In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks – John Miur
We’ve just finished what is clearly to me the best hiking so far. Bryce and Zion National Parks are only about and hour and a half apart in the Utah desert, but seem worlds apart when you get there. Staying at a little motel in Springdale, Utah, the entrance to Zion, we hopped a shuttle at the visitors center to explore the Emerald Pools hike. There are 3 levels and we hiked to the upper pool first. Sheer cliffs surround the pool and we saw a young man repelling down the face to just ‘hang out’ several hundred feet above the small pool. The middle pool was not very noteworthy, but the lower pool was a grand spectacle as the water flows over a large overhanging cliff to the pool below.
The next morning we made trip to Bryce Canyon. What a complete 180! Where Zion is covered with towering cliffs, the hoodoos of Bryce are other worldly. They are almost indescribable, but a few pictures can loosely sum it up. We completed a 6.5 mile series of loops below the rim among the eery naturally sculpted forms. What a treat!
Our last day was spent at Zion again hiking the ‘narrows’. The unique aspect of this adventure is that you do not follow a trail, you walk in the river. Up to a 16 mile trek, some people start at the top and hike straight thru, some start at the top and spend a night in the narrows to finish the next day and then others, like ourselves, do a ‘bottom up’ hike. We hiked about 5 miles up the narrows to experience the beauty of ‘Wall Street’ where the walls become 25-30 feet apart. Awesome!
The striking beauty of Bryce and Zion is something we will not soon forget and we both long to return to spend more time in these majestic parks.