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Monday, September 7, 2015

adventures in zion

Saturday started with a muddy trail run.

I really wanted to cut it short the first few miles but powered through.

Then off to Zion!

Gorgeous views!

So, the thing with Zion is that you have to rely on shuttle busses to get you to the popular trails.  They do not run 24/7 obviously.. so the fact that we left Flag at 11 (and Utah is an hour ahead), was cutting it a bit close, or so we thought, as far as getting our first hike done before the last shuttle left.  Turns out, we were had more than enough time.

The beginning of the trail to Angel's Landing.

We started Angel's Landing around 5:15.  Our goal was to get to the top under 2 hours, my personal goal was an 1hr and 45 mins.  We made it up in 1hr and 20mins.

This was close to the top..but not quite there.

Many people stop prior to this point.  However the Landing is up on top of this here mountain.

Then.. we made it!

Typically, going down a trail is much more difficult for me, but this one, shockingly wasn't bad at all. I think this is due to the fact that the crowds managed to disappear by the time we started coming back down, so we didn't have to awkwardly wait here and there while staring down a 1000 foot drop off (like we did when we were heading up). 

The next morning, we slept in a bit and walked over to Meme's Cafe in Springdale and ate incredible crepes.

Crepes with a view.

However, we learned waking up late did not work to our advantage as far as parking and traffic.  Zion is very limited inside the park grounds as far as parking and then it didn't help that it was a holiday weekend.  Regardless, we got to the Narrows at noon and headed off into the waters with the holiday crowds.

I did not see the tip to bring a hiking pole. Luckily someone gave me their stick when they were leaving and it saved me from falling many times.

We have no idea how far we went but we hiked for around 4.5 hours.  The shuttle line was so long when we got back that we hiked over a mile to the next stop to get on a shuttle.

As far as the Narrows, I would recommend looking at other hikes in Zion before this one. It was painful to walk in the river since it was rocky on the bottom (and I was wearing Teva water shoes) and since you had to constantly be vigilant of where you were walking, you couldn't take in the sights without stopping.  It was definitely one of the most unique hikes I've done but I was so incredibly happy to get out of that river.  I should mention that I hate water.

Sun going down on the drive out..

Regardless, we had a great time on two of the most strenuous hikes in Zion.. and I would definitely recommend going to Zion.  Yosemite is still my favorite national park, but Zion is up there at #2.

Happiness on the way down from Angel's Landing - an absolute must hike in Zion!