Exploring Zion National Park in Utah
Utah‘s vastness has had a wonderful and relaxing impact on me, and as I continue my trip to Zion National Park, located in the southwestern portion of the state, the red-shimmering sandstone buttes we encounter along the way foreshadow the beauty we are about to discover. It’s no exaggeration – Zion National Park is home to one of the most stunning natural landscapes in the U.S.!
The Natural Wonders of Zion National Park
We parked our car in Springdale, called the Gateway to Zion National Park. This is a charming town with lots of colorful boutiques and nice hotels, making it a perfect spot to stay and take a break before or after your visit.
From here, we take the free shuttle into the park. The shuttles run from early spring to late fall, and you may not drive your vehicle on the scenic drive in upper Zion Canyon during these months. But not to worry! The shuttles have frequent stops, even more so during the busy summer months, and you can get on and off as often as you like. It’s extremely convenient and has helped to preserve this beautiful park.
Shortly after entering Zion, we get our first fantastic views onto a wide canyon. The color combination of red-orange rock and deep green trees evokes the feeling that I have discovered a secret and enchanted place.
Must-do Zion Hiking Trails
At the Grotto shuttle stop, we exit and take a first look onto the steep mountain right in front of us called Angels Landing, which we are about to climb. At first the hike is quite moderate, but after a while we‘re climbing up a narrow path holding onto the chains that are provided here for guidance. But the difficult stretch of this hike is worth it. High up there at last, the views onto the Zion Valley are truly breathtaking.
This hike has taken us about five hours, so we take a little break at the Zion Lodge before we hop onto the shuttle to go to the starting point of our next hike to Weeping Rock. This hike is fairly short and easy, so it‘s definetely suitable for families. After a short walk, we reach an overhanging rock formation from which water seeps through and constantly drips, hence the name. All around, rare ferns and other plants grow that only exist here in this micro-climate created by the wet rock.
The Zion Narrows, a hike through a narrow canyon right through the Virgin River along steep and narrow rock walls, is another favorite among hikers. The Narrows is a favorite for hikers.
And even as my journey ends here, the impressions I‘ve gotten from visiting this special place will stay with me for a long time.