Saturday, February 20, 2016

Zion, Kolob & Bryce Canyon Trip!

I had the amazing opportunity to go down to Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National this week. Also, thanks to Air BNB, my mom paying half, and my dad’s NP pass it was only $87!

Kolob Canyon was muddy so we ended up not hiking, but the drive up the canyon was still beautiful, and it was nice to have a place to get out of the car on the way to Hurricane.

For our only full day down there we went to Zion. Of course we had to do the infamous Angles Landing hike. Which at the final destination of the hike is AMAZING, but getting there? Not so awesome. The last half mile is this narrow spine with a chain to hold on to, and if you have any fear of heights like myself, you better be prepared to muster all of your courage and take some deep breaths. Although I had to fight back tears at one point, it was well worth the terror for the unforgettable view and sense of accomplishment.

After lunch we did the upper and lower emerald pools hike, but made it into a loop by adding on the Kayenta and Grotto trail, which I highly recommend starting at the Grotto going on the Kayenta trail to the upper pool (it makes the elevation climb easier). We were rewarded with more beautiful canyon views, pools, and waterfalls.

After that hike we opted to do viewpoints only. But I did stop at every single pullout and we walked to the giant waterfall at Sinawava trailhead. The views can’t be beat!

We stopped at Oscar’s in Springdale on our way back to our place, which after a long day of hiking tasted amazing, and it was even warm enough to eat outside. Take that February! We spent our evening soaking in the hot tub and watching a movie.

Thursday we went back to Zion. It had rained that night and there were a couple big new waterfalls, one by the Angel’s Landing hike, by the Court of the Patriarchs and the other where we were hiking today that fell over the Weeping Rock and fell into a pool below. Luckily since our bodies were sore, weeping rock was a simple and short paved hike.
 We left Zion on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway that offered beautiful canyon views. Since we went that way we got to drive through the 1.1-mile long tunnel. It’s unfortunate they don’t let you stop to take pictures through the windows though, because I really wanted to. On the other side of the tunnel you are dropped off in a completely different landscape. The landscape is all huge sandstone mounds that look like the rocks got trapped mid-ooze in some places. It was beautiful and unexpected.

We then went to Bryce Canyon NP. It was very rainy and windy, so we didn’t do any hikes but we stopped off at all of the viewpoints. My mom commented on our drive to the end of the canyon the he hoped a tree doesn’t fall on us. I thought she was joking and laughed it of with a “yeah right mom.” But on our way back two trees had fallen across the road. So yeah, it was windy. That being said, it was still amazing with the contrasting colors of the rock, the snow, and the green pines. Highly recommended. We then headed back to Layton and luckily only had an hour of winter driving. It was an incredible 3 days, and I recommend it to anyone who can fit it in! 

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