are climbing the ledge to the top!

Zion-angelslanding051714_Zion_0045 051714_Zion_0053 051714_Zion_0040Zion-narrows1051714_Zion_0198sm

We came across this guy around 2 hours into our Narrows hike when there really weren’t very many people still heading this far into the canyons. We couldn’t help notice his unusual hiking attire and “walking stick.” Apparently he was just being spontaneous (and perhaps didn’t have a change of clothes?).  I love his adventurous spirit! 051714_Zion_0170sm051714_Zion_0193smZion-hiking051714_Zion_0252

 

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