Throwback Thursday needs a purpose around here, and I have a LOT of unfinished blogs waiting to be written. For this segment, we’ll go back to an awesome hike in Zion National Park in 2013. Nothing ever seems that long ago, maybe because we attempted the hike again last summer but found the trail closed! It was such a disappointment. We had wanted Blair to try it out and ourselves try it again ourselves, however, we did find some other trails to do with Blair that were new to us.
We didn’t have Sherlock yet so easily made a day trip from Kanab, leaving early to find parking. We ended up having to park all the way in town and take a city bus to the visitor center, but quickly caught a bus into the park from there.The Zion shuttles are one of the best ideas a National Park ever had. I wish more of them used this plan to spare the natural beauty car traffic and excess fumes!
We brought about 4 liters of water but could have done with more. The first part of the hike was the worst. The trail was boring, paved but consistently steep and we were in direct sun the entire time. It was a huge relief when we finally got near the top and the other side of the cliff face. However there was no shortage of things to look at along the way, the view was beautiful, facing inwards at another colorful cliff face where the Hanging Garden is, and eventually a nice view of the valley floor. Although it was in the high 80s in the sun, the forest floor and shade were cool when we could find it. We even saw a toad happily living up there with no shortage of insects to eat, he was living large.
When the trail got steeper and more interesting, we were tired but determined. Each section of the trail offered more and more reasons to reach the end. Steep cliffs, forest, a chain railing against a sheer cliff face and man-made rock steps (I love those). The trail ended far in a slot canyon that required a lot of climbing over trees, roots, rocks and the leftovers of a recent flooding. I would have loved to see the waterfall that came from the rushing water in that canyon and off the side of the massive cliff at the top. The trail ended with a sign stating that the rest of the trail was reserved for wildlife recovery. No better reason for a trail to be closed than that. We rested a while and headed back down, easier than the climb up.
I love being high places and enjoy balancing and being on the verge of falling to my death, I should probably rock climb or get my pilot’s license…so we had a pretty fun time sitting on steep ledges and playing around on the chain rope. The “view from the top” is almost never my favorite part of a hike, but it was a pretty great view. I really enjoyed the challenge, various plants, animals, insects and geology. Beautiful views are nothing with out all the smaller elements that make it up!