I set off from the Grand Canyon late in the afternoon, and found another great camping spot for the night up a country road just before the entrance to Zion National Park. In the morning I was up before first light, and entered via the east gate, through a very impressive old tunnel completed in 1930, and saw sunrise over Virgin River in Zion Canyon.
I first heard of Zion last year at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, when a couple who I chatted with told me how magnificent it is. Since then I have heard it mentioned quite a few times, the most recent being by username:tacobet on the Forum pages.
I followed his (or her?) suggestion, and decided to make the hike up to Angel’s Landing. The park is very well organised, and you park at the visitor centre, then take a free shuttle bus to wherever you want to go.
The climb to the top of Angel’s Landing is about two and a half miles, and climbs 1,500 feet. It is a superb walk/scramble, offering incredible views. But be warned, it is not for those who have a touch of vertigo – the path is very narrow in places with enormous vertical drops! The route up is great fun, and the view from the top is breath-taking. Highly recommended.
On the way back down I took a look at the Emerald Pools, the top one of the three pools being set in a lovely shaded hollow at the foot of a monstrous cliff.
What an absolutely fantastic place! The southwest states keep on offering incredible experiences and awesome views. My goals seem to have fallen a little by the wayside this past week or so, as I have marvelled at the fantastic wealth of natural beauty here. I could spend so much more time travelling around this area – I absolutely love it here!
More info on Zion here:
Zion National Park
And another suggestion from username:tacobet on the Forum pages – check out these awesome photos of Angel’s Landing and other parts of Zion from much more skilled photographer than myself, Joe Braun:-
Joe Braun Photography
Early in my day at Zion, I met photographer Jeff Tangen, as we bothe enjoyed the sun coming up over the magnificent view of the Virgin River. Jeff now has his photos from that visit to Zion online, and you can see them here:-
They really capture the spectacular nature of this place so much better than I can.