Zion National Park

Zion Canyon

We finally made it to southern Utah! Alan has been excited about Utah since we started planning this trip. Southern Utah is home to “The Mighty 5” national parks which include Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Capitol Reef NP, Canyonlands NP and Arches NP. Our first stop was the infamous Zion National Park. Zion is known for having some of the most scenic canyons in the U.S.

Zion Narrows

Due to the pandemic, Zion is currently running a shuttle service for the busiest area of the park. We were only able to snag shuttle reservations for two days. Our first day in the park, we decided to start by hiking the Zion Narrows Riverside trail. This trail leads you to the start of The Narrows hike, one of the most iconic trails in the park that takes you through the narrowest section of Zion Canyon.

We opted out of doing The Narrows trail due to Toxic Cyanobacteria found in the Virgin River which we would have been in contact with because 60% of the hike is spent walking in the river. In the end we were glad we decided against this trail because it was way too crowded!

Zion Canyon and Virgin River

Emerald Pools

After the short narrows hike, we hiked to Upper, Lower and Middle Emerald pools. We had amazing views into Zion Canyon and the Virgin River from this trail. The natural pools weren’t as impressive as we thought they would be but the surrounding rock formations made up for it!

Sheer rock walls by Upper Emerald Pool

Angels Landing

Weeks before arriving at Zion, we learned that the chain section leading up to Angel’s Landing was closed due to COVID-19. Alan was bummed out because this is a famous must do hike at Zion. I on the other hand was pretty relieved that the chains section was closed because I am very scared of heights! But as luck would have it, a few days before we arrived at the park the chains section was opened back up to the public.

Hiking up the steep Walter’s Wiggles

Angels Landing Trail is considered a strenuous five mile hike with 1,630 feet in elevation gain. Once you get to the chain sections there is scrambling involved and oh yeah, there are 1,500 foot drops on both sides of the trail. We decided that we would both hike up to Scout’s Lookout right before the chain section begins and Alan would continue on to Angel’s Landing while I waited for his return.

Scrambling up to Angel’s Landing

As we made our way up Walter’s Wiggles, (the switchbacks leading up to Angel’s Landing) we found the trail to be fairly easy. Once we arrived at Scouts Lookout, I scoped out the spine of the trail and decided to just do it! Turns out it was not that scary after all!

Chains on Angel’s Landing Trail
Angel’s Landing

Kolob Canyons

Kolob Canyons

On our third day at Zion, we ventured out to the less visited side of the park to explore the Kolob Canyons. A park ranger recommended that we hike the Taylor Creek Trail and we are so glad we did! This hike was filled with fall colors and followed a flowing creek the entire way. At the end of the trail was a double arch alcove which was pretty neat to see.

Double Arch

Takeaways

Zion is awesome and you must go see it for yourself! Every view in the park is mesmerizing and breathtaking. It is no wonder why this park is so popular. Zion holds a special place in our heart and we can’t wait to return!

Thanks for checking in!

-Ashby

Click here for more photos from our visit to Zion NP!

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