My notes about the hiking trails in the Zion National Park, Utah:

August 2011

My friends, my husband and I were dreaming to be on one of the most beautiful hiking trails in US: the Zion Narrows. Finally that day came last weekend! We had our permits and gears reserved, vacations planned and airline tickets purchased.

Well, we found out a few days before our departure that we weren’t lucky enough, there was a thunderstorm and flashflood warnings in the forecasts. The park will not issue permits to do this hike if the river is running faster than 120 cfs, or if there is any rain within a 100-mile radius of the park. The water was running at 180 cfs during the weekend of our plan.

We decided to follow our plan B and explore rest of the hiking trails at Zion.

We met many tourists at the Park having a great time hiking Zion’s paved and manicured trails to experience many of its wonders up close and personal. In a very short time, we came to appreciate Zion. I quickly realized that I would never get tired of looking at the multi-colored sandstone spirals, columns, arches, and towering cliffs.

There are many flat and easy trails in the Zion NP. There are strenuous uphill climbs and dangerous trails that require special preparation and equipment. Hikes can be 10 minutes, all day, or a backpacking trip. You have to take stock of your physical and mental fitness level in choosing a trail. If you can’t handle a thousand foot drop on both sides of the trail, with a trail only three feet wide, pulling yourself up the incline with a chain railing, avoid Angel’s Landing Trail. On a side note, Dharmesh, my husband was the only one finished the Angels’ Landing Trail during our trip, partly because of the stormy day with high wind and rain made the trail very dangerous to hike on the last part and rest of us decided not to take the risk.

We also came across the breathtaking views while at the Observation Point trail. Observation Point is at the elevation 6,508 feet, which overlooks much of the Zion Canyon. The 4 mile trail to the summit climbs 2,150 feet making it a fairly strenuous hike. Passing through the magnificent walls of echo canyons was my favorite part of the trail.

Here is the perfect description I found on one of the websites while doing the research about the park prior to my visit.

“The diverse trek through Zion’s premier canyon is one of the most touted and breathtaking adventures in America. Extraordinary beauty and unique character describe this amazing gorge. Hanging gardens burst from dramatically colored perpendicular walls while trickling water threads its way through moss covered boulders. Gentle slopes give way to sheer walls funneling streams of water into fluted slides and twisting channels cutting deeper and deeper as the journey continues its path southward. Along the sandy perches of the banks, towering ponderosa send their roots downward, hungry for nutrients and water. The entire trip is wondrous. The Zion Narrows deserves its reputation as one of the best, if not the best, hike in the National Park System.”

And so I returned back from Zion promising myself that I will be going there again for sure, especially for the Zion narrows.

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