Utah- Zion National Park


Travelers who come to Zion often feel an instant sense of awe and reverence. Formed over the ages by water and time, this park is indeed one of Utah’s most spectacular wonders. Zion’s greenery is spectacularly contrasted to its steep, gold and red-hued cliffs. Colorful canyons and panoramic views, shimmering rivers and iconic rock formations—my weekend adventure with REI Adventures showcased it all.

Day 1- The Watchman Trail

This out-and-back trail offers a moderate hike with fantastic views of some of the most famous features in the park including West Temple and Towers of the Virgin. The trailhead is near the park’s visitor center, which is one of the best I have ever seen and includes a bookstore.

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View from the Watchman trail

 

Day 2- Zion Narrows

The Narrows is a deep gash in the earth carved by the Virgin River. I traveled upstream along the steep, colorful sandstone walls on a route often described as one of the best hikes in the U.S.

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Hiking the narrows- A one mile paved trail leads to the water and then you can walk as far upstream as you like.

 

Day 3- Angels Landing

Today I embarked on one of the most thrilling and famous hikes in the Southwest, Angels Landing.  This hike has appeared on many ‘scariest hikes’ and ‘dangerous hikes’ lists for outdoor enthusiasts.  Strong hikers have the opportunity to ascend this long, steady climb (nearly 1,500′) that culminates in an exhilarating half-mile of hiking along an exposed sandstone ridge. Those with a fear of heights or exposure can hang back at Scout Lookout and still relish incredible views of this magnificent national park.

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Climbed it!

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View from the top of Angels Landing

With limited lodging options inside the park and in nearby Springdale and crowded campgrounds, I highly recommend REI’s Signature Camping experience.  It’s a private campground with flush toilets, hot showers, and a camp host.  Fresh drinking water is left at your tent when you return from the day’s hiking and fresh appetizers are prepared.  The meals prepared are healthy and filling and they can accommodate special diets- vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc.  In the morning, freshly brewed hot coffee will be brought to your tent!

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My spacious REI Kingdom 6 person tent with porch

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Tents have cots, air mattresses, warm blankets, and mirrors. You only need to bring your sleeping bag

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Beautiful view from my tent. The REI campground has a dining tent, kitchen tent, and fire pit.

 

For more information about Zion national park, go to https://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm

For more information about REI signature camping or to sign up for a trip, go to https://www.rei.com/adventures/trips/signature-camping

Sources:

  • REI Trip notes
  • nps.gov

Andy

 

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