Friday, October 8, 2010

Hiking in Zion National Park

Today we got up and drove into Zion and took the shuttle into the interior. These peaks are named Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and form the Court of the Patriarchs. Stunning, just stunning.

We got off at the Grotto stop to do the Angels Landing hike. It's about 5 miles round trip. It's up and then it's down. The path debouches on to Scout's landing, which is where I took this picture. 

Then one may hike up to the side of a sandstone fin for an even better view. 

There were a lot of people there. Right after I took this picture, the young woman in the green pants at the top of the photo had a full blown panic attack. She was crying and scared. It took awhile to get her moving, no one could get around her. 

I made it up farther than I thought I would, given my dislike of heights. If you look behind me, that's quite a drop below. The tree was my friend. 

Jim went on farther, but did not get out to the very end. There were many people and no one was moving quickly. If we did walk out to the end, this is what you would see (courtesy of the web). 

We went back to Scout's landing and had nosh. Feeding the animals is prohibited. Apparently someone has been feeding them because the chipmunks have learned that backpacks mean food. 

This is the trail on the way down. It's pretty dang impressive. 

We took the shuttle on up towards the end of the line. 

We got off at the Temple of Sinawava stop, to walk up to the Narrows. The Virgin River runs through the canyon and is eroding in a downward direction because the Navajo Sandstone is so hard. Eventually it will reach a softer strata and then will start widening the river bed. That will not happen for awhile. For now, it's a very narrow channel, popular with people who enjoy hiking in the water. 

This is a Golden Mantled Rock squirrel. Cuuuuuuuuute. 

More pictures from the trail. 

So, it was about a 7 mile day for us. My toes are screaming a little, but all in all we had a really good day in the park.

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