Katy and I recently went out to Utah to visit Zion National Park. Even though we had read the park’s guide and gained a little background information on the park, neither one of us had any idea what laid ahead. The park is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The sandstone cliffs jump straight out of the ground and ascend to the heavens. I can now understand why there are names like “Angels Landing” in the park. Standing next to these giant walls is almost as forboding as it is awe inspiring. One can’t help but lean his neck as far back as he can and stay locked in that position until your head is dizzy. The trails vary from the pedestrian trails reminiscent paved suburban walkways, all the way to “you better have a compass, map, and three days supplies.” The sandstone walls, and gorgeous blue skies provided us with some of the most impressive sunrises and sunsets we have ever seen!
We were lucky enough to have found an outfitting company in nearby Springdale so that we could take what is called the “Narrows” hike. This hike requires that you walk 5 miles up a river, and most of that time will be spent wading. Given that it is October, the water was pretty chilly so we rented neoprene socks, canyoneering shoes, walking sticks, and gortex pants. The hike takes you up the Virgin river into the canyon, and the reason it is called the narrows becomes obvious…..the only thing between the vertical faces of sandstone rising hundreds of feet above you is a narrow river that has slowly carved its path and created this beautiful wonder. It took us more than 5 hours to hike in and hike out, but it is one of the best experiences I have ever had, and would recommend that anyone capable try this. We stayed for 4 days, and still feel like there is a lot we missed out on seeing and doing. We will go back at some point and enjoy the rest of the park, but for now here are some images to set your daydreaming on.
Over the holliday break I went to Colorado to visit family and friends, but while I was there I got to wander around the familiar grounds of Garden of the Gods. For those not familiar with it, Garden of the Gods lies at the toes of the foothills leading up to Colorado’s most famous peak (Pikes Peak). The attraction being the gorgeous red sandstone rock that has been heaved out of the ground and left to the mercy of the elements for thousands of years. If you are ever in Colorado Springs, I would recommend you take a few hours and hike around these ancient rocks, after all it is free!