Zion National Park

December 19, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I am so excited to be posting this blog entry that I skipped everything between 2011 and 2016.  I promise to get back to filling in the gap soon!

So over the Christmas holiday in 2016, I decided to take a trip up to southern Utah.  My plan was to spend a couple of days in Zion National Park and then drive the scenic UT-12 over to a park I had never been to (Capitol Reef) to spend another couple of days.  Zion was the first stop along the way.  I have been to Zion 11 times now and, seriously, it does not get old.  I ended up doing about 12 miles of hiking including Upper and Lower Emerald Pools, Kayenta, Canyon Overlook, River Walk, and Hidden Canyon trails.  Visiting Zion in the winter is a great experience because it is far less crowded and you can drive the entire park road.  Plus because it is so peaceful, the wildlife is abundant.

Here are a few of the amazing photos.  Keep scrolling to see the highlight of the trip...  The Hidden Canyon Trail.

The Virgin River in Zion near The NarrowsThe Virgin River in Zion near The Narrows West Temple in ZionWest Temple in Zion The Virgin River in Zion near Springdale, UTThe Virgin River in Zion near Springdale, UT Along the Emerald Pools TrailAlong the Emerald Pools Trail Along the Kayenta TrailAlong the Kayenta Trail Zion Canyon OverlookZion Canyon Overlook

The last hike of the day was a grueling, stomach-churning, vertigo-inducing, hold-those-chains-tight hike into a place called Hidden Canyon.  The trail starts out climbing what appears to be a near vertical 2,100 foot tall wall.  About 800 feet and 11 switchbacks up, the trail forks and you start the trek to Hidden Canyon.  That is where the fun really begins.  After a dozen more short switchbacks, the trail is literally carved (or perhaps blasted) out of a sandstone cliff face.  The narrowest part of the trail is about three feet wide and an 800+ foot vertical drop.  The trail weaves into pockets and out to points a couple of times and reaches the entrance to Hidden Canyon which signifies the end of the established trail.  There are very sturdy chains bolted into the sandstone along this last precarious stretch of the trail.  Below are two of the pics taken along the way.  At one point, I peered over the ledge and could see the parking lot (the cars looked like little dots) almost directly below me, over 800 feet down.

Narrow ledge along the trail to Hidden CanyonNarrow ledge along the trail to Hidden Canyon Looking down from the Hidden Canyon TrailLooking down from the Hidden Canyon Trail

Please visit this link for a very detailed description of this trail from a fellow adventurer.  He even posted a 3-1/2 minute video of this dizzying stretch of the trail.  Amazing!  One of my all-time favorite hikes.


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