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…
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 http://www.chapter3travels.com/ 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….