Is Zion more scenic than Yosemite National Park?

Is Zion more scenic than Yosemite National Park?

Interesting question I started asking myself after just a few days being near Zion National Park.  Both are surrounded by vertical cliffs, both have been built in the Valley with hikes taking in the sights. Zion is much more contained, the Valley is a fraction of the size of Yosemite.  The difference comes down to the colors.  The Granite of Yosemite is mostly a grey hue, with different colors around that color palate.   Zion being in Utah, has the red colored rock and a wider spectrum of colors.  The Hiking in Zion is dramatic, the reds of the cliffs clashing with the greens of the river fed forest.  Yosemite is mostly pine treens but Zion has more broadleaf trees.  Here are some of the pictures we took….

First up is some of the scenery during the drive to Zion from the Gran Canyon.

Once into Zion we took the shuttle bus to the Riverwalk, a trail next to the Virgin River, and when it ends you wade through the knee deep water to travel upstream a ways…

As you can see, it was a great hike and a good way to understand Zion and how it came to be, the river cutting a deep channel through the sandstone.

The next day we decided to tackle a harder hike, Angles Landing.  It is about 2.7 mile hike to the top, the last 1/2 mile is mostly a vertical climb using rope chains to haul yourself straight up.  It is also a very busy hike.  We made it about 2.3 miles in and over 1100 feet up to a little past Scouts Landing, using the first two sets of chains.  We decided to stop as the weather was deteriorating, getting colder, misting with clouds rolling in in spite of what the weather forecast has called for clearing sky’s.  There were also quite a few folks waiting to go up on the next set of chains.  We will just save this until our next time we come.  Anyway, here are some pictures…

Yes, that peak is where we are climbing

zoom in and you can see the trail zig zag’s up that cliff face
Looking back down to the trail start…

Second set of switchbacks
View from our stopping point back down to the Valley floor where we started…
Example f the easy part of the chain ropes…down’t let go, its a long way to the bottom…

Looking back to the valley entrance…

This is just the halfway point going down….

So we definitely need to come bank and plan to spend several weeks here.  Great hiking, good eats in town, and overall a fun place to be.  I would plan to come in April, before the kids get out from school since it gets the third most visitor’s of all the National Parks, over 3.4 Million last year, think Disneyland and you can see why you want to visit in the off season.

We also met up with Laura and Kevin from Chapter Three Travels and got to have dinner with them.  She writes a great blog at that I highly recommend.  She does need to get caught up though :-).  We hope to run into them again, it was fun spending time with them.  They got to see the Girls and they had a lot of  attention which they always love.

The only downside is the need to ride busses into the park, seems I picked up some crud from fellow travelers, a crappy cold, with some minor body aches and congestion, that’s what happens when you cram folks together on public transportation….

Next up a quick trip to Bryce Canyon National Park….


4 thoughts on “Is Zion more scenic than Yosemite National Park?

  1. Absolutely beautiful pictures! Impressed with all the climbing and walking you are doing! Stay safe and enjoy!!!

  2. Glad you enjoy hiking straight up in the air. Not for me. Beautiful scenery. Thanks for the pics. Stay safe.

  3. Always a critic…. yeah, yeah, I am a little behind (ok, a lot…) but I will get caught up very soon. I just posted a new one today about San Diego. You can’t rush greatness, Jon!! Rome wasn’t built in a day!! Man… Tough audience.

    Anyway, I was wondering the same thing about Zion vs. Yosemite. We haven’t been to Yosemite yet, so I have no idea, but from the pictures I’ve seen, I kinda feel like Zion might have the upper hand. It’s hard to compete with all those colors in the cliffs (which, by the way, your photos capture nicely). Plus, with it being relatively compact, you get these incredible views where you can take the whole place in. But, I do love some pine trees and it’s tough to beat the waterfalls at Yosemite…. I guess there are worse riddles to have to solve.

    Anyway, it was fantastic seeing you guys again and we loved hanging out with the girls. They are too cute and helped satisfy our need to hang out with man’s best friend. Give them some extra treats for us.

    Look forward to hearing your take on Bryce. Given the temps in southern Utah, I think we’ll be ready for some chill in the air by the time we get there.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    1. Wait til you hike Bryce….Wow. Sad to leave tomorrow. Temps were great at 8000 feet, cool nights, warm sunshine days.

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