Zion Canyoneering

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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For this adventure, we had to head to a slot canyon just outside the park. The NPS does not allow commercially guided rope-work inside Zion National Park.

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We headed into Springdale early in the morning and met up with our guide, Chad, at Zion Adventure Company. We were paired up with a mother-daughter team for our half-day family canyoneering excursion.

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Our guide, Chad, drove us to a remote area outside park boundaries. After a short hike we came to the entrance of the path through the rock and harnessed up. Chad guided us through getting our lines on and we did a practice rappel at a small drop.

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For the rest of the morning, we traveled through the hunk of rock in the desert by rappelling, down-climbing, scrambling and squeezing through crevices. It was at times terrifying, but ultimately a rewarding experience.

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Zion Park Posts:

IMG_0025Location: 36 Lion Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767

Designation: National Park (just outside)

Date designated/established: 11/19/1919

Date of my visit: April 10, 2017IMG_0074

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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We visited the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park to help break up the long drive from Capitol Reef to Las Vegas. This park is home to ancient sand dunes created by the wind blowing eroding Navajo sandstone through a notch between the Moquith and Moccasin mountains. The red sandstone results in the unique pink color of the sand in this area.

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We stopped by the visitor center first to pay our nominal entrance fee and looked at their collection of sands from around the world.

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Next, we parked by the viewing platform. If you don’t like sand in your shoes, you can get a good view of the dunes just standing on the boardwalk area. This park is at an elevation of 6000 feet and the dunes are estimated to be between ten to fifteen thousand years old.

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We took the short trail through the dunes from there, with signs along the way about the geology of the dunes, the vegetation that grows there and a rare indigenous beetle.

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There were people driving ATVs up and down the dunes further out. These dunes can shift up to 50 feet per year because of the constant wind.

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The Coral Pink Sand Dunes have provided the backdrop for several movies, including The Greatest Story Ever Told and Arabian Nights. There have been over 170 movies and television episodes filmed in and around Kanab.

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We stopped in the nearby town of Kanab for a bite to eat before continuing on our journey. We walked down the street until we found Houston’s Trail’s End. This was a nice diner with a Western vibe to it (a lot of the movies filmed in Kanab were John Wayne movies.)

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To see my other posts from this Utah trip, please click below:

Location: 12500 Sand Dune Road, Kanab, UT 84741

Designation: State Park

Date designation declared: 1963

Date of my visit: 4/14/2017

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Zion National Park: Lower Emerald Pool

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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After we checked into the Zion Lodge, we had enough time for a short hike before dinner. We headed to the trail head for the Emerald Pools, right across the street from the hotel.

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We crossed the footbridge over the Virgin River and followed the paved path upriver. This is a very popular trail due to its accessibility. In the late afternoon, it was way too crowded for our taste.

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After about a half-mile of dodging obnoxious tourists, we arrived at Lower Emerald Pool. Waterfalls spill over an overhang here and the path continues behind the falls to Middle and Upper Emerald Pools. We took a few photos at this point and decided to turn back because of the crowds.

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Zion Park Posts:

  • Kolob Canyons Section
  • Zion National Park
  • Kolob Canyon 5-mile Drive
  • Timber Creek Overlook Trail (Coming Soon)
  • Emerald Pools (Coming Soon)
  • Canyoneering (Coming Soon)
  • Hidden Canyon (Coming Soon)
  • Scout Lookout (Coming Soon)
  • Angel’s Landing (Coming Soon)
  • Pa’Rus Trail (Coming Soon)

Location: Springdale, UT

Designation: National Park

Date designated/established: 11/19/1919

Date of my visit: April 9, 2017

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Zion National Park: Timber Creek Overlook Trail

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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We drove from Las Vegas to the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park. This is the quieter end of Zion, about an hour northwest of the main entrance. There is one paved road here…a 5-mile scenic drive.

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We parked at the lot at the end of the drive to hike to the top on Timber Creek Overlook Trail. This is a fairly easy and short hike along a ridge with spectacular views of the Kolob Canyons and the Pine Valley Mountains.

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This was a good choice for our introductory hike to Zion National Park . We really enjoyed it, especially after being cooped up in the car for the drive from Vegas. I would call it a moderate hike…it’s a half mile out to the top with an elevation gain of about 100 feet.

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We were already starting off at a pretty high elevation, so I was huffing and puffing quite a bit…this was easily remedied by pausing to photograph the beautiful views that just got better the higher we climbed.

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It was amazing to see the red rock formations from one side of the trail and snow-covered mountain peaks from the other. Though there were some people sharing this trail with us, it wasn’t so crowded that we couldn’t relax and enjoy nature. It’s not a loop…you hike back down the same half mile that you walked up.

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Zion Park Posts:

Location: 3752 E Kolob Canyon Rd, New Harmony, UT

Designation: National Park

Date designated/established: 11/19/1919

Date of my visit: April 9, 2017

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Zion National Park: Zion Lodge

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

When visiting Zion National Park, we stayed in the Watchman building of Zion Lodge. These were reasonably priced accommodations with a rustic motel vibe and common areas in each building with fireplaces, seating and board games.

The convenience of being inside the park made staying here worthwhile…there are long lines to get from Springdale to the Visitors Center each morning and then more lines to board the shuttles since no cars are allowed on the park drive.

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The original lodge was built in 1924, but had to be rebuilt quickly after a fire in 1966 destroyed it. Remodeled in the nineties, it was restored to its appearance from the twenties, but it lacks the charm and grandeur of other classic park lodges. Convenience and the breathtaking surroundings are what make it.

Location: Springdale, Utah

Designation: National Park

Date designated/established: 11/19/1919

Date of my visit: April 2017

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Zion National Park: Kolob Canyon 5-Mile Drive

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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We began our exploration of Zion National Park in the quieter Kolob Canyon section. Kolob Canyon is accessed by a separate entrance in the Northwestern corner of the park.

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We first stopped at the visitors center for our park pass and perused the gift shop. Then we started our climb up the five-mile scenic drive. This is the only paved road on this side of the park and it does not connect with the main section in the south.

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There were few cars on the drive so we were able to drive slowly and enjoy the scenery. We pulled over at several stops along the way to get out and take pictures of the 2000-foot cliff walls lining the canyon.

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After about a half mile, the drive culminates at the Kolob Canyon Viewpoint which is also the trail head for the Timber Creek Overlook Trail.

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Zion Park Posts:

  • Kolob Canyon Section
  • Zion National Park
  • Kolob Canyon 5-mile Drive
  • Timber Creek Overlook Trail (Coming Soon)
  • Emerald Pools (Coming Soon)
  • Canyoneering (Coming Soon)
  • Hidden Canyon (Coming Soon)
  • Scout Lookout (Coming Soon)
  • Angel’s Landing (Coming Soon)
  • Pa’Rus Trail (Coming Soon)

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Location: 3752 E Kolob Canyon Rd, New Harmony, UT

Designation: National Park

Date designated/established: 11/19/1919

Date of my visit: April 9, 2017

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