I went through Zion National Park when I did my stroll through Utah this past Fall.
An amazing park full of canyons, red rocks, and views that beckoned for further exploration.
My hike saw me backpack about fifty miles through the park, but I knew there was more to see.
The famous Zion Narrows called, and various hikes beckoned on the NatGeo map.
When I mentioned I’d be heading West towards Nevada, a friend pinged me. She said that she and her husband are now working (and living!) in the Zion National Park area. Would be interested in staying with them a bit and exploring the park? Heck yes!
Wendi and Treacy have never met me in person, but we have corresponded for quite a bit over the years. And knew many people in common. Just another fantastic example of how many people have reached out to me on this trip!
I drove to Zion, met them at their house in the park, and felt as if I was greeting old friends. In many ways, I was of course.
The park shutdown was in effect of course. But the trails were open. And the natural beauty is never diminished no matter what shenanigans go on in D.C.
It was late in the day, but their front yard view was rather nice. We enjoyed a few beverages, set outside in the night air, and enjoyed the exquisite night sky above.
The following day Wendi had errands to run. And Treacy’s position required him to wrap up things for the (what turned out to be short) shutdown.
I think I’d find a thing or two to do. 😉
After a leisurely morning sipping coffee, I made my way into the park proper.
Considering most of the facilities were shut down, the park was fairly busy. The concessionaire run lodge was still open, but everything else was closed. I did see one paraglider in the canyon (!), but otherwise, people seemed respectful of the park itself.
I did a brief hike in the famous Zion Narrows. The water is ice cold this time of the year of course, so I did not go far without the proper clothing needed to explore. But I went a little beyond the typical path and around some turnings of the canyon wall.
After this hike, I wanted to see again something that was not seen during my recent trek through here.
The Emerald Pools looked intriguing. And about the right length so I could get back to my friends’ home and take care of some business later that afternoon.
The hike up the trail and looking across the canyon was rather enjoyed.
I soon reached the lower pool area and lingered for a bit before making my way up to the upper pool.
I then made it to the upper pool. I did not linger too long as a large group appeared from the lower pool. The hike back was scenic in the later afternoon light.
I made it back to m vehicle, drove to my friends’ home, made the phone calls I had to make concerning some presentations coming up, caught up on some email, and realized I had time for another short hike. A hike where the trailhead is right out the door of the very place where I was staying!
The Watchman Trail is the iconic rock formation in view of my friends’ front yard. And the two-mile round trip hike was about perfect in length for a pre-dinner stroll.
Everyone arrived home. Some smooth sippin’ whiskey was enjoyed later that evening.
I can’t thank my friends enough for their hospitality. What an enjoyable way to experience Zion!