Today we are celebrating one of my favorite national parks – Zion! Utah has five national parks and this park was the first one in the state established in 1919. The colors there are just amazing! While you are hiking, you can see up to nine distinct layers of rock. The largest layer is the Navajo sandstone layer that is colored off white or pink. This layer is petrified sand dunes and if you look closely you can figure out the prevailing winds in the area 185 – 180 million years ago by looking at the striations in the rock. Many of the layers you see in Zion are the same layers you can see at the Grand Canyon which is why Zion is just as colorful.
My love for this park started in 2013. The year before my husband and I visited Page, AZ to see Antelope Canyon and other slot canons in the area. On our drive back north, we stopped by Bryce Canyon for a few hours and I knew I had to come back. This time, we made plans to visit Bryce and Zion since they are relatively close. The first time we drove through the tunnel and came out the other side I was just amazed. It was sensory overload. Every turnout offered a spectacular view. I felt like a kid looking at all the presents under a Christmas tree.
Zion NP has five distinct areas to hike in, so the hardest thing to do was to pick the first trail to take. We settled on the “Many Holes” trail. It is not well known, and we started off completely wrong, but we had a wonderful time following a wash for hours, taking pictures, and just looking at the scenery. Once we got back to the car, we realized where we went wrong and we went back out and hiked the Many Holes trail.
On that first trip I hiked to the top of Angel’s Landing. What a hike. I felt butterflies in my stomach in many places. Over the years I’ve returned many times. I got a permit to do the Subway hike from the bottom up, I’ve waded in the river to go to the narrows and I’ve backpacked to the cable works. The view from there is amazing. You actually get to look down on the top of Angel’s Landing.
If you ever get the pleasure of going to this park, do some research before going. There are so many different types of trails that range from easy to hard. No matter what trails you do, there is not a single bad one in Zion.