Zion National Park

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Friday, May 5, 2006

(Ben wrote and Chelise edited like Bryce):
Although Zion is a desert, it was created by water. It's basically a big canyon.
Zion National Park was definately a very different park from all the others we had been too. The place is crawling with people and the only way around inside the main section of the park is to take a bus from stop to stop. It's a very effective way of getting around the park and it keeps traffic noise to minimum especially since the busses are powered by natural gas. This is the park where the masses come. It's full of city folk that practically faint with excitement when they spot a deer or wild turkey.
Just off the bus stops are dozens of little hikes that are pretty lame when compared to the other parks we had just been to. These hikes are also covered in out-of-shape tourists huffing and puffing up little hills that to them are mountains. The first night we got to Zion, the campground was full and we had to camp outside the park in an area that was absolutely chock full! Our neighbors' tent was 5 feet away from ours! And next to them were 3 people who were drinking when we arrived and getting progressively drunker and louder as the hours wore on. On top of all that the place was 25 bucks just to pitch your tent!!! But what could we do? That night we met up with Chris & Ann and they invited us to sleep on the fold out bed in their cottage which just happened to be across the road from our camp. So for the first time in 2 weeks we slept indoors!
That morning Chris and Ann took us to nice breakfast before heading back to Salt Lake, (Thanks Chris!) We spent the day doing day hikes to pools and doing the signature hike of the park which is called Angles Landing.
This is a 6 mile hike that goes straight up! The switchbacks (aka Walter's Wiggles) are steep as hell and then you have to traverse across the rock fins all they way up to this massively high lookout point while holding onto chains as you go up (not that we needed to hold any silly chains! Chelise had many people comment on the fact that she was doing it with her cast on. The views were awesome but I think the hike was the most fun because you are literally on the edge of massive drop offs with nothing but chains to hold on to. At the top while we were admiring the view we got a phone call from Matt (fellow Y'stoner) which was pretty funny to be all the way away from anything, but still conncected to technology.
The other highlight of the park was the Narrows, but it was closed due to the high springtime water run off. That's the trouble with when we were going to all these parks. We weren't in peak season which is perfect for getting campspots and quiet hiking, but sometimes things weren't open. I guess I will just to have come back again so I can do that one because it's suppose to be killer. The next day we did a couple of little day hikes and wandered around the little town that was right outside the park entrance. You don't think about it, but even outside the parks the geology is the same although usually to a lesser degree.
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