Friday, May 26, 2017

Visiting Southern Utah - Part 5

May 12 to May 16:

Friday we decided to do our long hike at Zion National Park. The trail is called the Angels Landing via West Rim Trail. It is a 5.4 mile round trip with an elevation change of almost 1,500 feet. We got an early start on the trail and shared the route with a number of hikers who had the same idea. We took our time going up to soak up the scenery as well as catching our breath with the elevation changes. Part of the hike was climbing several set of wiggles (switchbacks) to gain height along the trail. We reach the area near the peak of the trail where I continued on up on chains that were along the side of the mountain to reach another flat area. There was an hour wait to reach the very top (another 200 feet or so straight up) with room on the trail for only one way traffic so I decided I had gone far enough. We ate a snack and re-hydrated before we started back down. Again we took our time and watched our footing as we re-traced our steps back down the mountain. Wonderful views from the top as well as canyon walls along the trail. The entire hike took us about 4 hours including the 1/2 hour we spent on top.

Saturday and Sunday we stayed out of the national parks. On Sunday we did hike into the Red Hollow Canyon which was located a few miles south of our campground. We hiked as far into the canyon as we could until there was a rock slide that blocked the route.

Monday, May 15th, was opening day for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Connie and I had visited the South Rim several years ago and decided to make the 105 mile drive south from Glendale to this side of the Grand Canyon. We had to wait about 30 minutes in line to get into the park. From the entrance we traveled to the Visitor's Center and the Grand Lodge. We took a short hike out to the viewing area and also walked around the Grand Lodge. The lodge has a porch with a great view of the Grand Canyon.

View from the porch of the Grand Lodge

After leaving this area of the park we drove to the highest point in the park at Imperial Point which is 8,803 feet in elevation. From there were drove along the road to Cape Royal stopping at all of the viewing areas along the way. At each stop we took a short hike to reach the overlooks. At Cape Royal we ate our picnic lunch before hiking out the viewing areas.

The Window Bridge. We hiked to the overlook above my head.

After spending about 6 hours in the park, we made the drive north back to our campground. On Tuesday morning we got up early to make the drive to Salt Lake City.

For more photos of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, click here.

For more photos of sites we visited outside of Bryce & Zion, click here.

For more photos of Kodachrome Basin State Park, click here. 

For more photos of Bryce Canyon National Park, click here.

For more photos of Zion National Park, click here.