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Monday, April 04, 2011

Waterfall Season In Zion Park

Spring temperatures are rising in Zion National Park, causing snowmelt runoff to cascade down washes and over cliffs, creating dozens of waterfalls. It is a beautiful sight.

I hiked in the park over the weekend and enjoyed the pleasant weather. Daytime temperatures climbed into the low 80s – perfect for all kinds of outdoor recreation. Streams are flowing high and fast and so care is needed to stay safe.

Wildflowers are starting to bloom, and cactus flowers will soon be profuse throughout the lower areas of the park.

I’m fascinated by the waterfalls and enjoy seeking them out. During spring, dozens of waterfalls can be seen from paved roads in the park, and hundreds others can be found in the backcountry. Three easily seen waterfalls are quite spectacular. The one shown in our photo can be seen at Temple of Sinawava, at the end of the road in Zion Canyon.

Another waterfall tumbles off the cliff next to Weeping Rock. (When you are looking at Weeping Rock, the season waterfall is on the left.)

Another plunges into Upper Emerald Pool. This one flows year-round, but is only a trickle during the warm season. In the sprint it is an impressive torrent.

High country snowpack is heavy this year and so runoff will be intense and last for weeks – probably into early June.

I’m working to photograph all major waterfalls in Zion Park. That’s a challenging endeavor, but great fun. Many area located in rugged backcountry where they are very difficult to reach.

Over the weekend I probed an area on North Creek, photographing small waterfalls as I systematically move through the park.

It will take time to complete my project.

- Dave Webb

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