Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 14 Zion

Zion is in the southwest corner of Utah, the 1st Nat'l Park in a series of plateaus & canyons moving northeast in the Grand Staircase ending at Arches NP.

The drive into the Park is through the Virgin River canyon.

Early Mormon pioneers named it Zion and many of the names of the mountains have Biblical names.

The Great White Throne

The Three Patriarchs

The free park shuttle is the only way to access the inner canyon of theVirgin River .

The shuttles dropped us of at the major points of interest & usually we never waited for more than a few minutes.

The mountains are composed of a few kinds of sandstone, Entrada- the red sheer cliffs on the valley floor, Navaho- the red erosion prone in the middle & Kayenta - white.

The colors are very intense.

We hiked about a half mile up a side canyon to the Lower Emerald Pools.

A beautiful alcove with 2 small waterfalls falling maybe 100 '.

Water stains on the underside of the overhang.

One of the waterfalls. The wind blew water on us but it was about 100 degrees,so it felt pretty good.

Weeping rock. The water seeps through the sandstone and creates hanging gardens of plants clinging to the walls.

Red Arch Mountain

Sheer cliffs of Entrada sandstone.

We took the RiverWalk about 1/2 mile along the Virgin River to the Narrows.

The trail is at the base of a sheer cliff about 1500' high.

This Diamondback Rattlesnake was about 15' from the trail.
At the end of the Riverwalk, hardy trekkers can walk through the river about a mile upstream to the Narrows. At one point, the canyon walls are 15' apart & 1200' high - sunlight reaches the bottom about 15 min. each day.

We joined the others walking in the icy cold water.

With the 100 degree temp, I carried a gallon of water for us for the day & we drank every bit.

The trail on the way back.

Zion is a very intimate place.

The cliff walls are very close and

there is a tremendous sense of verticality.
Wanda took this Fantastic picture
Keep on Camping - Shoey, PA Zion Entrance

Leaving Zion

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