Thanks to our failure in the lottery for the Wave, we had plenty of time in Zion National Park. Being different from other national parks in our Grand Circle trip, Zion has more plants, and seems more family friendly. Zion is only 40 minutes away from Kanab. Private cars are asked to park in the big parking lot close to the visitor center. Shutter buses are running every 10-20 minutes, depending on the season and time.
There are numerous hiking trails in Zion. The two most famous and difficult ones are called The Narrows and Angel’s Landing. We did both!
The trail is actually a section of the Virgin river running in the canyon. It is thus very important to check the weather and the flood potential. There are special preparations needed to be done as well. Keep in mind that the water may be cold! Even in early September when the sun is out and people are wearing shorts, the water is cold. This is because the river runs in the narrow canyon, and does not get much sunshine. Also, prepare “special” shoes because they will get wet for sure. The other thing may be useful is a stick, as walking in the river is difficult – you cannot see how deep the water is or what you are going to step on. We didn’t have sticks, so we were quite slow.
Two ways to hike The Narrows. One can either hike top-down or bottom-up. Top-down is an overnight hike, and requires permits. Bottom-up is easier, and requires no permits. Therefore most people, including us, choose the bottom-up hike. We took the shutter to Temple of Sinawava. After hiking the 1 mile riverside trail, we reached the starting point of The Narrows. I could see that people were excited to hike this special and unique trail! The first step into the water was really cold. After a while, I kinda got used to it. Walking in the river was more difficult than I thought, but it’s a lot of fun! My mom and I sometimes had to hold hand to stabilize each other. We reached the starting point of Wall Street, and then decided to return. In total, we hiked about 5 hours.
This is also a unique trail. The first half of the trail is paved road. However, the rest is rocks. There is a thick chain along the trail, so I don’t find it very dangerous. In fact, I liked it a lot! :). It reminded me the Yellow Mountain in China! The trail to one of the highest peaks, Tiandu Peak, is a bit similar. But it’s a lot more steeper on Tiandu Peak! (I recently revisited Yellow Mountain, and I will write about it. D had already finished his blog about Yellow Mountain.) The end of Angel’s landing is the top of the mountain. Many people were sitting there and enjoying the view. We didn’t stay long, because we had to drive to Bryce Canyon National Park.
I am sure everybody can find some trails that they enjoy in Zion. I just feel lucky that we could do the two most unique ones!
One more thing about Zion. There are a lot of restaurant in Springdale. We tried one Thai restaurant (Thai Sapa), and the food we had there were surprisingly good!