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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wet and Wild in Zion Park

It's time to get wet in Zion Park.

Some of the park's most popular hikes involve wading or swimming through streams and potholes, and that kind of activity is most pleasant when air temperatures are warm and stream flows are down. Those conditions are developing right now. We're on the front end of Zion's peak hiking season.

I hiked in Zion last weekend and had a great time. Conditions were perfect.

The park was crowded - standing room only on the shuttle - but that is to be expected over a holiday weekend. The air temperature pushed into the low 90s. That's warm enough to make the water attractive, but not nearly as hot as it will be in July. We were able to hike sunny trails in relative comfort.

Stream flows have been high, but they are now coming down rapidly. The water is still cold but that is also moderating. It is now enjoyable to hike in the Narrows. The Subway and other famous "wet hikes" will be very attractive during the next several weeks.

My daughter recently became engaged and her fiancé had never been to southern Utah. Our mission was to show him some of the best of the best (as much as you can fit into a quick weekend trip.)

Where do you go, with so many great options? Zion has long been my favorite and we decided to do Angels Landing, because it offers a bit of adventure while providing a grand overview of Zion Canyon.

Our friend assured us there are mountains and canyons in his home state of Virginia. Yeah, right...

He found the view to be overwhelming, as he gazed across the saddle and up the hogsback. It took a little time before he could make his feet climb those rocks, his hands grasp those chains, but he made it to the top.

He passed the test - barely. I guess we can let him join the family.

To cool off, we played in the pools along lower Pine Creek, below the waterfall. It was great fun.

- Dave Webb


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