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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Hiking During The First Snow Of The Season

It snowed today in many areas in Utah. Many mountain areas received heavy snow, and flacks collected on the ground in many valleys.

It was a big storm, and it will bring more snow tonight. In some places, enough snow collected on the ground to allow people to hike up and ski down hills. KSL TV has this news report about today's weather.

I was hiking in the snow, having a good time exploring Kolob Terrace in Zion National Park. We started out up near Lava Point. In that area roads were muddy and there was a skiff of snow. Leaves are starting to turn and the area was gorgeous.

Clouds were thickening and the weather looked ominous and so we dropped down the terrace and hiked around a couple other areas. Light rain and snow fell at times, but the weather was actually very nice for hiking.

We stumbled upon some amazing ancient Native American rock art, in a secret gallery the Park Service does not want us to tell you about. (It is in the backcountry where there is no good way to regulate visitors or protect the resource, and so Park officials do not want anyone to promote the site or describe how to get there.)

Even farther down, we hiked to a small waterfall on north creek. Normally there is a very nice swimming hole under the waterfall. Last week it would have been nice swimming there, with air temperatures climbing into the low 90s. This week the water was cold and the stream was flooding. The swimming hole was pretty much washed out by high water. It was still a fun hike in an unusual area.

Zion Park, in my opinion, is always beautiful. But it is most beautiful and most photogenic during stormy weather.

Cool fall days are perfect for hiking the dry trails. Temperatures will warm back up next week, and it may yet be pleasant to swim into the pool under the waterfall.

This is a great time to visit Zion Park.


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